June 15, 2016 Erin Counihan

Praying with Orlando.

Pastor Erin sent out this message to the Oak Hill Community on 6/15. 

Dear Church,

Once again news of a mass shooting has reached our homes and ripped through our hearts. As more of the story of that night in Florida is shared, our hearts break over and over again. And even as we weep, I am reminded of the words we read at Oak Hill every Christmas… “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

I find myself repeating those words as a prayer. And so today, I write to invite you to join in prayer for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. I write to invite you to join in prayer to lift up the lives lost, the families who mourn, the survivors, the first responders, the investigators, the medical professionals, and the community leaders in Orlando. I write to invite you to join in prayer for the LGBTQ and Latino/a communities, targeted by this act. I write to invite you to join in prayer for those who seek to harm others, for a society obsessed with violence and hate, and for our policies and laws that make such hate deadly.

Tonight, St. John’s Tower Grove has invited us to share in prayer and worship during a special service for the Orlando massacre at 7pm in their fellowship hall (3664 Arsenal). If you are able to come and join us in person, please do. If you’re not able to attend, please join us in spirit, and offer a few prayers with us tonight.

If you are looking for words to pray, I offer these, from the Presbyterian Mission Agency:
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/prayer-nightclub-shooting-orlando/

And also this statement from the elected leadership of the PCUSA:
https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/6/14/pcusa-leaders-mourn-victims-orlando-nightclub-trag/

May we pray as a community and together witness, even in this time, to the unending love of God in Jesus Christ. And may we pray for Christ’s love to fill this hurting world.

Grace and peace and love to you all,
Pastor Erin

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