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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My Reflection on the Orlando Mass Shooting

Rev. Dámaris E. Ortega, Pastor
UCC Congregational
Plainfield
There was a time when I was afraid. A time when I dare not say... but atrocities like what just happened in Orlando make me so angry, I realize that silence will not help me. Fear will only benefit those who want to make me invisible. But I am here! I am a LGBT child of God. I am queer, I am puertorriqueña, (like most of those who were murdered at the Pulse in Orlando), I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, I am a friend. I have dedicated my life in service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Before God I can't hide my anger, yet I decide to respond with love. I affirm God's diversity. To ignore that those killed were God's LGBT children, God's diverse creation, young, beautiful, full of life, dancing, rejoicing in what they thought was a safe space, is to ignore an important aspect of their identity for which they were made a target and brought to death at the hands of someone that had internalized his own homophobia. 

I am no longer afraid. I will continue to struggle, and work for a better world. I strongly believe that we have to leave a better world for the future generations! A world without fear! A world were we can all kiss in public without fear! Enough is enough! This world needs to learn how to embrace love and not hatred! We need to kiss more, love more, and work more for a world free of hatred and homophobia and islamophobia. A world were we can all feel safe.

Please join me on Friday at 7:30 at the steps of Plainfield City Hall for Candlelight Vigil along with other religious leaders and community leaders. Bring signs of solidarity for the LGBT community and the Muslim community. Bring candles and flags. We will join our spirits in solidarity and pray together.


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