All of us attending the Western North Carolina Annual Conference at Lake Junaluska are deeply saddened by the murder of the pastor and eight others at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday. As we meet and worship together, we are in constant prayer for the families of the victims, for Emanuel Church, Charleston and all of those impacted by this senseless act of violence.
I ask that you include this concern in your personal prayers for the week and that you be in prayer this Sunday as you worship at Clemmons UMC under the leadership of Tara Olson, Lay Leader and Kathy Giff, Children's Director. I also commend to you this statement made by the College of Bishops, which includes our Bishop Larry Goodpaster. May God bring healing to the nation and wipe out once and for all racial prejudice and injustice.
Statement on Charleston Shooting from SEJ Bishops
SEJ College of Bishops
June 18, 2015
In response to the murders of the pastor and eight others during a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops of the United Methodist Church offers the following response:
The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church stands with our Methodist family at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, with our brother Bishop Richard Franklin Morris of the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and with our colleague Bishop Jonathan Holston, of the South Carolina Conference.
We condemn this act of violence in the house of the Lord. We commit ourselves anew to the work of reconciliation in the midst of hatred. And we lift high the cross of Jesus Christ, as God’s witness to the violence and division that is our human condition.
Please join us in acts of prayer, compassion and justice on behalf of our Pan-Methodist sisters and brothers.
We also commend the Statement on Racism offered at the Council of Bishops in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2015.