Pray for Orlando
The work and business we do at Annual Conference is important, but nothing is more important than loving, caring for, and serving one another.
Let us remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in Orlando and around the country as they heal and mourn.
Council President: Statement on the Orlando shooting
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement about the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.:
United Methodists across the world are horrified by the despicable act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 individuals and wounded 53 others.
We are in shock. We join those who grieve. We pray for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQ community targeted by this hateful attack. We stand against all forms of violence, committed anywhere in the world by anyone.
We stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters who have condemned this heinous act. We pledge to work together to overcome evil with good, terrorism with peace, hatred with love, and inequity with justice.
We commend the Florida Annual Conference as they gather this week in Orlando. They, along with Bishop Ken Carter, are our connectional presence in the midst of this tragedy. We pray that God will work through them to be a source of Christ’s witness, reconciliation and healing to the brokenness of an entire community.
As the people called United Methodist, let us not lose heart, but redouble our commitment and efforts to fulfill God’s vision of the Beloved Community throughout the world. As we combat evil, let us not let evil fill our hearts. As we struggle to end violence, let us not let violence become our way of life. As we battle terrorism, let us not become terrorists in the process. As we seek to be vigilant, let us not let fear curtail our hospitality. As we pray for peace, let it begin within our own spirits.
In the peace of the Lord,
Bishop Bruce R. Ough
President, United Methodist Council of Bishops
Florida bishop 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.
The early-morning massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub has left at least 50 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:
“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.”