InterFaith Service to be held at First UMC Orlando on Tuesday
First United Methodist Church of Orlando will host an InterFaith Service on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. in its sanctuary, 142 E. Jackson St, Orlando, FL 32801.
The building will open at 6 p.m., and all are welcome to bring their own dinners and dine in the church’s gathering space before the service, according to Rev. Dr. Bob Bushong, district superintendent of the East Central District of the Florida Conference.
The service will include leaders from the religious communities within the City of Orlando that work with Rev. Dr. Jim Coffin, the executive director of the InterFaith Council of Central Florida, and they will lead the service. The service will address, with prayer and word, the pain felt by the LGBTQ community, the City of Orlando and the entire nation. Rev. Bushong will be the preacher for the service.
Spiritual leaders from all religious traditions will be available following the service for conversation, and the building will remain open as long as necessary. Clergy are encouraged to be available following the service for those who may need you, Bushong said.
Rev. Tom McCloskey, lead pastor at First Orlando, “and I hope you will attend and be witnesses to the hope that comes to us through God’s great love,” Bushong said.
Attendees are invited to bring items for first responders and medical professionals that will be distributed through the City of Orlando. These include water, non-perishable snacks, etc. The young people of First Orlando will transport the items to the city pickup location.
Memorial items may be placed on the green at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, 445 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801.
Please refer questions about the service or resources to be offered to Rev. McCloskey directly at Tom@firstchurchorlando.org, who said he will respond as soon as possible.
“Continue to pray for the entire City of Orlando, but particularly for those in the LGBTQ community, for those that are currently serving in the medical and law enforcement response in downtown Orlando, and for those families and friends who are dealing with their tragic loss,” Bushong said.
Bishop Carter responds to massacre
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.
Sunday's early-morning massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub has left at least 49 dead and 53 injured. 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 on Sunday:
“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.”
President of the UMC Council of Bishops issues statement
Click here to read Bishop Bruce R. Ough's statement on the shooting. He is the currently the president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops.