♦ June 13, 2016 ♦
A Letter from President Ferlo
Yesterday afternoon, I joined with hundreds of gay and straight Chicagoans at a silent vigil in Lakeview, a neighborhood known affectionately as “Boystown,” as we mourned for those killed in Orlando in that horrendous firestorm of bullets and prayed for the wounded. We heard addresses from several people, including two young Christian ministers, a Muslim educator, the new Superintendent of Police, several state and local politicians, a cousin of one of those murdered, and two Southside mothers whose children were shot and killed by stray bullets in what seems the endless gun violence that stains this city with innocent blood. A SWAT team stood warily to one side; I wish I could say their presence was a consolation.
As you may know, I was for 10 years rector of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, situated in Greenwich Village, like Boystown in Chicago, a neighborhood that is the epicenter of local gay and lesbian life. I went to the Lakeview vigil on Sunday as a witness to the deep Christian love I experienced throughout my time at St. Luke in the Fields and throughout my life, through deep friendships with members of the gay community. Bishop Andy Dietsche, a Seabury graduate and my bishop in New York, along with his two episcopal colleagues issued an eloquent letter today in response to the Orlando shootings. I urge you to read it, and to keep the dead and wounded and their families in your prayers.
This morning, as our Bexley Seabury DMin classes gathered for Eucharist in our Higgins Road chapel, we read aloud the names and ages of those known so far to have died, most of whom were in their 20s and 30s, and we prayed for peace, justice, and an end to bigotry.
Pray for peace, but also act for peace. Do all you can to put an end to gun violence. Resist by sharp word and peaceful deed the bigots and fanatics on whom the ready availability of such lethal weaponry bestows such ungodly power.