Thursday, June 18, 2015

Senseless Violence

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."

Jeff Japinga Transitional Executive Presbyter

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