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"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Early in the prayer, we are reminded that what we are coming to is a meal. We are invited as guests to a table where God is the generous host, not an altar where we make an offering to appease God’s wrath. The rubric refers to the piece of furniture as ‘the Lord’s Table’ or, in earlier versions, ‘Gods borde’. We shall explore below what it is that we receive at this meal.
This prayer creates in us an attitude of humility, helplessness, and dependency on God. We do not deserve to be here. We have no suitable garment of our own to wear to the feast. The contrast is repeatedly drawn between what we do not have and what God does, between what we are not and what God is: ‘not… trusting in our… but in thy… We are not… But thou art…’ Cranmer alludes to our Lord’s encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman, who says, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7.28). This allusion is double-edged, for it expresses both great humility and great faith, as seen by our Lord’s commendation of the woman in the gospel accounts.
The Prayer of Humble Access has the same dynamic. It does not leave us in a state of hopelessness and despair. Although ‘we do not presume to come… trusting in our own righteousness’, God’s many, varied (‘manifold’) and great mercies combined with his unchanging essence (‘the same Lord’) mean that we do presume to come. Praying this prayer is an enactment of the gospel of God’s grace.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Liturgy, Music, Worship --Book of Common Prayer Spirituality/Prayer * Theology Anthropology Christology Sacramental Theology Eucharist Soteriology
Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honour thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, who art faithful to thy people and dost not permit them to be tempted above that they are able, but with the temptation also makest a way of escape that they may be able to bear it: We humbly entreat thee to strengthen us thy servants with thy heavenly aid and keep us with thy continual protection; that we may evermore wait on thee, and never by any temptation be drawn away from thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Make us tender and compassionate towards those who are an overtaken by temptation, considering ourselves, how we have fallen in times past and may fall yet again. Make us watchful and sober-minded, looking ever unto thee for grace to stand upright, and to persevere unto the end; through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Merciful God, whose servant Joseph of Arimathaea with reverence and godly fear did prepare the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, and did lay it in his own tomb: Grant, we beseech thee, to us thy faithful people grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.
O God, by whose grace thy servant Ignatius, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.
O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.
Just and eternal God, we offer thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of thy servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Generous God, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany: Open our hearts to love thee, our ears to hear thee, and our hands to welcome and serve thee in others, through Jesus Christ our risen Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of thy presence; that there we may breathe freely, there repose in thy love, there may be at rest from ourselves, and from thence return, arrayed in thy peace, to do and bear what shall please thee; for thy holy name’s sake.
Almighty God, beautiful in majesty and majestic in holiness, who dost teach us in Holy Scripture to sing thy praises and who gavest thy musicians Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel and Henry Purcell grace to show forth thy glory in their music: Be with all those who write or make music for thy people, that we on earth may glimpse thy beauty and know the inexhaustible riches of thy new creation in Jesus Christ our Savior; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lord, heavenly Father, in whom is the fullness of light and wisdom: Enlighten our minds by thy Holy Spirit, and give us grace to receive thy Word with reverence and humility, without which no man can understand thy truth; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
--John Calvin (1509-1564)
O Lord our God, we thank thee for instilling in the heart of thy servant William Reed Huntington a fervent love for thy Church and its mission in the world; and we pray that, with unflagging faith in thy promises, we may make known to all peoples thy blessed gift of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
My God, my Father and Preserver, who of thy goodness hast watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of thy most holy deity. Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to thy service and submission to thy will, that thus all my actions may aim at thy glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve thee. And as thou art giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of thy Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of thy righteousness. To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be thy honour and service. May I expect all happiness from thy grace and goodness only. Let me not attempt any thing whatever that is not pleasing to thee.
Grant also, that while I labour for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which thou hast promised to thy children. Be pleased also, in manifesting thyself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life. But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of thee, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under thy protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under thy superintendence. As I ought to make progress, do thou add daily more and more to the gifts of thy grace until I wholly adhere to thy Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds. In order to my obtaining of thee these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of thy infinite mercy, forgive my offences, as thou hast promised that thou wilt do to those who call upon thee in sincerity.
(Ps. 143:8.)—Grant that I may hear thy voice in the morning since I have hoped in thee. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto thee. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto thee. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Let thy good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.
