Sanctuary, by definition, is a place of refuge or safety. Some of us call the room that we worship in our “sanctuary.” This makes sense to me as it is one of the places we can go to be reminded that we seek refuge and safety in God amidst the chaos of life.
In Orlando and across the country, the LGBTQ community feels like they have lost one of their sanctuaries, after being attacked in a nightclub. The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has issued a letter in response to the June 12th shooting which states, “We must speak peace and reconciliation into the cacophony of hatred and division. We must live the truth that all people are created in God’s image.”
This Sunday at the end of worship, after we have been singing and praying and filled with God’s Word, we will leave our sanctuary and go out into the world. Before you leave Joy Reigns, you will be invited to place one (or more) of 50 pride flags in the front yard to be a visual remembrance of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history and also as a sign to the LGBTQ community that Joy Reigns is a sanctuary where everyone is welcome.
We will have time to lament and pray and also to be filled with hope. Please join me.
God’s Peace, Pastor Sara