Trinity to Light Candles for Orlando Shooting Victims on June 19

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A version of this letter from The Very Rev. Tracey Lind was sent to Trinity Cathedral members on June 16.

Dear friends,

Like most of you, I’m still reeling with grief, sorrow, anger and despair over the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando.

A gay bar — a sanctuary where the LGBTQ community has historically felt safe to dance, sing, make friends, meet potential partners, and enjoy one another’s company without harassment and judgment — was violated in the most unfathomable way. My heart and soul ache for the 50 young men and women who died, the 53 injured, and their loved ones who grieve as a result of yet another act of violence and hatred. A New York Times editorial aptly described this tragedy of terror as a “deadly combination of twisted hatred and weapons of mass destruction as easily available as cough medicine.”

Many have called my office to inquire about Trinity’s response. Words alone come up short at a time like this. While we are called to pray, “sending our thoughts and prayers” is not enough. We must act.  

This coming Sunday, we will remember each of the victims, their loved ones, and their families. We will pray for the perpetrator of this hate crime. We will reaffirm our solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Cleveland, the nation and around the world. We will renew our call to reduce gun violence, specifically for universal background checks, smart guns, and a ban on assault weapons. We will also express our solidarity and support for our Muslim friends and neighbors, recognizing that this violence is not a reflection of the values of Islam in America.

13435526_10154184355945692_551188963411939049_nWe will worship at 8 and 10 a.m. with special music and a candle lighting at the later hour. Between services, there will be an opportunity for conversation about this tragedy. We will also have a chance to write letters to our federal and state representatives calling for appropriate legislative action.

The Rainbow flag proudly hangs in front of the newly restored and open cathedral doors, and banners grace our exterior walls proclaiming, “God loves you…no exceptions.” Please remember that throughout the week, you are welcome to come inside to say a prayer, light a candle, walk the labyrinth, or sit in silence. And then, on Sunday, let us gather and respond to yet another act of hate and fear with love and courage. 

Blessings,

The Very Rev. Tracey Lind