On Sunday, June 12, 2016, 49 people lost their lives and 68 people were physically injured following the shooting in Pulse Night Club (Orlando, FL) during Pride on Latin Night. While many of us struggle with what to do other than offer prayers wrapped in good intentions, last year the mothers of many of the victims asked that we (the Christian Community) remember their children by ringing our church bells once for each life lost at noon (local time).
Why ring church bells? Our bells have traditionally been 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 One Orlando Alliance on behalf of the many wailing mothers whose children were taken way too soon to ring our church bells. They are asking our support in spreading love. Last year 1/3 of the 323 churches that signed up to respond to the need were members of the United Church of Christ. These are the churches that formally signed up, we know that there were more that did it without being official!
Please register your church by submitting the form to toll your bells 49 times in unison across the globe as a tribute to the 49 lives that represent us all. Share your ceremony or photo using hashtag : #49bells and #ActLoveGIve. As churches are submitted, the map will update. Faith communities who worship in a building without a bell or businesses with displays can participate in this project by simply posting the number “49” on their signs. They’ve set a lofty goal of 449 participating entities this year. Help us, help them reach their goal!
Please visit oneorlandoalliance.org/49-bells/ and register your church as a participant.