Florida Area Bishop Kenneth Carter Jr. is urging churches to share the message of God’s unconditional love after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
A gunman killed 49 people and wounded 50 others in an early-morning massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub, before police killed him. Long before the tragedy, Florida United Methodists had planned to meet June 16-18 in Orlando for their annual conference session.
Here is Carter’s statement:
“Today I am lifting up the clergy and laity who will lead worship in our #Orlando churches. May you announce God's unconditional love for all people and God's desire for nonviolence through Jesus Christ, who is our peace.
"And as United Methodists from across Florida travel to Orlando for annual conference this week, I hope we can discover creative, pastoral and grace-filled ways to bear witness to all — including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons — that together we are God's beloved children. With thousands of us gathered in Orlando this week, what if God is calling us to be a part of the healing?
"As we gather for annual conference, I know that we will offer an expression of peace, healing and solidarity with the Orlando community.”
News contact: Heather Hahn at (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.