Today Jeff Japinga shared some beautiful words about the tragedy that took this past week in South Carolina. Jeff is the new Transitional Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area. I think these words are worth sharing. In addition to praying for all who are grieving what took place, I am praying that we can create a world where such senseless acts of violence never take place.
"I had written some thoughts on Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment,
due to be released today, and on the strident pre-release commentary from
both sides and our role as Christians in the public square.
That can wait.
Wednesday evening, a gunman opened fire during a Bible study at the
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Nine are
believed dead, including the church's pastor. Emanuel AME is the oldest AME
church in the South, a presence in Charleston since 1816, when AfricanAmerican
members of Charleston's Methodist Episcopal Church formed their
own congregation after a dispute over burial grounds.
Why this happened is still speculation; motives are murky; long-term lessons
are premature. What we do know is that today, we stand in solidarity and
prayer with our brothers and sisters at Emanuel AME, cognizant of their grief
and pain, and asking for the Spirit to be closely present in this time.
I encourage you to take time in prayer, today, tomorrow and in worship on
Sunday, to hold the congregation of Emanuel AME and the families of the dean
in your prayers, and in doing so to hold in prayer all those around the world
who are persecuted and harmed because of their faith."
Transitional Executive Presbyter