--John Calvin (1509-1564)
O God, who hast given us not the spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of adoption into thy family: Grant us the witness of thy Spirit within our hearts, testifying that we are thy children; and give us that fellowship with the sufferings of Christ which shall end in our being glorified with him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Fortify us, O God, with the courage which cometh only from thee; that in the midst of all our perils and perplexities we may find that peace which only thou canst give; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holy Father, who hast nourished and strengthened thy Church by the writings of thy servant Thomas a Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what we ought to know, to love what we ought to love, to praise what highly pleaseth thee, and always to seek to know and follow thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Blot out, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, our past transgression; forgive our negligence and ignorance; help us to amend our mistakes and to repair our misunderstanding; and so uplift our hearts in new love and dedication, that we may be unburdened from the grief and shame of past faithlessness, and go forth to serve Thee with renewed courage and devotion; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, Lord of the storm and of the calm, the vexed sea and the quiet haven, of day and of night, of life and of death, – grant unto us so to have our hearts stayed upon Thy faithfulness, Thine unchangingness and love, that, whatsoever betide us, however black the cloud or dark the night, with quiet faith trusting in Thee we may look upon Thee with untroubled eye, and walking in lowliness towards Thee, and in lovingness towards one another, abide all storms and troubles of this mortal life, beseeching Thee that they may turn to the soul’s true good. We ask it for Thy mercy’s sake, shown in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by thy grace we may be healed of all our infirmities and know thee in the power of his endless life; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
--Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
O God, our heavenly Father, who so loved the world that thou didst give thine only Son to die upon the cross: Pour thy love into our hearts, we humbly beseech thee; that we loving thee above all things, may give up ourselves, our time, our money, our talents, to thy service; for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.
O Lord, who seest the multitudes, and art moved with compassion because they are an-hungered: Inspire thy Church with thy love and pity to gather unto thee the famished souls of men, that they may be satisfied with the living Bread; and as thou carest for the bodies as well as for the souls of men, move us and all thy servants with like mercy; that the needy may be fed and clothed, and that none may be homeless or destitute; for the glory of thy holy name.
Almighty God, who in thy Son Jesus Christ hast called us in from the bondage of sin to be servants of righteousness: Give us grace to yield our lives wholly to thine obedience; that, being made free from sin, we may have our fruit unto holiness, and hereafter may be made partakers of the life everlasting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord God Almighty, King of glory and love eternal, worthy art thou at all times to receive adoration, praise, and blessing; but especially at this time do we praise thee for the sending of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, for whom our hearts do wait, and to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, be honour and dominion, now and for ever.
--Prayers for the Christian Year (SCM, 1964)
O Lord, who in a time of turmoil and confusion didst raise up thy servant William White, and didst endow him with wisdom, patience, and a reconciling temper, that he might lead thy Church into ways of stability and peace: Hear our prayer, we beseech thee, and give us wise and faithful leaders, that through their ministry thy people may be blessed and thy will be done; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, the King of righteousness, lead us, we pray thee, in the ways of justice and of peace; inspire us to break down all oppression and wrong, to gain for every man his due reward, and from every man his due service; that each may live for all, and all may care for each, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, the source of all that we can have, and all that we can hope for,
Grant that we may be worthy custodians of the earth in which we dwell.
Make us creative so that we will not burden others;
Make us conservative so that we will not squander what comes our way;
Make us perceptive so that we may properly weigh our necessities against the needs of others;
Make us generous so that we may give freely of what we have that others can enjoy a portion of our fortune.
Remove from us all trust in anything but thee;
Strengthen us in the knowledge that thou wilt always provide all that we really need;
And finally, by thy Grace, instill in us that perfect desire to be thy servants and ultimately to be with thee in thy Heavenly Kingdom,
Who reignest forever and ever, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Almighty and eternal God, who in thy Son Jesus Christ hast revealed thy nature as Love: We humbly pray thee to shed thy love abroad in our hearts by thy Holy Spirit; that so by thy grace we may evermore abide in thee, and thou in us, with all joyfulness, and free from fear or mistrust; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, who hast set thy law of love ever before us: Grant us thy grace that we may never harbour any resentment or ill-feeling in our hearts, but seek at all times the way of reconciliation and peace, according to the teaching of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
O Lord Christ, by whose single death upon the cross the members of thy body also die to servitude and sin: Grant us so to crucify the old man, that the new may daily rise with thee in the immortal power of thy free Spirit, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and thee, one God, world without end.
O Lord Jesus Christ, into whose death we have been baptized: Grant, we beseech thee, that like as thou wast raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we may walk in newness of life; that having been planted in the likeness of thy death, we may be also in the likeness of thy resurrection; for the glory of thy holy name.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose precepts are the wisdom of a loving Father: Give us grace, following the teaching and example of thy servant Benedict, to walk with loving and willing hearts in the school of the Lord's service; let thine ears be open unto our prayers; and prosper with thy blessing the work of our hands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord my God, for life and reason, nurture, preservation, guidance, education; for Thy gifts of grace and nature, for Thy calling, recalling, manifold recalling me again and again; for Thy forbearance, long-suffering, and long long-suffering toward me, even until now; for all from whom I have received any good or help; for the use of Thy present good things; for Thy promise, and my hope, of good things to come; for all these things, and for all other, which I know not, manifest or secret, remembered or forgotten by me, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I give Thee thanks, all the days of my life. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me? Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power.
