With the shooting that targeted a gay night club in Orlando, Florida in the early morning hours of June 12, it was especially important for churches in the area to join those in the LGBTQ community in solidarity. Clergy and members from a number of Disciples of Christ congregations in Springfield attended the Candlelight Vigil for Orlando at the GLO Center on Commercial Street on Friday evening, June 17. It was an evening of tears, silence, remembrance and calls to action.
Saturday, June 18 was the Greater Ozarks Pridefest. People from all over walked in the Equality march, expressing joy, hope, and solidarity. Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler joined them carrying a sign that read. "As a pastor, I want you to know you are loved beyond your wildest imagination just as you are." Brentwood Christian Church and National Avenue Christian Church joined forces by having booths side by side at Pridefest, along with a handful of other churches, showing the inclusive and welcoming love of God to a community in deep need of that word of love and welcome.
On Sunday morning, in worship at Brentwood Christian Church, 49 tealights were lit in silence to remember the precious lives taken in the shooting at Pulse and Rev. Bowen-Marler preached a sermon on the importance of being a prophetic voice, especially in times like this. Below you will find a link to the audio recording and manuscript of the sermon.
Story and photos sent by Rev. Emily Bowen-Marler, Associate Minister Brentwood Christian Church.