A Call to Prayer has been issued by the United Church of Christ for the nine people who died in the Charleston, South Carolina shooting on Wednesday, June 19, as well as their families. The shooting occured at historic Mother Emanuel AME Church.
Read the entire Call to Prayer below.
"We extend our deepest condolences to our brothers and sisters of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in the loss of their Pastor Clementa Pinckney and eight of their church family. As the body of Christ, we weep in pain and prayer with you in the aftermath of this horrible act of violence. Our thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives and those who were injured. Each loss is close to us; we just learned that the beloved cousin of one of our UCC national staff persons was one of the victims.
Mass killings such as these are heart-rending under any circumstances. They are made even more tragic when they happen within the walls and safety of sacred space. The heart of our nation must break wide open to feel the pain of our divisions. The body of our nation must turn itself inside out to expose the sickness of our collective culture. The soul of our nation must cry out in agony and lamentation at this time. We appeal to the United Church of Christ family and the entire nation to pray without ceasing for justice and peace to prevail.
We rely on God’s abiding love, the presence of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit as we know that God wraps the entire AME family in a blessed embrace. When one part of the body is injured, the whole body suffers.
Dear God of many Names, we come to you in our time of grief. Help us dear God to understand how such tragedy occurs in the midst of your beloved family. Because you have made us One Body, help us dear God to reach across the lines which divide us. At this time, we ask for special prayers for our beloved family in Charleston, South Carolina and all who connect to them in life and spirit. Keep them close to your heart dear One and protect them with power of your Holy Spirit. We pray all this in the blessed name of Jesus the Christ, our Rock and our Redeemer."