Almighty God, who hast sent the Spirit of truth unto us to guide us into all truth: We beseech thee so to rule our lives by thy power that we may be truthful in word and deed and thought. Keep us, most merciful Father, with thy gracious protection, that no fear or hope may ever make us false in act or speech. Cast out from us whatsoever loveth or maketh a lie, and bring us all into the perfect freedom of thy truth; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.
O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O Lord our God, Who hast bidden the light to shine out of darkness, Who hast again wakened us to praise Thy goodness and ask for Thy grace; accept now, in Thy endless mercy, the sacrifice of our worship and thanksgiving, and grant unto us all such requests as may be wholesome for us. Make us to be children of the light and of the day, and heirs of Thy everlasting inheritance. Remember, O Lord, according to the multitude of Thy mercies, Thy whole Church; all who join with us in prayer, all our brethren by land or sea, or wherever they may be in Thy vast kingdom who stand in need of Thy grace and succour. Pour out upon them the riches of Thy mercy, so that we, redeemed in soul and body, and steadfast in faith, may ever praise Thy wonderful and holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grant, O blessed Lord, that thy Church in this our day may hear anew thy call to launch out into the deep in the service of thy glorious gospel; that souls for whom thou hast died may be won for thee, to the increase of thy kingdom and the glory of thy holy name.
Faithful God, who didst give Jan Hus the courage to confess thy truth and recall thy Church to the image of Christ: Enable us, inspired by his example, to bear witness against corruption and never cease to pray for our enemies, that we may prove faithful followers of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, who in thy fatherly love hast called us that we should inherit a blessing: Give to us also, we pray thee, the blessing of wholesome speech and loving deed; that following always that which is good, we may do and suffer all that thou willest; in the name and strength of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.
Almighty and everlasting God, who resisteth the proud and givest grace to the humble: Grant, we beseech thee, that we may not exalt ourselves and provoke thy indignation, but bow down to receive the gifts of thy mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and who lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The murders of 9 churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, rekindled the debate about gun control in America. But some religious leaders are advocating using armed security to defend their congregations.
One church where this is already happening is the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit which has its own 25-strong security force called "The Ministers of Defence". Charles H. Ellis III is its senior pastor.
Listen to it all (a little over 3 minutes).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Grant, O Lord, that we may cleave to thee without parting, worship thee without wearying, serve thee without failing; faithfully seek thee, happily find thee, and for ever possess thee, the one only God, blessed, world without end.
Gracious God, we offer thanks for the witness of Harriett Beecher Stowe, whose fiction inspired thousands with compassion for the shame and sufferings of enslaved peoples, and who enriched her writings with the cadences of The Book of Common Prayer. Help us, like her, to strive for thy justice, that our eyes may see the glory of thy Son, Jesus Christ, when he comes to reign with thee and the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and peace, one God, now and always. Amen.
O Lord God, in whom we live and move and have our being, open our eyes that we may behold thy fatherly presence ever about us. Draw our hearts to thee by the power of thy love. Teach us to be anxious for nothing, and when we have done what thou hast given us to do, help us, O God our Saviour, to leave the issue to thy wisdom. Take from us all doubt and mistrust. Lift our thoughts up to thee in heaven; and make us to know that all things are possible to us through thy Son, our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
She was remembered as a tireless woman whose devotion to Mother Emanuel, the church in which she grew up, was second only to her commitment to her family: her husband, the Rev. Anthony Thompson, and children, Kevin Singleton and Denise Quarles. When the lights went out in the chandelier above the sanctuary, she called the Fire Department to replace them. A fixture in the church basement, Thompson had her Bible and hymn book in tow when the Rev. Norvel Goff signed her certificate to preach. That was June 17, the evening of her death. A moment you could say she prepared for her entire life.
“My mother actually prepared me for this day,” her daughter Denise said. “She would often say to me, ‘Dee, Mama isn’t gonna always be around, and I want you to be a good girl and always remember what I taught you.’ ... I told my mom I would do exactly as she instructed me to do, but I never thought she would be gone.”
Thompson was entombed in Carolina Memorial Gardens, wearing clothes from her favorite designer, a St. John ivory jacket and dress her daughter picked out. After the service, as mourners spilled out the front doors and down the stairs of Mother Emanuel, a group had assembled along the iron barricade on Calhoun Street. They were singing “Amazing Grace.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology
O God, the author and fountain of hope, enable us to rely with confident expectation on thy promises, knowing that the trials and hindrances of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed, and having our faces steadfastly set towards the light that shineth more and more to the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
--J.H. Oldham ed., A Devotional Diary (SCM, 1925)
O God in whom all fullness dwelleth, who givest without measure to them that ask; Give us faith to ask, and faith to receive, all that thy bounty giveth; that being filled with all thy fullness we may as thy faithful stewards impart thy gifts to all thy children; for Jesus Christ’s sake.
Biden’s attendance, along with his son and daughter-in-law Hunter and Kathleen, was a meant to be a show of solidarity, he said, but it was also an effort to lift him and his family up during their time of grief.
