Category : * South Carolina
(Washington Post) Jamie Aten–How A Stephen Curry produced documentary explores forgiveness in the 2015 Charleston church shooting
Q: What first drew you to the “Emanuel” project?
A: I had just gotten married in June 2015, and I was on my honeymoon in New York. I walked into the bedroom, and my wife was crying. She told me nine people had been shot in their Bible study in Charleston, South Carolina.
Then she looked at me and said, “You don’t understand, they’re forgiving him. The family members are forgiving the murderer.” I remember looking at her and saying, “I hope whoever tells that story doesn’t skip that part.” It was that moment for me — encountering this radical, scandalous forgiveness and love for the murderer — that drew me into the story. I wanted the world to know that part of the story.
Q: What was different in this story?
A: It was that they loved him. It was this moment when (survivor) Felicia Sanders said something to him that really changed me: “We enjoyed you.”
When I go out and talk about the film, I’m not just talking about them forgiving him because they wanted to be emotionally free from him. I’m talking about a kind of love you rarely see. Their love for the shooter was a love that said, “I will bear the full weight of the wrong,” which is the highest kind of love — a love for your enemy.
Thanks to @mercnews for picking up my interview with @EmanuelTheMovie director Brian Ivie. If you didn't get to a theater last night, you have one more chance to see this powerful film tomorrow night. @PrayAndActNow https://t.co/zoiGA128CQ
— Jamie Aten (@drjamieaten) June 18, 2019
The slayings at Emanuel AME sparked a surge or long-overdue reforms. It served as the impetus to finally remove the confederate flag from the statehouse grounds Charleston. Black people and their allies have long viewed the Confederate flag as the symbol par excellence of white supremacy. The murder of nine black people in a Bible study finally convinced enough white people that the Confederate flag might actually represent not heritage but hate.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu cited the Mother Emanuel tragedy as part of the motivation for his bold stand to take down the Confederate monuments in New Orleans. Landrieu first started calling for the monuments to come down less than a week after the Emanuel Nine were killed.
Racial progress is not a myth, but neither is it a completed project. We have come a long way from race-based chattel slavery. We have come a long way from signs over drinking fountains and riding the back of the bus. We have come a long way from preventing black people from sitting in the pews alongside white people.
But let’s not use racial progress as a reason to ignore the ways racism reinvents itself….
Today marks the Anniversary of the Murder of the Emanuel Nine, read @JemarTisby reflections: “Racial progress is not a myth, but neither is it a completed project…But let’s not use racial progress as a reason to ignore the ways racism reinvents itself.”https://t.co/Ao3Sg9ksld
— The Witness (@TheWitnessBCC) June 17, 2019
Remembering Especially the Charleston 9 who died 4 years ago today in the Mother Emanuel Church Shooting
Four years ago today.😔#MotherEmanuel #Charleston
Depayne Middleton Doctor
Daniel Simmons, Sr.
Myra Thompson pic.twitter.com/qHsjhon4ia
— Christine Sperow WBTV (@ChristineOnTV) June 17, 2019
(Local Paper) Emanuel AME church, shooting survivors form bonds with other traumatized houses of worship
Monday will mark four years since an angry young man with murderous intent slipped into Emanuel and headed for 12 people settling in for Bible study. He sat with them for about an hour, not speaking, until they shut their eyes for closing prayer.
Then he pulled out a gun.
Nine people died that night, including the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a state senator who was sitting beside the killer.
And the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., a retired minister who led the study most Wednesdays.
And Myra Thomson, who led it for the first time that night.
And Susie Jackson, at 87 the oldest among them to die.
And her nephew Tywanza Sanders, the youngest at 26.
And their cousin Ethel Lance, the church’s sexton, a mother of five.
And the Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor, mother of four.
And the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, mother of three.
And Cynthia Graham Hurd, mother of none but mentor to hundreds in her decades as a beloved librarian.
Nine families, the survivors and the church’s entire congregation found themselves thrust into a journey through what the Bible calls “the valley of the shadow of death.” Then they relived their losses anew with each mass shooting in America, including the Pulse nightclub massacre almost one year to the day after their loved ones died.
Today, we remember the nine who died four years ago in the #EmanuelAME Church massacre:
Tywanza Sanders, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, Dan Simmons Sr., Myra Thompson, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton & DePayne Middleton Doctor.https://t.co/pSaHRwxFOc
— Jennifer Berry Hawes (@JenBerryHawes) June 17, 2019
— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) June 16, 2019
The Latest Newsletter from the Diocese of South Carolina Camp+Conference Center, Camp Saint Christopher
— Stacey (@StaceyD3153) July 12, 2018
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth. Amen. #Pentecost pic.twitter.com/bJIhQKGouH
— Jonathan Powers (@jonboy017) June 9, 2019
The Latest Edition of the Diocese of #SouthCarolina Enewsletter https://t.co/y36ntoXjUg#parishministry #lowcountrylife #anglican #churchgrowth #theology #lowcountrylife #anglican #media pic.twitter.com/EhqZ0oeFso
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 5, 2019
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–How shall we understand the Ascension and what is its significance for us?
