(Thanks to my friend and colleague Rev. John Mabry for permission to share this with you (with a few modifications for you)
Something that moved me greatly [after the Orlando tragedy] was receiving a text from a dear friend, saying that he loved me. … None of us know when tragedy will strike. How many of those killed would have loved to have told those closest to them that they loved them?  Most of them, surely. Being out and proud about our love may be the best response we can make.  So I want to tell you all that I love you, and I cherish the family we have at Island United.  I encourage us all to express our love not only to people we know, but to those we don’t.  Let’s express and display our love for the GLBT community, locally and worldwide.  Let’s express our love for the Latina/Latino community, for the Muslim community, for our fellow Americans, especially those we disagree with most.  Let’s express our love for people who are confused or hurting or angry or scared, all over the world.

How to do this? I don’t know that, but I trust our creativity. It starts with intention, but opportunities will present themselves organically, perpetually, relentlessly. We don’t lack for people in the Bay Area. We certainly don’t lack people who are different from us! Every encounter is an opportunity to reach out in love.  I know, we’re supposed to do that all the time, but it’s especially important now. The appropriate response to this kind of hatred isn’t anger or retribution or violence or fear, and it’s certainly not more hatred. It’s love. It always is. 

So I press my forehead against yours, I hold you tightly, and I tell you I love you.

Pastor Carol 

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