“The reason we came was to draw strength from all of you, draw some strength from the church,” he said, noting that he had spoken and or met with each of the nine victim’s families since their losses. “I wish I could say something that would ease the pains of the families and of the church. But I know from experience, and I was reminded of it again 29 days ago, that no words can mend a broken heart. No music can fill the gaping void.”
Biden’s son died May 30 of brain cancer. No stranger to death in his family, Biden said only faith could bring relief during such difficult times.
Read it all from the local paper.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General * South Carolina * Theology Pastoral Theology Theodicy
So many social, political, and sociological assertions have been projected onto the story of the Charleston martyrs that their own story as not untypical followers and seekers of Christ has been obscured. Maybe their martyrdom is only the small part of a vast historical narrative about race and oppression across centuries.
But it’s also about small acts of faithfulness that led to global and eternal significance for God’s Kingdom. A demented young man, escaping his dysfunctional family, pursued darkness, unable to find kindred twisted spirits, instead finds sinister validation on the internet. Committed to murder, he unexpectedly meets friendly saints whose kindness gives him pause before he kills, hoping to spread his poison through publicity.
His crime is instead overshadowed by the faith and hope of his victims and their church. We should join the families of those victims in praying that the killer, before he leaves this world, hopefully in the administration of swift justice, accepts the God whom he defied, and can meet in Heaven the martyrs he sought to destroy, instead falling before them in holy sorrow and recompense, honoring them as the instruments of his own redemption.
The ultimate story about the Charleston martyrs is not about the sins of a particular culture or nation but about the far wider and exponentially more powerful demonstration that God’s love is undefeatable, even in a hail of bullets.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina * Theology Christology Eschatology
O God, who hast taught us that in thy mysterious providence suffering is the prelude to glory, and hast made much tribulation the entrance to thy heavenly kingdom: May we learn from this thy will, and also from creation around us, to wait for our deliverance from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of thy children; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Everliving Lord of the universe, our loving God, who raised up thy priest Cornelius Hill, last hereditary chief of the Oneida nation, to shepherd and defend his people against attempts to scatter them in the wilderness: Help us, like him, to be dedicated to truth and honor, that we may come to that blessed state thou hast prepared for us; through Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, in glory
Lord of all power and might, fill our lives with the joy of thy Word and the courage of thine apostles, that having caught the vision of thy Kingdom we may proclaim it with power and a glad heart, to the salvation of men’s souls and the creation of a better order more conformed to the pattern of thy Kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The searing shock and lingering pain inflicted by last week’s mass murder at the Emanuel AME Church hasn’t been confined to Charleston. It has extended across our nation. And Americans’ expressions of sympathy and solidarity have helped bolster our community’s spirit in this time of profound sorrow.
So it’s quite fitting that as our nation mourns the nine good people killed at a Bible study meeting, the president of the United States, Barack Obama, will deliver the eulogy today at the funeral of one of those victims — the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who also was a state senator.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Office of the President President Barack Obama * South Carolina * Theology Anthropology Pastoral Theology
Almighty God, whose sovereign power none can make void: Give us faith to stand calm and undismayed amid the tumults of the world, knowing that all things work together for good to them that love thee; through thy beloved Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.
--A Form of Prayer, May 1940
One week after the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, scores of Summervillians gathered in Hutchinson Square to pray together.
The Christian prayer vigil, organized by the Summerville branch of the NAACP, featured uplifting hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and “We Shall Overcome” and pastors from several local churches, including some who knew the victims.
“I started to decline (the invitation to speak) at first because I was so overwhelmed,” said Pastor Kenneth Gerald.
But then, he said, he remembered the Psalm that calls out for the Lord to lead the overwhelmed to a high rock.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina * Theology
Felecia Sanders doesn’t remember sliding under the round table in the fellowship hall in the basement of Emanuel AME Church. Nor does she remember pulling her 11-year-old granddaughter down with her.
“It was the hand of God that put me under the table,” she later told friends.
But Sanders remembers the blood on the floor, the whispers to her granddaughter to “be still.” She remembers watching her son, Tywanza, 26, bloodied and clinging to life, crawling toward his dying great “auntie,” Susie Jackson, 87. And she remembers Tywanza reaching out, his last act in this world, to stroke Jackson’s soft, gray hair.
Sanders was one of only three people to live through the massacre at the historic church in Charleston last Wednesday, along with her granddaughter and Polly Sheppard, 70, a church trustee. This week, as the trio prepared to bury nine friends and loved ones — including the church pastor — friends say they are struggling with both immeasurable grief and humility over their improbable survival.
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The victims' families are struggling with the private business of their own grief, using the language of Christian grace. This starts with the belief that God can forgive all sins. In turn, believers should try to do the same for the sake of their own souls and their own desire to live in harmony with God.
