ReconcilingWorks thanks Bishop Dave Brauer-Rieke, Oregon Synod, ELCA, for his words of comfort to the LGBTQ community and his challenge to the church.
ELCA Lutherans in Oregon join people around the world today in prayers, grief and concern over the shooting in Orlando, FL yesterday. Words fail me as I write to you, but what my words lack your spirit will provide. Please remember in prayer today those whose lives were taken, friends and family of these individuals, and our sisters and brothers who identify with the LGBTQ community which has been purposely targeted in this massacre.
As people of faith I believe we have a unique word to speak about faithfulness and radicalization. It is fear, anger, injustice and prejudice that fuels radicalization. It is trust, gratitude, service and understanding that strengthens our faith, a gift which in and of itself comes to us through Christ who has show us the way. Indeed, we are called to be followers of “the Way” and acts of prejudice, anger or violence have no place in such a call.
Today, then, let us bear witness to all we meet and in anything we might post on Facebook or other social media. Do not fan the flames of blame and discord. Do not let your anger or upset further violence in word or deed. Rather, as the Apostle Paul counsels, “Let your ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.”
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty,
but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought
for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Rms 12:9-18 NRSV)”
Bp. Dave Brauer-Rieke
Oregon Synod – ELCA