United Methodists across the U.S. are joining 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.
Robert Griggs (center) prays with others outside Morris Brown African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. United Methodists joined AME members in prayers following the deadly shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Photo by Lekisa Coleman-Smalls, UMNS
"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, sent a letter to African Methodist Episcopal bishops offering United Methodist support and calling 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.