Dear Friends in Christ,
It is difficult to capture in words the anguish felt by so many after this weekend's massacre in Orlando. The senselessness of this act of violence seems to challenge our faith in the goodness of our common humanity. And yet, as people of faith, it is our calling to live out Jesus' commandment "that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (John 13:34.)
All Saints' Church is where we come together to love one another as Jesus loved us. Right now, we are in need of one another's love. And there are so many others who need our love and prayers as well: members of the LGBT community, the Latinx community, and all those who are affected by gun violence. Our Muslim sisters and brothers need our prayers and support as they brace themselves for undeserved discrimination and bigotry. And, of course, we remember the victims of this tragedy and their families.
Of all the issues present in this complicated event, let us acknowledge that it was a spiritual crime committed by a person whose tragic misunderstanding of God led him to sin greatly. Our church is where we worship a different spirit--the Holy Spirit, whose gifts of love, truth, strength, and forgiveness are a cure for the brokenness that leads to spiritual violence.
We join our sisters and brothers at St. John's Church tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7pm, where their weekly liturgy will be dedicated to the victims in Orlando. And I urge you to come worship at All Saints' Church this Sunday at 10am or 5pm, to share your sorrow as well as your hope for a better world.
May God continue to bless our community of faith.
The Rev. Steven D. Paulikas