Prayers for Orlando: Statement from Southwest Florida bishop

Posted Jun 13, 2016

In my recent time in Minneapolis with the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, over Friday night’s dinner I was hearing firsthand stories from staff members of Sept. 11, 2001. That act of terrorism still leaves grim scars, and relief in the joy of life.

This Sunday on my return home from a parish visit, a priest called and informed me of the magnitude of this most recent act of terror in U.S. history.

Immediately upon the end of the call, my car music began playing the Taize song “Jesus Remember Me.” This song’s poignant text from Luke’s Gospel is “Jesus remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” It was and remains a powerful spiritual statement of divine compassion in the midst of horror.

I ask us all in the Diocese of Southwest Florida to remember in prayer all the victims of this act of extreme terrorism. We remember all of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters who have been targeted by such demonic rage. We also pray for all law enforcement, emergency and medical professionals working to bring Light in the midst of this nightmare.

I ask your prayers,

Bishop Dabney Smith
Fifth Bishop, Diocese of Southwest Florida