Brighton community comes together to pray, push for change, remember victims of Orlando shooting

BRIGHTON, MI (WLNS) – People continue to pray for the victims and families affected by the horrific tragedy in Orlando.

On Wednesday, the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton was the perfect example of the community coming together to do that.

After every mass shooting, the church reads the names of the victims out loud during it’s Sunday service. It allows members to reflect on what’s not only an LGBTQ issue, but violence that shakes our world.

“We gather with heavy hearts to pray, to reflect, to mourn, to question,” Reverend Deon Johnson said.

A prayer, a push for change, and a pledge to stand together in solidarity are some of the many things the community came together to do Wednesday.

“I think we have to do something besides just pray,” one woman said. “If you are going to pray, then pray and ask God what shall I do?”

Goodness is stronger than hate, love is stronger than evil, that love is love is love,” Rev. Johnson said.

People of all ages showed support for Orlando, to honor and remember the 49 lives lost.

“May we remember them, their families, and all of their loved ones; also let’s not forget the many injured.”

Each and every one of their names called out and recognized, as the community prays on a tragedy that is personal for many.

“I have family members who are gay,” Noelle Vieau said. “I’m here because I just want to spread the idea of love. I think we spend too much time hurting each other instead of just reaching out to each other. I just felt a real sense of community today and that’s what was important.”

A step in the right direction, a “worry stone” to help heal, and a voice to make a difference is what many hope will make a positive impact.

“It’s vitally important that we actually stand together after tragic events like this rather than being torn apart, and so this is about bringing the community together, about unity,” Rev. Johnson said.

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