Prayers follow mass shooting at LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs
One the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, five people were killed in a mass shooting in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs. At least 18 others were injured Saturday evening, Nov. 19, before Club Q patrons subdued the gunman. The Open and Affirming Coalition, United Church of Christ, through Executive Director Andy Lang, immediately offered prayers for those who lost their lives, for those impacted by the violence, and for a future where all are valued. The UCC national officers also issued a statement of support. Here are the text of those statements:
“As Open and Affirming congregations gather today to honor our transgender and nonbinary neighbors who have lost their lives to hatred, we are stunned by the news that a young man inside an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs last night shot and killed at least five people and injured 18.
“Once again, lives have been irretrievably lost by the rising tide of hatred and gun violence in America.
“As I heard the news this morning, my thoughts went to Jeremiah 31, verse 15:
Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.
“This morning, we join in prayer for each person murdered or injured last night in Club Q. In the coming days we will know their names. We also pray in union with the Rocky Mountain Conference and especially our Open and Affirming churches in Colorado Springs: First Congregational UCC, Vista Grande Community UCC and Black Forest Community UCC, as well as Church in the Wildwood UCC in neighboring Green Mountain Falls.
“It is not easy to hope in a time like this. Sometimes we need simply to experience the bewilderment and anger that comes when more of God’s children are slain by unreasoning hatred. But there will be a time to hope. The prophet Jeremiah continues in verses 16 and 17:
Thus says the Lord:
Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears;
for there is a reward for your work,
says the Lord:
they shall come back from the land of the enemy;
there is hope for your future,
says the Lord:
your children shall come back to their own country.
“Today is also the feast of the Reign of Christ. As a movement, Open and Affirming churches like yours are working for the vision of God’s future realm, where everyone is wanted, everyone is needed, and no one is lost to hatred. But that future realm is also taking shape here and now: in your congregations and your families in more than a thousand communities across America. Your mission is to save lives, and there will be a reward for your work: the beloved community where all of God’s children can return home.”
The Rev. Andrew Lang
Open and Affirming Coalition
“The officers and staff of the United Church of Christ mourn with the nation the needless death and wounding of Club Q patrons last evening in Colorado Springs. With each violent act of aggression against our LGBTQ siblings we pledge anew to confront such evil with all the power given us through the liberating love of a God whose image we all bear.”
The National Officers of the United Church of Christ The Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President The Rev. Traci Blackmon, Associate General Minister The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Associate General Minister
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