Many were devastated by last year’s news of the shooting at our sister church, Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston, South Carolina—where a gunman opened fire during a Wednesday night prayer and Bible study, killing nine people.
Following this tragedy, United Methodists across the U.S. joined together in prayer and pledged to stand with this congregation and its people. June 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting, and the Minnesota Conference’s Commission on Religion and Race wrote a brief prayer that churches are encouraged to use as they remember this event.
God of justice and peace,
We weep with all who grieve lives lost to hate and violence. As we approach the first anniversary of the shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, we lift up the nine who were killed while they gathered to study your word. We remember:
Rev. Clementa Pinckney
Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor
Rev. Daniel Simmons, Sr.
Rev. Sharonda Singleton
We also pray for Dylann Roof—that he may come to know the healing love of God.
Help us listen to the rage and pain caused by the deep wound of racism. Sit with us in our own discomfort. Convict us for our indifference or defensiveness.
Grant us the humility to recognize our part in the social sin of racism. Give us the will to go where these wounds are. Empower us to act boldly to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
In Christ's name we pray, Amen.