The Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America and the New York Conference, United Church of Christ mourn together with the LGBTQ community, their families, and the wider Orlando community in the wake of the horrendous loss of life at The Pulse this week. Our hearts ache for the senselessness of this tragedy and for our own ability to prevent this expression of violence.
During Gay Pride month, we renew our solidarity with the rights of all LGBTQ persons for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…and love. It is our conviction that gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, no-faith, all are precious in God’s sight. Each life is created in beauty and is to be cherished and honored. When an act of violence ends a single human life, God weeps, as on the day when our own Lord and Savior’s life was lost on a cross.
We are outraged that despite two interviews with the FBI, the perpetrator of this domestic violence was issued arms capable of killing 49 persons and injuring as many more. We call for renewed efforts of both federal and state legislation for much, much stricter gun control. No individual born or living in the United States should have access to firearms capable of this level of carnage. It is nothing short of outrageous and we call for a higher cadence of voices from our pews to the seats of Congress to stop the insanity of out of control gun laws.
We decry any and all political rhetoric during this national political season that seizes upon this human tragedy to further their political agenda. Such rhetoric diminishes us as a country and degrades our humanity.
Finally we call upon our churches and our communities to embrace the LGBTQ community among us.
Reverend David R Gaewski, Conference Minister
New York Conference, United Church of Christ
Reverend Amy Nyland, Executive Minister
Regional Synod of New York, Reformed Church in America
Together the Synod and the Conference comprise 400 congregations in New York State.