Five for Friday: Emanuel AME Church


This week, instead of sharing topics that are trending in our household, I wanted to share five articles (well, four articles, one video) on the shooting at Emanuel AME Church. There has been plenty written about the topic by bloggers, writers, churches, TV personalities, politicians — basically, a very wide variety of people. That variety has helped me see this story from different perspectives and angles. I wanted to share some of those with you today. I’m not going to say much about these links: instead, I simply want to encourage you to read at least one of them (or check out Jon Stewart’s video).

1. A Call for a National Lament

There is an entire book of lament in the Bible (aptly name Lamentations) but it’s not a popular or natural form of prayer and worship. Soong-Chan Rah explains the importance of lament, particularly in light of the shooting at Emanuel.

2. Grieving with Charleston

This Christianity Today article summarizes what five pastors plan on saying regarding the Emanuel at church this Sunday. It gives a good variety of responses to the shooting.

3. Shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs.’ Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?

In situations like this, the issue of race rises to the forefront. However, racism exists not only in the crime but in the way the crime is covered by the media and perhaps even in our conversations with friends, family, and coworkers.

4.  Jon Stewart Says He Can’t Tell Jokes After Charleston Church Shooting

5. After Charleston: An Open Letter to White Christians from a White Female Pastor

The words of Rev. Liz Mosbo VerHage (emphasis hers):

If you’re not sure what to do – start paying attention, right now. Read articles from the Black Community, notice the particular beauty and pain within the Black Church, start to feel this pain and shock and repeated abuse as if it were in your own family, because, well, it is. Pray, pray more, confess, lament, and learn more, and pray some more. Bring this up with your people.Ask about this reality of race and death at your church – where will it be addressed within worship this Sunday? Where will we take our part of the responsibility of educating, advocating, understanding, speaking out, and helping change how race and faith and life and death are seen in the US?

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