Monday, June 12, 2017
"A year ago on June 12, 2016 on a Sunday morning many of us awakened to the reality that Latinx Night at Pulse Night Club, an LGBTQ+ community gathering spot... a sanctuary... a safe-haven... in the midst of Pride Celebration, had become the site of one of the worse mass shootings in US history. Many of us gathered afterwards to pray and grieve the 49 lives lost, the 53 wounded survivors and some of us, with difficulty found the energy to pray for the one lone individual who lost his connection to love.
This year Orlando, Florida is calling for a day of unity on June 12, 2017 dedicated to the lives lost at Pulse Orlando: “Orlando United Day – A Day of Love and Kindness.” There are many ways that the Orlando community will be actively engaged, but one way that we as communities of faith are being invited to participate is with the use of our church bells. We are invited to ring our church bells 49 times at noon (local time) on June 12, 2017. Faith communities who worship in a building without a bell can participate in this project by posting the number “49” on their signs.
Our bells have traditionally rung at moments of crisis alerting us of a community need. They toll after death and they toll when we celebrate. We the United Church of Christ are invited by Nancy Rosado of Somos Orlando, to respond to the request made by One Orlando Alliance on behalf of the many wailing mothers whose children were taken way too soon. They are asking our support in spreading love."
Today at noon it was my honor to ring our church bell 49 times in remembrance of the 49 people who lost their lives a year ago in the Pulse shooting. May they rest in peace.