God is With Us

Good News joins United Methodists across the country in mourning and condemning the racially motivated murder of nine people attending a prayer meeting at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of this historic church and to the families and friends of those so callously murdered.

Whatever explanation may be given, the young man committed a heinous and evil act. Crimes motivated by racial hatred are terrible reminders to all of us to rededicate ourselves to the condemnation of racism and bigotry in our society and to promote the ministry of reconciliation.

The United Methodist Church considers the African Methodist Episcopal Church a sister denomination and works closely with its people and leaders on several fronts. We are all “people called Methodists,” and we grieve the loss of brothers and sisters in Christ who were joining in the simple, powerful discipline of prayer.

With sorrow, we pray for the family and friends of the nine precious souls who lost their lives: Tywanza Sanders, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, the Rev. Daniel L. Simmons, Sr., the Rev. Myra Thompson, and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, senior pastor of Emmanual who also served in the South Carolina Senate.

“Maybe the tragic death of such an awesome young man will bring a sense of racial reconciliation that perhaps his life or legislative service could not do alone,” said Darrell Jackson, a fellow pastor who served in the South Carolina Senate with Pinckney.

Lord, let that be so.

Evil still lurks among us, individually and corporately, but the greater Word is that God is with us, and we pray that the people of Emmanuel African Episcopal Church feel the power of the resurrection and the comfort of their church’s name in the days ahead.


  1. Witnessing such an evil event calls us to realize that all of us are fallen creatures, capable of unspeakable sin, and it is only our precious Lord who saves us. May He tenderly receive the souls of these nine martyrs, for whom the passage to Paradise has come.

  2. K Karpen says

    Amen! Well said.

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