Central Florida faith leaders came together on Monday, June 7, 2021 to remember the victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre and advocate for greater protection of the LGBTQ+ community. St. Luke’s own Pastor Jeremy Green was on hand at Joy MCC in Orlando to share a message of love and solidarity with those gathered. Watch the video below to see more about the press conference.
Full Statement from St. Luke’s Assistant Minister of Community Life, Pastor Jeremy Green:
“I once heard it said that when a person walks into a room they bring their entire lives with them. That they have a billion reasons for being there and if you just listen they’ll tell you. Though we could sit and begin to divide and subdivide all of the reasons, and cares, powers that lead to us being in this room together today I believe one sits above all others. And that of course is love.
And what’s funny about love is that even with our years and years of collective human understanding we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what love is and what it could look like in our world. But here’s what we do know about love. Love looks like seeing and respecting the intrinsic value carried by all human life. Love looks like resisting evil, and injustice, and oppression, in whatever forms they present themselves, love looks like emerging from tragedy as a community committed to creating pockets of hope for those who live on. Love is experiencing the darkest nights but believing that together we can be a part of creating a brighter day than we ever imagined.
Orlando is called the city beautiful. And have we not been witnesses to what it truly means to be beautiful? The great theologian Thurman observed the difference between the beauty of a rose and that of an oak tree. He described the beauty of a rose to be beauty that has never gone through anything. Beauty that doesn’t know what it feels like to have the hard happenings and circumstances of life pluck a pedal or two from your very being. But the beauty of an oak tree is beauty that has had to be load-baring. Beauty that is strong enough to build your life and community around. Beauty that is long-suffering. Orlando has suffered long. Our LBGTQIA+ siblings have suffered long. And yet, on days like this when love compels hearts to stand and call for justice, the beauty shines through. And I know that I’ve quoted two people already, but I want to leave you today with the words of Pastor Terri that will ring throughout this community forever, “hate tries, but love wins”. and family…we’ve got a whole lot of winning to do.”