Orlando Interfaith Letter

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From Rev. Barbara McKusick Liscord:
I’ve signed onto a letter from interfaith Milford clergy in response to the Orlando shooting. We’ve sent it to The Cabinet, the Manchester Union Leader, and the Nashua Telegraph. I hope people read it and take it to heart. I signed this as your minister and not on behalf of UUCM. ~ Blessings, Barbara

An Interfaith Letter in Response to Orlando

To the Editor:

We will not be silent

We write to express our deepest sorrow for the loss of life in Orlando, Florida, Sunday, June 12. We grieve for all whose lives have been stolen by the murderous violence of those professing a shameful and warped sense of religious faith, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or any other tradition. We write to express our deep sorrow for the LGBTQ community who were attacked and murdered simply because of who they are, gathering on that Saturday night hoping to be in a safe place away from the hatred and discrimination they often deal with on a daily basis.

Sadly, we confess that our religious communities have not always been safe places for our LGBTQ siblings. We take this tragic moment to both confess our sin and renew our commitment to making our faith communities safe, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all who live at the margins of society. There are many religious communities that do not welcome LGBTQ members as true children of God, people who deserve the same respect and dignity that is afforded to all humanity and commanded by God. We, as leaders of faith communities in the Souhegan Valley, wish in the strongest terms possible, to raise our voices against any action or word that infers that our LGBTQ siblings are not fully loved by God. It is because some religious voices have been louder than ours and seemingly paint all Christians with the same brush that we will no longer stand silent assuming the LGBTQ community knows that we are different. Therefore we declare this day what it is we believe:

  • All people who face discrimination of any kind are welcome in our faith communities.
  • LGBTQ and people of all religious faiths or no faith are welcome in our faith communities.
  • God has created humanity to be a multi-colored, a multi-gendered, and a multi-sexual tapestry and has pronounced that “it is very good.”
  • Jesus was crucified for who and how he loved without fear or favor.
  • We boldly stand and speak as followers of Jesus.
  • We stand in solidarity with all faith traditions that welcome all people without reservation or pre-condition.

Our prayers are with all who were killed and injured in Orlando and their loved ones. May our prayers be met with actions that bring hope and healing to the LGBTQ community among us, the Latino community around us, and people of faith everywhere.

Praying for a day of justice and peace for all, we are,

The Rev. Robin R. Lunn, Co-Pastor – First Church in Jaffrey, NH UCC
The Rev. Shayna K. Appel, Co-Pastor – First Church in Jaffrey, NH UCC
The Rev. Hays M. Junkin, Rector – Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal), Milford, NH
The Rev. Richard G. Leavitt, Senior Pastor – Congregational Church of Amherst, NH UCC
The Rev. Casey Collins, Pastor – Milford United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Regina Kinney, Pastor – Second Congregational Church, UCC, Wilton, NH
The Rev. Don Kegan, Pastor – Saint Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Milford
The Rev. Barbara McKusick Liscord, Minister – Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Milford, NH