Next Wednesday, June 17th will be the 5th Anniversary of the Emanuel 9 Massacre in Charleston. Pastor Josh and I will be leading a “Service of Remembrance” via Facebook Live at 7 PM. We are inviting you to help us create the backdrop for that service.

In the narthex is a roll of craft paper. The center section (marked off in pencil) will have the verse that the Emanuel 9 and survivors were studying that night, Mark 4:16. To the right and left we are inviting you to come and write a prayer, draw a picture, voice a lament, anything that you think would be in keeping with the solemnity and weight of this service.

The day after the killings I went to Campbell Chapel AME in Bluffton to express my condolences. Pastor Clementa Pinckney and I had met a couple of times when he served there briefly. I later learned that the shooter had been baptized and confirmed in an ELCA congregation in Columbia, SC. Clergy friends I camp with each year were friends and classmates of “Clem”. He and another victim, Rev. Daniel Simmons, were graduates of my alma mater, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. Many of you were here to hear our friend and my colleague Pastor Thulie Beresford preach when she was our visiting theologian. Pastor Thulie was a Chaplain called to be at the hospital the night of the fateful shootings.

If you are unable, or uncomfortable, coming to the narthex but would like something added to the artwork, please email, call or text me or Pastor Josh and we will add it. If you happen to have Netflix the documentary “Emanuel” is available. If you don’t have Netflix there are some powerful trailers and scenes available on YouTube.

God’s peace, justice and hope,

Pastor Jon