What too many whites seem to demand from these families' statements, however, isn't really grace. As the journalist Jamelle Bouie pointed out, people like Santorum insist on what the German theologian and anti-Nazi freedom fighter Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace" — the "preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance" from those who have sinned. The forgiveness they want is so cheap that I can only call it "Wal-Mart grace": low-priced but shoddy, destructive of real community and built on exploitation.
Whatever faith you profess — or don't — grace isn't cheap. It's one thing for a survivor of trauma to tell a handcuffed and doomed perpetrator that you forgive him. It's another thing to forgive those who can still harm you. You don't do that without a good reason to believe that the person who harmed you has changed into someone who will not do so again.
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There have been so many deaths, not just of the body but the spirit.
We choose to honor Sen. Clementa C. Pinckney, D-Jasper, the pastor of Mother Emanuel, with public viewings at the State House, in Ridgeland, and in Charleston, and with a eulogy by President Barack Obama. Dubbed the “moral conscience of the General Assembly” before his killing, Pinckney was called to preach at 13, appointed a pastor at 18, elected to the S.C House at 23 and the S.C. Senate at 27.
But we choose not to remember Frazier Baker and his family. Baker was appointed postmaster in Lake City in 1897. But he was black, and the whites objected. Eleven set fire to his home, and as the family tried to escape, shot Baker dead. They shot dead Julie, a 2-year-old in the arms of Lavinia, her mother. Lavinia and daughters Rosa and Cora escaped, each shot in the arm. So did son, Lincoln, shot in the arm and stomach. South Carolina would not prosecute. When the federal government did, a mistrial was called because of a deadlocked jury....
Most whites don’t know these stories and perhaps don’t want to know, too embarrassing, too shaming. Many African-Americans don’t know these stories because their grandparents and parents found them too painful to tell.
It’s time to talk, and without the talk, only a little will change.
Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article25330030.html#storylink=cpy
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Eternal God, we give thanks for the gifts that thou didst bestow upon thy servant James Weldon Johnson: a heart and voice to praise thy Name in verse. As he gave us powerful words to glorify you, may we also speak with joy and boldness to banish hatred from thy creation, in the Name of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Heavenly Father, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named; Be present in this house, that all who live here, being kindly affectioned one to another, may find it a haven of blessing and of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You need to take the time to watch it all.
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As Bishop Ernest C. Morris Sr. greeted worshipers arriving for services on Sunday at Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, a woman hurried over and asked a question on the minds of many parishioners at the large black church in Philadelphia: “Bishop, bishop, are we safe this morning?”
The massacre last week at a Bible study in Charleston, S.C., has heightened anxiety among clergy members and the faithful alike, forcing black churches in particular to grapple again with their vulnerability to violent intruders.
But even as ministers around the country report that they are fielding more questions about security, for now at least, there is no rush among churches to follow the path of airports, schools and government buildings that have added metal detectors and armed security guards in the wake of violent attacks.
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The funeral services and arrangements have been confirmed for several of the nine victims who were killed by a gunman at Emanuel AME Church on June 17.
The service for the Rev. Sharonda Singleton will be Thursday at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. The viewing will from 10 a.m. until the funeral service, which begins at 2 p.m. Interment will be private. Arrangements are being handled by Murray’s Mortuary of North Charleston.
There will be a viewing for Ethel Lance on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at Royal Missionary Baptist Church, 4761 Luella Ave., North Charleston. The family will receive friends, beginning at 7 p.m. Her funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Royal Missionary. She will be buried at Emanuel AME Church cemetery, 110 Calhoun St., Charleston. Arrangements are being handled by The Palmetto Mortuary of Charleston...
Read it all and join me in praying for these services and the families involved.
Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Shed the bright rays of thy light, O Father, upon this family and household, that every member of the same, made confident by thy guidance, may fulfill his daily duty with pure motives and a gallant heart. Be close to us in times of stress and strain, that our courage and our hope may never fail. Let thy sheltering arm protect us, that we may be valiant in all peril. Turn for us sorrow into joy, darkness into sunshine, death into life; so that when the evening comes and our work on earth is done, we may pass triumphantly into the uplands of fellowship in thy family above; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The chamber said it believes the flags of the state of South Carolina and the United States of America, representing the sovereignty under which the state of South Carolina exists, should be the only flags displayed at the State House.
“Just as we did in 1999 when the Charleston Metro Chamber led local efforts to remove the flag from atop the Statehouse, we feel that the flag belongs in a place of historical reference,” said Bryan Derreberry, chamber president and CEO. “It is in the interest of all who live and work here that we show our ability to unite under the flag that is representative of everyone.”
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We beseech thee, O Lord, to perfect within us the work of grace which thou hast begun; grant us always to think, speak and do what is pleasing to thee; and keep us from falling back into the sins we have repented of; that we may live as in thy presence, and finish our lives in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“I want you to know, because the doors of Mother Emanuel” are open, the Rev. Norvel Goff Sr., a presiding elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said in a rousing sermon there on Sunday, “it sends a message to every demon in hell and on earth.”
