A Statement on the Mother Emanuel Massacre 2015 - WSMV News 4

A Statement on the Mother Emanuel Massacre 2015

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A Statement on the Mother Emanuel Massacre 2015

Jeffrey N. Leath, 128th Bishop

Thirteenth Episcopal District (Kentucky & Tennessee)

African Methodist Episcopal Church

Our calling is not just within the walls of the congregation, but we are part of the life and community in which our congregation resides. The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Slain Pastor, Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC

The African Methodist Episcopal Church around the world is bereaved and challenged by the slaying of Pastor Clementa Pinckney and eight other members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This violence unacceptably shatters the decent boundaries of a warped ideology and a moral pillar. Families have been ripped apart leaving broken hearts and uncertain futures. The holiness and safety of a sanctuary dedicated to God has been desecrated by evil thoughts, words and deeds. In Nashville, and around the globe, we not only mourn the death of personal friends, but we also awaken to the increasingly pungent context which gives birth to such destructive behavior.

For AMEs in Tennessee and Kentucky (the area under my jurisdiction), we proclaim:

  1. Be comforted without fear. Do not allow this brutality to hinder your peace. God is our refuge and strength. We stand on God's promise of comfort and protection.
  2. Move forward for justice. Violence will not weaken our resolve or hinder our efforts. As Pastor Pinckney said, “ we are part of the life and community in which our congregation resides.” We are “called” to cry for Justice in this hour of injustice. Let's sound the trumpet!
  3. Be vigilant in every gathering. Watch and Pray. Review the AME Church Disaster Preparedness Guide and take measures to prepare for emergency responses.
  4. Pray for the families of the martyred! God allowed this calamity for reasons beyond our knowledge. God's will now is for compassion and concern translated into tangible action of mutual support and spiritual devotion.
  5. Overcome evil with love! Do not allow pain and frustration to become vengeance, bitterness and hate. We know we wrestle against principalities and powers. This is neither the beginning nor the end. It will not be over when the perpetrator of this violence is brought to full justice. The journey ahead is long. The way of Christ is love. We must emerge from this tragedy with a greater resolve to love and do justice.

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