June 21, 2015

Comments on the Charleston Massacre

Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada responding to the news of the mass killings Wednesday night at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina:

"Our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of the victims of this senseless act of violence. We firmly commit ourselves to working with all people of faith and good will to confront racism in our society and to take steps to end the violence so prevalent in our culture."

Brief comments from Dr. Timothy James, Associate General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Administrative Secretary of the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

“Once AGAIN the African American community is grief stricken with the report of a mass shooting. the latest event, the Charleston Massacre, took place in a Wednesday night bible Study at the "mother Emmanuel" AME Church. Nine African Americans were murdered, including Senator Clementa Pinkney. As the National convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we are praying for the families impacted by this tragedy. We also remember the congregation, the community of Charleston, and our nation at this sad time. Emotions are strained and heavy, however; we pray that the greatest emotion, LOVE, will prevail in order that this nation may move forward to end the sin that continues to motivate such acts of violence.”

Brief statement on the massacre by the Rev. Sekinah Hamlin, Director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative.

“Those of us who identify as adherents of faith systems must now open our eyes ever more widely to the evil powers and principalities which are the active ingredients of racism-based, white supremacy oriented uses of power, for they pollute the very soul of our country and contaminate the systems of life in ways that produce people who have enormous capacities for irrational, unspeakable acts of violence, such as what occurred at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Charleston.

Therefore, we take this time to mourn with the families and members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the total AME tradition while simultaneously mourning a racially hostile system that created a 21 year old young adult who dropped out of high school yet managed to learn and master the mechanisms of hate and the instruments of violence in the culture that we have produced.

Our mourning is purposeful and is linked to our call to action to dismantle these systems of exploitation and to educate our communities in ways that transform the space that we occupy from one of racial brokenness and fear into one that uplifts and upholds human dignity, peace, justice, and mutual respect while abhorring violence. It is now time to work together in the spirit of true Beloved community for if we do not our very humanity will wilt and die. “

Nine Killed in Shooting at Black Church in Charleston

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