June 17th, 2015, Dylann Roof, a member on the rolls of St. Paul Lutheran Church – ELCA – in Charleston, SC entered Mother Emanuel AME church for a prayer meeting. He proceeded to shoot and kill nine of the people in attendance in an act born of white supremacy and racial hatred. These 9 people were: the Hon. Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, the Rev. Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Tywanza Sanders, the Rev. Daniel L. Simmons Sr., the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson.
Last summer, at our Churchwide assembly, the ELCA voted and approved a resolution to set aside June 17th as a Day of Remembrance and Repentance for the Emanuel 9. Acting on this resolution, the Virginia Synod’s Tapestry team is hosting a Zoom meeting on June 17th, 2020 at 7:00 PM for a time of remembering the Emanuel 9, an action step to take, and a prayer.
- Join Zoom Meeting
- Meeting ID: 861 4878 5636
- Password: 433801
- Dial by your location:
- +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
- +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
Our action step centers around the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is hosting a virtual march taking place on June 20th. The Poor People’s Campaign is a revival of the historic Martin Luther King Jr.- led movement of the same name organized 52 years ago. It is a non-partisan fusion coalition movement rising up; a new and unsettling force challenging our nation’s distorted moral narrative. It seeks to unite tens of thousands of people across the country in 40 states including Virginia and is led by Rev. Dr. William Barber, a North Carolina civil rights activist, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-director of Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center. Instead of hosting a live march on June 20th in Washington D.C., the march will be hosted online. For more information, you can visit: www.poorpeoplescampaign.org
We are also inviting congregations to use resources to commemorate the Emanuel 9 on Sunday, June 21st during or after worship. We are making a video about the day that you can watch. Other resources we are making available are:
- The ELCA Resolution on the Day of Remembrance and Repentance
- How to Have Difficult Conversations
- Resource Guide to Address Racial Reconciliation in Your Congregation (coming soon)
- The Explanation of the Declaration to People of African Descent
- A Service of Mourning and Repentance commemorating the Emanuel 9
The ELCA has also created worship resources that are available to commemorate the day, you can find those at www.elca.org/emanuelnine
All of these resources will be made available on the Tapestry page of the Virginia Synod website: www.vasynod.org/ministries/tapestry
The Tapestry team hopes that congregations will join in the Poor People’s Campaign virtual march on June 20th, and from there commit to engaging the issues of racism at least once a quarter. This can be done in many ways including book studies, viewing a movie, and discussing it, or in in-depth anti-racism studies. Our Resource Guide will be a good place to start.
The time to take steps toward healing the deep wound of racism in our country is now. Please join us!
-The Virginia Synod Tapestry Team