“Ascension of Christ,” by Rembrandt. Jesus is the Light of the World. pic.twitter.com/imM1OnMvt3
— Christian Culture (@Christian8Pics) June 27, 2014
Hawes is a poised writer and a patient observer who trains her focus on the present. She gestures briefly to Charleston’s role as the epicenter of the nation’s slave trade (“as the Civil War approached almost three in four white families here had owned slaves”) and the long history of attacks on black churches, including Emanuel, which was first burned to the ground in 1822. Her primary interest is in the lives of the survivors and the families of the victims, “the people who will live this story forever.”
For most, trauma begat trauma: health problems, even sudden deaths. One widower lost 60 pounds and became unable to return to work. Bitter divisions flared. Eleven months after the shooting, Sharon Risher and Nadine Collier, two daughters of Ethel Lance, one of Roof’s victims, couldn’t even agree on a headstone for their mother. When Risher finally had one erected over the grave, Collier installed her own version directly in front of it. At one point, according to the author, Risher felt it was more likely that she might forgive Dylann Roof than her sister.
Even those who fought to return to some semblance of normalcy found that their lives had become uncomfortably public. Private people felt forced into activism and advocacy even as the shootings had left them adrift — and they felt spiritually abandoned by their church (which itself became mired in controversy after donations went missing).
Roof remains a shadowy figure in the narrative (see the journalist and critic Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s Pulitzer Prize-winning profile for a more detailed look at his life and radicalization). He is not even named at first, referred to only as “a young white man, lean of frame…”
Congrats @jenberryhawes on the @nytimes review of your fine forthcoming book about the Mother Emanuel tragedy and aftermath. Available 6-4-19! ‘Grace Will Lead Us Home,’ an Intimate Look at Forgiveness, Anger and Trauma After the Charleston Massacre https://t.co/ugubHjqCpf
— Kevin Sack (@ksacknyt) May 21, 2019
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 21, 2019
The Spring issue of the Jubilate Duo has just published! A front page article salutes our church plant – St. Timothy's – https://t.co/0lrrUV6tRM
To subscribe tothe Jubilate Deo, go here: https://t.co/tiTmvbIx3O pic.twitter.com/889A11PtE8
— St Pauls Summerville (@StPaulsSVille) May 20, 2019
The Parish Newsletter of Christ Saint Paul’s Yonges Island SC for this week https://t.co/uUhVxBYiFh #southcarolina #media #growth #teens #education #lowcountrylife #religion #anglican pic.twitter.com/xPZLQsRAK4
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 17, 2019
Bishop Lawrence focused on prayer in his sermon at yesterday’s Clergy Renewal of Vows service and urged the clergy of the Diocese to trust the Lord with their deepest fears. “Prayer demands time, space, solitude,” he said.
An estimated 4,000 teachers and supporters will assemble on a school day today in Columbia to protest, march and speak for improved working conditions.
The teachers, organized by the teacher advocacy group SC for Ed, have been asking state lawmakers for higher wages, smaller classroom sizes, more mental health counselors in schools and full funding of the state’s promises to students.
Teachers are using personal leave days to go to Columbia for a single day, unlike at the weeks-long teacher strikes and walkouts that took place in other states like West Virginia and Oklahoma in 2018.
Seven school districts and a charter school have announced closures due to the mass exodus of teachers and a shortage of substitutes Wednesday. The affected schools serve a combined 123,000 students.
Today in South Carolina’s state capital: An estimated 4,000 teachers and supporters march on the Statehouse in an activist movement of unprecedented size. 7 school districts are closed. https://t.co/tXfFgdkf2U
— Paul Bowers (@Paul_Bowers) May 1, 2019
As a parish priest I remember telling parishioners, on more than one occasion, “When death comes into your home he brings a lot of unwanted relatives with him.” I do not mean relatives or in-laws who may come from out of town for the funeral. The relatives of death to which I refer are grief, fear, loneliness, guilt, shame, anger, depression, even anxiety. Once these come under the roof of your house it is difficult to show them the door. They tend to take up residence, over staying their welcome. Just this morning I read the story of Clint Hill, the secret service agent assigned to Jackie Kennedy during the days some refer to as Camelot. With poignant grief he recalled her words that day almost fifty years ago as the President’s wounded head lay in her lap like a modern Pieta, “They shot his head off. Oh Jack, what have they done?”
