CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Members of Congress are heading back to Washington after spending three days in South Carolina exploring lessons about race relations and racial healing in South Carolina. The Congressional civil rights pilgrimage ended Sunday at Mother Emanuel AME Church. The church shooting continues to impact the nation, political leaders and beyond.
Georgia U.S. Representative and civil rights icon John Lewis, was joined by U.S. Senator Tim Scott, U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn and more than a dozen member of Congress in the pilgrimage. They explored the role of faith and civil rights history in the state.
"This journey is not the end it's really the beginning of an education for the country on how forgiveness leads to reconciliation and reconciliation's foundation must be love," Scott said.
I forgive you. Those words coming from family members of the nine victims who were shot and killed at Mother Emanuel AME Church last year. They had a message to the shooter that hate won't win.
"When I look at the poster back here of the Emanuel 9 it tells all something," Lewis said. "To meet the family members... that we all have the power to forgive, to love, to be a little more human, be guided by our faith and by the teaching of the great teacher."
Clyburn says the church has always taught forgiveness proven in its history.
"I'm not surprised at all by the Emanuel 9, like I'm not surprised, it's just in the DNA of what this church is all about, what this religion is all about and what this community is all about," Clyburn said.
The trip lead by the Faith and Politics Institute promotes an effective government by bringing a bipartisan delegation together.
"Faith and Politics urges us to lift up, go to those mountain tops of inclusion and of justice and of fairness and of acceptance," Maryland House Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer said.
The congressional delegation attended Palm Sunday Service at Emanuel Sunday morning. They also made stops in Columbia and Orangeburg.
"Hopefully we as members of Congress will go back to Washington take the seeds of connection the ability to bring people together as we've seen happen here in South Carolina," Scott said.