As Mennonite Church USA, we grieve the horrific act of violence toward LGBTQ persons perpetrated in Orlando early last Sunday morning, cutting short the lives of 49 people and wounding 53 more. We are appalled that the shooter specifically targeted LGBTQ Latinos, acting out of hatred for people created in the image of God. We lament the culture of violence in our society and our participation in it.
We stand with our Muslim neighbors who have condemned this heinous act and have stepped forward to assist the victims. We pledge to work shoulder-to-shoulder with all people of faith — to overcome evil with good, hatred with love, violence with peacemaking and inequity with justice.
We pray for the people of Orlando; for the victims and their families, friends and loved ones; for LGBTQ communities who are traumatized by hatred and violence directed toward them or taking place around them; for Muslim communities; and for the many people providing support in the aftermath of this tragedy. We pray for the family and friends of the shooter. And we pray for ourselves, that we may have the courage to do what is right in the face of terror or fearmongering, putting our hope in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace. May God have mercy on us all.
Patricia Shelly, moderator
David Boshart, moderator-elect
Mennonite Church USA