The Officers, Board members and Executive Director of RevGalBlogPals recognize that the LGBTQI community was gathered at Pulse in Orlando because it was a place where they found the support, joy, and love that was denied to them in many other social places, including in the church. In the midst of celebrating life and love, these children of God were massacred by a person with a gun. The motives were horrific. The ability to kill so many so quickly is horrific. The reality of so many dead and wounded is horrific, especially in a community with so few places for safety and security.
Lamentation does not seem a strong enough word. We have lamented, sighed, screamed, and wept. The reality that children of God were slain because of the gift of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or, perhaps, their Latinx heritage or appreciation is abhorrent and far from what we know to be God’s desire for love in the world.
We renounce, saying no in the strongest way possible, the forces that oppose God, which lead to the Orlando massacre: homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, self-hatred, heresy, idolatry of weapons and weaponization, racism, and blindness to human and creation connectedness. We firmly reject any of these having any place in the world. Additionally, we are committed to all of these having no home, no toehold, no shadow, no sanctuary in any institution that considers itself to be church in the name of love.
In the beginning RevGalBlogPals was a smallish webring, a supportive group, and a wish for a t-shirt. In the years since, we’ve grown to more than 400 active blogging participants, a website full of amazing and inspiring writing, a Facebook group of more than 3000, an annual Continuing Education event, and a support network that spans the globe from Alaska to Australia, touching everywhere in between to the east and the west.
At our heart, we represent the church as it was meant to be: open, inclusive, welcoming, and full of grace and love. At our best, we experience in each other, online and in person, the community of discipleship in action that makes Christ’s love tangible and concrete. We will continue to be a safe space for women in ministry across perceived boundaries of race, nationality, denomination, generation, orientation and gender identity.
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, we renew our commitment to hold a safe space for women in ministry across perceived boundaries of race, nationality, denomination, generation, orientation and gender identity. Beyond safety (a low hurdle), we renew our commitment to being welcome, inclusive, inviting, open, and loving. We are a church, committed to supporting the leadership of women in religious communities and in the world. We will not forget these deaths. We will not let them go quietly. We are united online and in person to standing for justice, for equality, and for love.
Rev. Martha Spong, Executive Director – United Church of Christ
Rev. Julia Seymour, President – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Sarah Howe Miller, Ph.D., Vice-President – United Methodist Church
Rev. Liz Crumlish, Secretary – Church of Scotland
Rev. Amy Haynie, Treasurer – The Episcopal Church
Rev. Jemma Allen – Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
Rev. T. Denise Anderson – Presbyterian Church (USA)
Ms. Mary Beth Butler – The Episcopal Church
Rev. Teri Peterson – Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. Sharon Temple – United Church of Christ