Thursday, June 18, 2015

Remembering the Charleston Victims

Sadly another mass shooting has occurred, this time at a AME Church in Charleston, SC

The terrorist attack occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 9 are dead including the pastor. The terrorist has been captured.

From our Bishops in CT:
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut,

Once again we have witnessed the horrific results of gun violence in our nation. Last night a yet unidentified gunman entered the historic Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot and killed nine innocent people. The fact that the man who did the shooting is white and all the victims were African-American leads us to assume that this is a hate crime motivated by racism. Such death and destruction is utterly sinful and must be decried in the strongest of terms.

We, your bishops, have already been in contact with the Rt. Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina, assuring him and the people of Charleston of the thoughts and prayers of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. We ask you and your parishes to keep the victims and their loved ones, the people of Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and of Charleston, and our whole nation in your prayers for peace, non-violence, and healing.

Sadly this shooting reminds us that our nation continues to be wracked by senseless gun violence. We in Connecticut know the pain and suffering caused by the killing of innocent victims. This madness has got to stop. We ask you to continue your efforts to end gun violence in our society and to work for harmony, understanding, and justice in the face of racism and hate in our world.

At the request of Bishop vonRosenberg, let us join with sisters in brothers in Christ in South Carolina saying together the words of the prayer attributed to St. Francis:

"Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith, where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loves as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen."

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas & The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
Prayers this morning for Charleston, SC in the wake of the mass shooting:
God our savior,
we pray with those in Charleston, SC
who are shocked, grieving or in pain.
In your mercy, look on this wounded world,
and hold us closely to your promise of hope
in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

Holy One, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your people, but in Jesus bear that pain with us and bless all who suffer at others' hands. Hallow our flesh and all creation; with your cleansing love bring healing and strength to the victims of this shooting; and by your justice, lift them up, that in the body you have given them, they may again rejoice. Amen

O God our Vindicator, come speedily to our help. Receive the souls of those killed in this act of violence, your children into the arms of your mercy, and deliver their assailant to justice, that your holy Law may be served, and your peace renewed; through Jesus our Savior. Amen

God our strong deliverer; when those charged with the mediation of your healing power feel overwhelmed by the numbers of the suffering, uphold them in their fatigue and banish their despair. Let them see with your eyes, so that they may know all their patients are precious. Give comfort, and renew their energy and compassion, for the sake of Jesus In who in our life and hope. Amen.

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