Later, with his voice roaring, Mr. Goff added, “Some wanted to divide the race — black and white and brown — but no weapon formed against us shall prosper.”
Here in this city — where steeples dot the skyline, earning Charleston the nickname Holy City — worship normally contained within church walls spilled into the streets on Sunday. Large banners hung from the buildings near Emanuel.
“Holy City ... Let Us Be the Example of Love That Conquers Evil,” read one.
At 10 a.m., church bells across the city began to toll. Nine minutes passed, one minute for each victim.
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Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant to us, who now remember him with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Grant, O God, that we who have been signed with the sign of the Cross in our baptism, may never be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, but may manfully fight under his banner against sin, the world, and the devil, and continue Christ’s faithful soldiers and servants unto our lives’ end.
Lately, my prayers have become a form of artistic expression: Carefully chosen words, praise reports like songs, and sometimes pissed-off pronouncements entwined with polite requests that I please not screw something up. This season of life has required thoughtful consideration of even my private devotional time — and that makes me think of the conviction of Flannery O'Connor.
No other writer in the history of American letters has been able to pin down the intersection of faith, prayer, and art as evocatively as O'Connor. Perhaps the best example of this — aside from her Biblically blood-soaked fiction — are her letters and journal entries. In A Prayer Journal, a series of short meditations O'Connor penned between 1946 and 1947, readers get a portal into her relationship with the divine. It is chock full of pleadings and childlike confessions: "I would like to write a beautiful prayer." And while you might feel you're intruding on O'Connor's most intimate writings, the prayers are a delight to examine — and about as pure as they come: "Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted."
What is especially striking about this little book is the care O'Connor gives to the craftsmanship of her supplications.
Read it all.
I am not sure how many know this, but I have been attached to the diocese of South Carolina since the summer of 1984 in some capacity or other. It is my family's home. When you have an incident of this magnitude where you live I do not think you have a choice but to give it the attention you and your community experience, respond to and pray though in the midst of it. It is part of the incarnation and contextual aspect of blogging that makes individual blogs so diverse and, Lord willing, so interesting--KSH.
Harold Washington, 75, expects the sanctuary to host even more newcomers after one shattered the group's sense of peace and security.
"We're gonna have people come by that we've never seen before and will probably never see again, and that's OK," he said Saturday. "It's a church of the Lord, you don't turn nobody down."
Church leaders will try to address the heavy psychological burdens parishioners bring with them.
"I think just because of what people have gone through emotions are definitely heightened, not just in Charleston but with anyone going to church because it is such a sacred place, it is such a safe place," Shae Edros, 29, said after a multiracial group of women sang "Amazing Grace" outside the church Saturday afternoon.
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we cry at the violence thrust upon this congregation and wonder when we will be able to sing again. We pray for families, a congregation, and a community in grief. This doesn’t make any sense.
Despite our theological sophistication that tells us we ought to know better, the questions persist: Where was God when the shooter entered? Where is God now?
The answer is contained in the name of this African Methodist Episcopal church.
“Mother Emanuel,” as the members have historically referred to Emanuel AME Church, has known her share of pain. Through their building being burned under suspicion the pastor was leading a slave revolt in the 1820s, and during a time when black churches were outlawed, the congregation persevered. According to the church’s website, they “continued the tradition of the African church by worshipping underground until 1865 when it was formally reorganized, and the name Emanuel was adopted, meaning ‘God with us.’”
The congregation borrowed the name from Matthew’s Gospel, who borrowed it from the prophet Isaiah.
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The Rev. and Sen. Clementa Pickney, 41
Tywanza Sanders, 26
Susie Jackson, 87
Ethel Lance, 70
Myra Thompson, 59
The Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, 74
The Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, 49
Sharonda Singleton, 45
Cynthia Hurd, 54
Take the time to read about all nine.
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Charleston police gave church members clearance Saturday to return to their space, several members said. A group then met in the ground-level fellowship room where those killed had gathered to discuss the Gospel of Mark.
Harold Washington said it was an emotional moment.
“They did a good job cleaning it up. There were a few bullet holes around, but ... they cut them out so you don’t see the actual holes,” he said.
Many parishioners are eager to return to their church home. But others aren’t, not with death and horror still so fresh. They will fan out into the area’s other houses of worship to seek much-needed support.
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O Lord Jesus Christ, in all the fullness of thy power so gentle, in thine exceeding greatness so humble: Bestow thy mind and spirit upon us, who have nothing whereof to boast; that clothed in true humility, we may be exalted to true greatness. Grant this, O Lord, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God for evermore.
At a Friday night vigil organized by Mr. Riley at TD Arena at the College of Charleston, the mayor received a standing ovation. The large and diverse crowd sat quietly, as Mr. Riley spoke at length about Charleston’s role in the slave trade and its long battle to overcome that history.
