The churches asked God for hope and sought out ways they could actively bring that hope to the community.
Soft music played as words from Isaiah 41:10 shined across the screen: Do not fear for I am with you.
Members from Kensington Church and Harvest Bible Chapel gathered together to pray for the community after the devastating attack at Pulse Orlando this weekend.
“Everyone wants to respond,” said Johnny Scott, executive pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, “But how do you respond to something like this?”
The churches have decided to the first response needs to be prayer, but it doesn’t end there. Scott said the church was viewing this as a night that will send the members out to help and spread God’s love wherever they can into the situation.
“The first response is to love,” said Kevin Valentine, pastor at Kensington Church. “We pray to God and ask how do we love best.”
The service mixed worship through music with prayer for the community, for the members of the church and for ways they could make an impact.
Ryan Simpson, a church volunteer, expressed the way the tragedy affected the church.
“It wrecked us,” he said, adding that he was encouraged at how the church and other organizations throughout the Orlando area have responded with willingness to help those in need.
The service emphasized the importance of looking to God for hope and then sharing that hope with others, through words and serving in any way possible.
“I think it’s important to show support and stand with the community,” said Sara Kittle, a member of Kensington Church.
For some people in attendance, the night was very personal.
Valencia College students Emily Rushing and Hedy Nasser had just found out their Composition 2 classmate Cory Connell had been in the attack.
“We didn’t talk much, but just from what we did, I know he is in heaven,” Nasser said.
Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].