“We need prayer George. Tell your viewers to pray for the families of victims and for our nation. Our nation and world need prayer, George.” These are the words spoken by a community leader this morning during a live interview on Good Morning
America news television broadcast.
When tragedy visits our communities, it is our natural inclination to seek refuge in the church. On last evening, June 17th, 2015 an historic church of the community was targeted in a suspected hate crime and tragic loss of life. One day later, though shaken, the Church continues to serve as the place of refuge. Our faith does not have its foundation in brick and mortar, but in the Church universal – the beloved community and family of God. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in our embodiment of “unity as our polar star” stands in solidarity with the families and the community of Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Their unconscionable loss and their palpable grief can be felt throughout the entire world and body of believers.
In partnership with the Christian Church in South Carolina, Week of Compassion, Reconciliation Ministry
and the Council on Christian Unity, we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Emmanuel AME church family and the community of Charleston, South Carolina. Today, a Solidarity Grant has been fulfilled by the Region.We find hope and help in the words of scripture, as well as the hearts and hands of the Church. Let us commend to the Church today Psalm 46 in its entirety which begins with these words of comfort “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in the time of trouble.” [Psalm 46:1] It is our hope that you will pray this Psalm on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Charleston, with particular attention to the family of Emanuel AME. In keeping with our witness as a Pro-Reconciling and Anti-Racist Church, we solicit your continued solidarity to our ministries of Reconciliation, Compassion and Unity. Always through your giving to Reconciliation Ministry and Week of Compassion, as well as through the educational resources of our ministries, we are able to witness to Christ’s healing power in word and deed. As members of the whole body Christ, we send aid to Emanuel AME through our generosity in this, their time of despair, grief and material need. We affirm our commitment to unity and stand in solidarity with all of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the difficult days to come toward healing and wholeness. May we all seek refuge in the Church marked by our unity in God, our redemption in Christ and the power of love that resides in each of us that is the gift God for the people of God.
In Christ name and for the sake of God’s beloved community, may it continue to be so . . .
Rev. April Johnson
Minister of Reconciliation
In partnership with:
www.weekofcompassion.org Vy Nguyen, Executive Director, Week of Compassion
ccu.disciples.org Robert Welsh, President, Council on Christian Unity
www.scdisciples.org Rev. Sotello Long, Regional Executive