By Saturday, an aide said Mr. Riley—like many Charleston residents—was exhausted, and couldn’t be reached for interviews. The aide said the mayor would spend Father's Day with his family and likely wouldn’t be at Sunday’s planned march across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, an iconic part of the city’s landscape.
“He’s done a wonderful job,” said Dwayne Greene, a prominent black African-American activist. “He was there the night of the shooting. He made a very compassionate statement, and the city has done everything it can to bring people together.”
Mr. Riley, after decades in the job, will leave office this year after his term ends.
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[The] Rev. Ronnie Elijah Brailsford Sr., pastor, Bethel AME Church, Columbia
“We are a resilient people of faith in God. Why? Because God is with us. Emmanuel means, ‘God is with us.’ We (the AME church) are a people of the Christian faith. We will celebrate 200 years of being formally organized as the AMEC in July of 2016. Nearly 200 years ago, the founding father, Bishop Richard Allen, lead his people courageously through many trials, temptations, tests, threats and dangers. He had to fight to be free and remain free. He had to overcome fears from within and without. He had to overcome racism and bigotry. Yet, with faith in God, he stood strong and boldly.
“So this is not the first time our resolve as a people of faith, whose color happens to be black, has had to withstand difficult and trying times. . . We have come too far to turn around. The power of our love is too strong for hate.
“And our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Thus, we stand. The work of the Lord shall go forward. Why? Because we are the people of Emmanuel. God is with us.”
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Emanuel AME Church’s 500 or so parishioners may face a decision to seek God, prayer and support Sunday at the historic black church or elsewhere after an attack left their senior pastor and most of their ministerial leadership dead and their hallowed space violated.
Rev. Joe Darby, a senior AME pastor, said Saturday morning Emanuel AME will likely hold services Sunday but is waiting for official word from authorities. The Charleston Police Department is still investigating the murders of nine parishioners and pastors. Word about the church’s opening could come as early as Saturday afternoon, Darby said.
As of Friday members were not expecting to hold services at their historic Calhoun Street building Sunday.
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Let us whites especially admit that many of us have inadvertently imbibed theological and ethical assumptions that, in the face of a tragedy like this, show themselves to be naïve. We sometimes write and act as if the Christian ethic is mainly niceness on steroids, all in the name of grace. Anyone who knows my writing knows I’ve wandered into this territory from time to time. In short, we do not take into sufficient account the depth of evil roaming this world, and in this particular case, the radical evil that lies at the heart of racism.
Of course, we mustn’t swing the pendulum in the other direction. We mustn’t now abandon the doctrine of imago dei, nor the need for mutual respect, nor the fruitfulness of dialogue, and so forth. To assume we can solve racism with by merely mocking white supremacists and treating perpetrators of hate crimes with brutality and hatred—well, that is just as naïve. As if evil can be checked with distrust, suspicion, and hate.
And we can never forget that radical “niceness”—what is better called agape love—has extraordinary power to bring miracles to bear on seemingly intractable evil in isolated cases. Agape love on the ground is a large part of the reason Martin Luther King, Jr. made as much progress as he did in his day.
Still, the moment of lament is the moment to rethink what we believe, and to adopt the radically realistic ethic of Jesus, who has no illusions about the power of evil....
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I have never seen anything like what I saw on television this afternoon. Did you hear the statements made at the bond hearing of the alleged Charleston, S.C., shooter?
Nine beautiful people slaughtered Wednesday night during Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and their relatives were invited to make a statement today in court. Did you hear what they said?
They spoke of mercy. They offered forgiveness. They invited the suspect, who was linked in by video from jail, to please look for God.
There was no rage, no accusation—just broken hearts undefended and presented for the world to see. They sobbed as they spoke.
Read it all.
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Attendees heard prepared statements from multiple speakers, including state Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston; Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey; Charleston Mayor Joe Riley; the Rev. Nelson Rivers III of Charity Missionary Baptist Church; and others.
They sang hymns “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” held hands and swayed to a rendition of “We Shall Overcome.”
Statements made during the vigil reiterated common themes of love, faith and unity.
“We share one thing in common. ... Our hearts are broken. We have an anguish like we have never had before,” Riley said.
Read it all from the local paper.
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Almighty and eternal God, who madest thy light to shine in the darkness by the sending of thy Son Jesus Christ to deliver us from the dominion of evil: Visit us now, we pray thee, in the darkness of these times, and let thy truth and righteousness shine forth among us. Take from the world the fears which oppress mankind, that we may live in the power of justice and the freedom of thy truth; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
--New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]
With the busyness on the blog yesterday given the Charleston shootings and quite a number of other important posts, some readers may have missed the post about Lent & Beyond's list of resources to help us pray for Muslims during Ramadan. You'll find it here..
