7 Years Later: Mother Emanuel Church kicks off weekend remembrance, national Bible study
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As faith groups across the state and the nation commemorate seven years since the Charleston church shooting, Mother Emanuel AME, the site of the tragedy, kicked off a weekend of special events and a nationwide Bible study.
Friday night served as the launch of a nationwide, yearlong Bible study titled, “What Kind of Soil Are We? What Kind of Soil is God Calling Us to Become?” The first study took place at 7 p.m. and was televised live on C-SPAN and on the church’s website.
During that study, people gathered in the church to read the same passage that the nine victims who lost their lives did seven years ago.
People also came by before the study to pay their respects, even placing flowers at the church’s gate.
A news conference was held earlier in the day by members of the community, families, bishops and members of Congress; many talked about choosing faith and forgiveness.
“That we can with God’s help create a possibility for our children and their children and for generations yet unborn,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said. “We recommit ourselves and I’m here to recommit myself and the Episcopal church to the work of not simply ending a scourge today, but landing a plane so that there will be a tomorrow.”
Mother Emanuel AME Senior Pastor Eric Manning spoke on still loving one another even in times of disagreements.
“It doesn’t always mean we are always going to agree, but we can disagree in love and compassion...” Manning said. “...Learn from each other with the spirit of empathy.”
Leaders with the church are planning to break ground this fall on a memorial to the victims. Also, a park honoring the oldest of nine parishioners of Mother Emanuel AME Church killed in 2015, Susie Jackson, opened on Friday.
The shooting happened on the night of June 17, 2015, at the conclusion of a Wednesday night Bible study at the church. It claimed the lives of the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, and eight of his parishioners.
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