Elkhorn Hills United Methodist Church and other United Methodist Churches across the U.S. join in prayer and offering whatever help they can to their African Methodist Episcopal brothers and sisters after June 17’s deadly church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
“As a people of faith committed to social justice and opposed to gun violence and racism, we grieve the lives lost and destroyed by this horrendous act of violence,” said South Carolina’s United Methodist Bishop L. Jonathan Holston in a request for prayer. “The reality is that no one is unaffected. We are all impacted by the horror that occurred in this place of worship.”
Bishop Warner Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops offered United Methodist support and called on United Methodists to work toward a more peaceful future.
“We call on United Methodists and all people of good will to support the victims of this and all acts of violence, to work to end racism and hatred, to seek peace with justice, and to live the prayer that our Lord gave us, that God’s ‘kingdom come, (and) will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,'” Brown’s letter said.
A gunman opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church during Wednesday night prayer and Bible study, killing nine people. The historic downtown church is widely reported to be the oldest AME congregation south of Baltimore.
“Before we do anything, we ought to start by solidifying that which we affirm most, which is our faith,” said the Rev. Ken Nelson, the South Carolina Conference secretary and director of clergy services.
“It’s important to stand with this congregation and with people of faith.”
He was among the United Methodists planning to attend a noon prayer service at Bethel AME Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
Other AME churches across the United States also held noon prayer services, and United Methodists joined in bowing their heads.
Some South Carolina United Methodist churches also are opening their doors to anyone who needs a quiet time of meditation.
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The Omaha World Herald has covered this event. Click here to read a recent Omaha World Herald article.