Brothers and sisters,
I write on behalf of the Charleston congregation to thank you for the many messages of concern and support we have received, and to provide a brief perspective on the soul and state of our beloved city.
Of course, we’re reeling and will be for some time, yet poignant examples of healing and unity abound in our midst. Last night, members of our church gathered with thousands of our neighbors to grieve, pray, and sing together in a downtown arena. An interfaith core of clergy revisited ancient, holy words as source of comfort and perspective, and also as clarion call toward renewed equity, justice, and moral solidarity. Our civic leaders, particularly our popular, forty-year mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr., called for a revival of community cooperation and reminded us that once united, we will recover and move forward. He also addressed our national fixation with handguns and said it is surely time for more reasoned conversation and swift reform