Mountain Sky Outlook: Call for Prayers for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
June 19, 2015
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I write you from Helena, Montana, where the Yellowstone Annual Conference is in session. Yesterday we heard the devastating reports of the murders of Christian brothers and sisters gathered in prayer at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is apparent that these murders were motivated by racial hatred of a kind that has no place in our nation, and certainly not within the Christian Church.
Pastor Kelly Addy led prayer this morning:
We come to you as your children, seeking your wisdom and patience in the midst of our bewilderment. You have made humankind so magnificently and so powerfully, but we lose our way before we can arrive at the kind of love with which you made us. We know it is there because we are the work of your hands and we ask your gentle hand to guide us to it and place it at the center of all things and nations, and races and peoples.
We gathered to learn of the riches of your abundant love, which overcomes all the violence the world, can muster. And then shots rang out across this great land of hope and freedom, infecting people with fear and suspicion.
We turn to you and to you alone, as we cry out once again that we are love because you are love and we are from you. How can anyone hope to love anyone if they do not love everyone? How can anyone seek to overcome darkness with darkness? How can anyone hate anyone without hating everyone?
Turn our hearts to neither the left nor the right, but only to you. We read your Word and hear your love in it even when people in Egypt and Syria and South Carolina die for it.
We lift up:
Our brother, Honorable, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41, pastor and state senator
Our sister, Cynthia Hurd, 54
sister, Ethel Lance, 70
Our brother, Rev DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49
sister, Rev. Sharonda Singleton, 45
Our brother, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr., 74
sister, Myra Thompson, 59
sister, Susie Jackson, 87
brother Tywanza Sanders, 26
And our brother, the suspected shooter, Dylann Roof, 21.
We pray for peace. We lift up those who suffer violence anywhere in the world and we do not look down on them, but up to you.
Give us your peace. Give us your love. Give us your will, abundantly as we trudge onward and upward and homeward together to you.
And when we go back into the world from this place may our light so shine that other would see the Christ in us and be led in the Way, by the Truth, to the Life Everlasting. Amen.
This Sunday, June 21, 2015 please pray and lead your churches to pray for peace among the peoples of our nation and of the whole world, for the family and church family of those whose lives were taken, and for our sister denomination, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which has worked for God's vision of racial harmony and justice for 200 years.
Serving Jesus' promise that all might enjoy abundant life,
Elaine J. W. Stanovsky