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Remembering Orlando - A Challenge to the Community

June 15, 2016

As the Louisburg College community gathered Wednesday to remember the victims of Sunday's rampage at Pulse in Orlando, we prayed for healing for ourselves and our nation. We asked for deliverance from violence and evil. We came, seeking God's peace.

Chris Reid, director of Housing and Residence Life, challenged us not to simply pray for the hurting and move on. "Let's not just pray that these tragedies don't happen again," he said. "Rather, ask yourself and -- more importantly -- ask God: How can I make this world just a little better to inhabit? How should I lead by example? What can I do?"

Challenge to the Community

By Chris Reid - Director of Housing and Residence Life

As we come together to mourn the victims of the Orlando massacre, and frankly, many other victims of mass shootings all across our nation, as well as send out prayers for their families and this country to find comfort and healing...I believe we must also reflect on systemic problems in our country.

We must challenge ourselves to have a conversation about hate, ignorance, intolerance, mental health, xenophobia, homophobia, and education to name a few.

I am not anti-second amendment, but I feel we must also converse about common sense gun reform that makes our families and friends a little safer while respecting everyone's right to bear arms.

Apathy is not good enough for me, and shouldn't be for anyone, regardless of your values. Simply put, at the root of these horrors are troubled hearts, minds and souls and though prayer is strong, and though prayer is needed -- it is simply not enough.

I urge everyone here, including a challenge to myself, to keep the conversation going, open your hearts and minds to different perspectives, donate to a cause, participate in activism, write a congressperson … step out of your comfort zone.

Furthermore, I pray that God grants us all strength, wisdom, compassion and understanding to take action -- in whatever form that may be -- so that we can be agents for restoring basic human dignity, and for the betterment of our nation and all who inhabit it -- regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation or ability.

So, as we see the most recent victims and hear their names and their stories, let's not simply pray for them and move on. Let's not just pray that these tragedies don't happen again. Rather, ask yourself and, more importantly, ask God: How can I make this world just a little better to inhabit? How should I lead by example? What can I do?

I end with this scripture, James 2:17 - "...faith by itself, if not accompanied by action, is dead."

“How to help the survivors and victims…”: http://mashable.com/2016/06/12/orlando-pulse-mass-shooting-help/#.b0rzXH_B8qT

GoFundMe Page for Donations: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund

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