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May we Live in Peace and Justice

May we Live in Peace and Justice

The tragic shooting death of nine members of historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) in Charleston, South Carolina, including their pastor Rev Clementa Pinckney, cries out for our prayers.   The suspected shooter, Dylann Storm Roof, a 21 year-old white man, shot those killed during a Bible study.  Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest AME church in the South, and houses the oldest black congregation south of Baltimore, Maryland.  It has a long legacy of working toward freedom, justice, and peace.  The tragic death of eight parishioners and Rev. Pinckney, who also served as a South Carolina State Senator, forces us to confront again the sins of racism, hate, and violence.

As we grieve this grave loss, let us join together with others in prayer for the repose of the souls of the nine people killed in this heinous act of violence: Clementa C. Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Depayne Middleton, Daniel Simmons Sr, and Myra Thompson; for their families, the members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the people of Charleston, South Carolina:

Gracious and loving God,

May we recognize that you bind us together in common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice, truth, and healing to confront the evils of hate, racism, and violence that pervade the United States and the world.

Hold us as we remember lives of the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandchildren of those who were killed.  Comfort those whose hearts and souls are broken.

We ask this at time when the people and community of Charleston and North Charleston are also grappling with the meaning of the police involved shooting death of Walter Scott.   We look to you while communities across the United States groan over the loss of too many people to gun violence.  You remind us of the dignity and humanity of all human beings.

Grant, O God that the hearts of those who remain may be moved through your life-giving Spirit to remove the barriers that divide us so that hatreds may cease, and divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace.”


Original posted here.


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Dan Rafferty

To the top comment. Yep that’s all you’ll get.

At least the crime has been labeled heinous which is more than we heard from our PB and other diocesans as the slaughter of Christians rampaged through the Middle East.

The shootings were horrid and carried out by a deranged “kid.”

Now about the 3000+ children car crash fatalities last year. 400+ kids died beung broiled (heat stroked) in hot cars.

The gun killer was deliberate and methodical with a standard semiautomatic pistol.
He may well get life w/o parole (death sentence is about the same thing.)

A parent leaves a baby or a couple of toddlers to get cooked to death. A repeat drunk driver? takes out a whole family.

Is the outrage about the shootings because of the victims or our sensibilities being shocked because of the venue and a GUN.

Somehow or another there is a forest/trees thing going on.

As a parent who twice nearly lost a daughter and also having to go to too many front doors to notify next of kin, my heart breaks for those who received the news about their loved ones that day.

I also pray for the kid and especially his family and their tremendous pain, probable hate mail, calls and other inflicted behaviors.

Dirk Reinken

By the time this appeared, most bishops who were going to issue statements have. The Bishop of New Jersey and a statement before 10:00 am on Thursday morning that was blunt and forceful. Most clergy who were going to reference the event in their sermons also likely had their prayers for the occasion worked out. I’m finding that what Bishop Roger White and the Rev. Richard Kew wrote in their book New Millennium, New Church is true – local, diocesan, and regional networks are becoming more important and supportive of local mission on the ground than national structures.

Diane Porter

Let the Church say AMEN!

Tom Sramek, Jr.

OK, I have two reactions to this story:
1) That’s it? Nine people are murdered in a blatant hate crime in a historic southern black church and we get a press release with two paragraphs (most of which are factual) and a prayer? Not even a statement from our Presiding Bishop? No call to repentence for systemic racism? No acknowledgement of our shared heritage? No mention of the forgiveness shown by the survivors? I mean, I know we’re preparing for General Convention, but seriously?! That’s all we have?
2) Is the edifice of the Episcopal Church Center, a somewhat run-down looking 1960s era building REALLY the symbol we want of The Episcopal Church?

Frankly, in advance of General Convention, the statement and image unite to say this to me: The Episcopal Church is a once vibrant and proud institution that lives in a 50 year old building, most of which is rented out, and can barely squeeze out a short bland statement in response to a horrific hate crime in one of our sister churches. I hope things get better from here–especially at General Convention.

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