Orlando Reflection and Prayer

London District Chair Micky Youngson attended the vigil in Soho last night following the tragic shooting in Orlando on Sunday. She wrote the following post and prayer last night:


As many of us prepared to go to church on Sunday morning, the news broke of the mass shooting in a gay night club in Orlando. The horror that unfolded as the day went on was almost impossible to take in. That a place where people go to be free from prejudice, to relax and be with loved ones, should become a place of fear and violence is a deep tragedy. The media coverage has been criticised by many, focussing too quickly on the idea that the perpetrator of this awful crime might be influenced by I.S. - whether he was or not, his actions were clearly targeted against the LGBTI community.

Tonight I attended a vigil in Soho, where candles were lit, flowers and banners laid down and people stood in solidarity and friendship against those who are motivated by fear and hate. It was a moving place to be and a place where the church should be and where Jesus would be.

I'm saddened that the media have, in the main, resorted to the old cliches and same angles that drive the news agenda and I'm sorry that the political rhetoric in the States has deepened the hurt and division already grown in US society.

I long for a new narrative - a narrative of love, of courage, of selflessness. As I stood in St Anne's church yard in Soho I was alongside people of many faiths and none, people of many cultures and backgrounds. We were united in grief and, I hope, in longing for a new way of living in community, a way with love at its heart.

A prayer for this time.

Loving God,
We pray for those killed and injured in the Pulse Night Club in Orlando,
hold them and their loved ones in your care.
We pray for members of the LGBTI community, facing prejudice and hurt.
When we do not understand
and we are lost in sadness for ourselves and others, hold our grief.
When we want to scream and curse you, hold our anger.
When we want to despair and give up in the face of overwhelming odds, hold our denial.
Help us to catch even a glimpse of your presence in all this pain
and grant us the wisdom to find the right words
and to know when to say nothing at all.
In the name of your Son.

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