And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Revelations 21:3-6
Whereas, The Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the Reverend Daniel Simmons, the Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Brother Tywanza Sanders, Sister DePayne Middleton Doctor, Sister Cynthia Hurd, Sister Myra Thompson, Sister Ethel Lance, and Sister Susie Jackson were gathered to study God’s Word when they were brutally shot down.
Whereas, The Emanuel Nine were by all accounts kind and welcoming to the one who hated and killed them for nothing more than their racial identity.
Whereas, the earthly lives of these dear Christian brothers and sisters has come to a close, the officers and members of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and of Lebanon United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Ohio extend love and compassion to the families, friends and church members. We pray earnestly for comfort and strength for those whose beloveds have transitioned from life in their mortal bodies to life immortal.
Be it Resolved, that, just as on Sunday July 12, 2015, we walked the block that our two historic churches share in humble prayer for all those who are hurting as a result of the heinous murders of these nine people. We will continue to work and pray together as a visible sign in our own city that we diverse peoples are unified in Christian love and stand against racism and hatred in all of its forms.
We will continue to offer thanks to God who has taken what was intended for evil and is using it to move us toward divine healing. We will continue to pray that the families and community members of Mother Emanuel will be encouraged by faith in the resurrecting power of Jesus The Christ and will know that the Church Universal stands with you.
Humbly Submitted on August 12, 2015
The Reverend Karen R. Schaeffer, Ph.D., Pastor Bethel AMEC Lebanon, Ohio
The Reverend Dillon Staas, Pastor Lebanon UMC