Prayers for healing in Charleston, SC

Our hearts go out to the congregation of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church downtown after the 9 PM shooting yesterday. The young man spent an hour at the prayer meeting before opening fire. The 9 lost lives of our community members shake our city to its historic roots. This tragic event follows the killing of unarmed Walter Scott shot in the back by a police officer on April 4, 2015.

Black men and women continue to be targets of hate. A house of worship has been forever scarred. This Post & Courier article describes the church as “pivotal in South Carolina in many matters of faith and social justice” since 1816. Our “Holy City” is crying for healing.

My prayers go out to find the perpetrator and to change this culture of violence. The families of those lost and their loved ones are also lifted in prayer. I am honored to have sung alongside choir members of Emanuel AME Church. The deceased leader Rev. Pinckney has been part of Second Presbyterian Church’s Maundy Thursday Easter celebration as an interracial and interdenominational healing for years. Emanuel AME is one of five or six churches who contribute to this annual gathering. The entire congregation, choir and preachers gather in a circle at the end of the services, holding hands, praying for peace. We will continue to pray. Second Presbyterian’s second floor education portico looks out over the Emanuel AME steeple.

There is a special service tonight at 7 PM at Second Presbyterian Church honoring the murdered victims of this shocking crime.

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