Today they have posted a Ramadan Day 2 Prayer Roundup including short prayers for several countries, and a challenging exhortation that all their readers "might commit to spending 5 or 10 minutes before or after your evening meal for the next 4 weeks to pray for Muslims’ spiritual hunger to be satisfied in Jesus."
You'll find each day's prayer entry using the Ramadan 2015 tag.
One thing that might make a difference in mass killings is a law allowing people to ask police to take guns away from a family member who is acting irrationally. In this case, though, not even that would have helped: The shooter's father is said to have given him the gun in April as a birthday present.
The broader problem — more entrenched, more pernicious and more likely to eat away at the nation — is the racial animosity that still lurks in some quarters. African Americans have suffered its sting often in recent events. A series of unarmed black men, including one in North Charleston, S.C., have been killed by white police officers. And many African Americans have come to believe, a half-century after the civil rights movement took hold, that black lives still do not matter. Or do not matter as much as white lives.
Yes, there has been heartening progress. The president who mourned Thursday is black. So is the attorney general, who opened an investigation to ensure that justice is done. Politicians and congregations, black and white, came together to decry the violence. The alleged killer was pursued by local police and the FBI and taken into custody.
In important ways, America is a different country than it was in 1963
Read it all.
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Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston, husband of Myra Thompson:
“I would just like him to know that . . . I’m saying the same thing that was just said. You know I forgive you and my family forgive you. But we would like you to take this opportunity to repent. Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ. So He can change you, can change your ways no matter what happened to you, and you’ll be okay. Do that and you’ll be better off than what you are right now.”
- with thanks to Stand Firm where there are more transcripts
Be warned: This is very hard, yet very important to view--it is a deeply moving heroic Christian witness in unimaginably awful circumstances.
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Greetings to you in the matchless Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
As the eyes of the nation turn toward Charleston we commend her to your prayers. Our hearts are crushed by this violent act. Our minds reel as we consider the pain of our brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones—mothers and fathers, children and grandchildren, family and friends—as well as for those who have lost faith and hope from such a senseless act of hatred and insanity. Among those killed was one from our own Anglican family, Myra Thompson, the wife of The Rev’d Anthony Thompson, a priest in the Reformed Episcopal Church.
It is right that you feel sickened and angry. It is right that you struggle to know what to do. We all do. Scripture tells us that in the diminishment or suffering of one the whole church suffers. We are enjoined to weep with those who weep and to mourn with those who mourn. Today, we mourn and we weep with our brothers and sisters at Emmanuel Church and all of Charleston.
Together we shall seek God’s face on how he will have us respond as dioceses, as congregations, and as individual members of the Body of Christ—ambassadors of reconciliation—in this broken and fallen world for which His Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, has died that He might redeem.
Read it all.
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The Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev. Foley Beach, on 18 June 2015 released a statement asking for prayer for the families of the victims.
Please join me in praying for the Rev. Anthony Thompson, Vicar of Holy Trinity REC (ACNA) Church in Charleston, his family, and their congregation, with the killing of his wife, Myra, in the Charleston shootings last night,” he wrote in a message posted to Facebook.
Read it all and there is an ACNA press release there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina * Theology
WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC
I happened to catch this and I wanted to post it because it says so much about this community right now--here is a Republican talking about a Democrat, a friend talking about a friend, and a Christian talking about his brother in Christ.
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Charleston has suffered considerable tragedy in its 345-year history, including war, fire, storm and earthquake. But in terms of shocking inhumanity, the atrocity that occurred Wednesday night in a place of worship on Calhoun Street transcended those past horrors.
That’s because our Holy City was defiled by this horrendous pairing of words — “church massacre.”
Nine people at a Bible study gathering were killed by a single gunman at the historic Emanuel AME Church, located on Calhoun Street between Marion Square and the main branch of the Charleston County Library. Those murdered included state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor.
Read it all.
“I don’t think there’s ever been anything like that here,” said historian Jack Bass, a professor emeritus at the College of Charleston. “I think it’s just unprecedented.”
While South Carolina has suffered a long history of racially motivated arson attacks at black churches, some as recently as the late 1990s, the state’s last mass slaying of this scale occurred 139 years ago during the Reconstruction Era, Bass said.
in July 1876, violence erupted in Hamburg, a small town across the Savannah River from Augusta. Following a confrontation between white farmers and the town’s African-American militia, an armed mob of white men laid siege to the community. Five black men were summarily executed.
A hate crime, as defined by Congress, enables the Justice Department to prosecute crimes motivated by the offender’s bias against race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina
O Heavenly Father, who dost feel the pain of the world, and lookest upon all grieving, sick and suffering persons with special concern; be especially with those in the City of Charleston, SC, most affected by this horrific and violent incident Wednesday night; enfold them with thy love; grant that in the midst of pain and grieving they may find thy presence; and enable them through your Holy Spirit to begin the slow process of healing by giving them the strength to walk into the future you have for them, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Filed under: * By Kendall * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * South Carolina
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