(adapted from a statement from the Episcopal Church)
The death of nine members of historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) in Charleston, South Carolina, including their pastor Rev Clementa Pinckney, at the hands of a terrorist, cries out for our prayers. Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is the oldest AME church in the South and has a long legacy of working toward freedom, justice, and peace.
"Loving God is never separate from loving our brothers and sisters," Pastor Pinckney recently said. "It's always the same."
As we grieve this grave loss, let us join together with others throughout the nation in prayer for the repose of the souls of the nine people killed in this hate crime:
Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr, and Myra Thompson;
for their families, the members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and the people of Charleston, South Carolina:
Gracious and loving God,
May we recognize that you bind us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice, truth, and healing to confront the evils of hate, racism, and violence that pervade the United States and the world.
Hold us as we remember lives of the mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and grandchildren of those who were killed. Comfort those whose hearts and souls are broken. For in all times, you remind us of the dignity and humanity of all human beings.
Grant, O God that all hearts may be moved by your life-giving Spirit to remove the barriers that divide us so that hatreds may cease, and divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace.
through Jesus Christ our Lord.