I’ve been listening to Dr. Billy Graham’s recent book Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well. He is no stranger to moments of national grief, like the one Clint Hill witnessed so painfully. At age 93 he has seen firsthand more than a little of our country’s sorrow. Yet grief when it is personal strikes even deeper. In recounting the death of his beloved wife and best friend for almost sixty-four years, Ruth Bell Graham, he writes, “Although I rejoice that her struggles with weakness and pain have all come to an end, I still feel as if a part of me has been ripped out, and I miss her far more than I ever could have imagined.” “Death”, he goes on to say, quite accurately, “is always an intruder even when it is expected.” Frankly, if there is no answer to death there is no answer to our most abiding enemy and all those blood relatives he brings with him. This, as you might imagine, brings me to Easter. I am happy to recall it. The apostle affirms, “Our Saviour Jesus Christ has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10 NEB)
Easter unflinchingly confronts our enemies, death and sin that would lock us in a self-justifying bondage, and plague our lives from start to finish. Christ’s death, however, is God’s No to sin. In the cross God reveals his hatred of sin as Christ dies to destroy it; and shows his love for sinners as he dies to free us of it. In Christ’s resurrection God speaks his Yes to life and human freedom, breaking the power of death. Donald Coggan, a former Archbishop of Canterbury put it well: “You may not like it. You may ignore it. You may deny it. But this is it. Take away the Cross and Resurrection from Christianity and you have a poor lifeless and maimed thing left…” And we must also say a dead religion dreadfully inadequate for our needs. Archbishop Coggan was right. We need to keep the Cross and Resurrection central. They tell us of God’s No, to death, and the fear that is death’s power; No, to sin and its tyranny of our lives; No, to fear that cripples us from living the dance of life freely; No, to the shame we don’t deserve and grace for the shame we do; No, to the loneliness that dogs our steps for the Risen One is with us always. Let me say again. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Great Yes of God. It has left us an empty tomb and an open door. It will in God’s good time and grace sweep our lives clean of death and the unwanted relatives it brings into our homes. Even this Sunday as we say the words, “Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.” the joy of Easter may escort some these out the door. We can then live our lives in Christ, with Christ and for Christ freely, and for his sake for a hurting and broken world.
May the Peace of the Risen Christ be always with you,
-–(The Rt Rev.) Mark Lawrence is Bishop of South Carolina
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) Resurrezione di Gesù 1531,Windsor Collection
J.B.Bach Easter Oratoriohttps://t.co/bQ6ychd8im@Spiros209 @Amyperuana @LuciaTassan @dianadep1 @Cassini_jon @ANNAMARIABIASI1 @angelicadisogno @migliaccio31 @albertopetro2 @MomiraMonika pic.twitter.com/FFJEpkBFSp
— BrindusaB (@BrindusaB1) April 21, 2019
You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there. Listen carefully for a famous Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside (1876-1951) story about forgiveness of sins from the life of czar Nicholas I of Russia.
“I bow before your cross,
O Christ my God;
I glorify your grave,
O Deathless One;
Feasting for your Rising
I cry to you:
‘My Lord is Risen!'”
– St Romanos the Melodist, On the Resurrection II pic.twitter.com/VQDudJqdKM
— Robert Mitchell (@RobertMitchel_l) April 28, 2019
(Local Paper front page) One year after fire, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina’s, St. Andrew’s congregation growing, building new home
Bishop Steve Wood thought he was over it.
It’d been a year since his church went up in flames, and he’d gotten used to his “new normal” that includes hosting worship services inside a Mount Pleasant school.
But then he saw television images showing flames engulfing Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. The painful memories returned of his own St. Andrew’s ablaze just a year earlier.
Though thousands of miles apart, the two churches had more in common than the fire.
News outlets showed images of the golden altar cross still standing in the Catholic cathedral. After the fire at St. Andrew’s, the cross stood among the ash and rubble.
“I just had a sense of God’s presence,” Wood said.
Even in the wake of losing its ministry center to flames — forcing church staff to work remotely and parishioners inside a school for worship services — St. Andrew’s is pressing forward. The congregation continues to grow in size and faith as it builds its new ministry center, expected to open spring 2020.
Bishop Steve Wood thought he was over it.
It’d been a year since St. Andrew’s went up in flames, but then he saw television images showing flames engulfing Notre Dame.
Though thousands of miles apart, the 2 churches had more in common than the fire. https://t.co/8mFy2CSQ7B
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 29, 2019
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 25, 2019
Jeffrey Miller’s 2019 #Easter #Sermon: Nothing will ever be the Same Again https://t.co/5kFA4J3Hl4 #easter2019 #theology #scripture #eschatology #southcarolina #parishministry #lowcountrylife pic.twitter.com/Gnsl9vuWwk
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 24, 2019
— Beech Genealogy (@GenealogyBeech) April 13, 2017
(Local Paper front page) Population growth slowed in Charleston County, soared in Horry, Berkeley and Spartanburg
Some of South Carolina’s population growth hot spots have cooled, according to just-released census estimates, but new residents continued to pour in to Horry and Berkeley counties, the counties adjacent to Charlotte, and — perhaps surprisingly — Spartanburg.
The Palmetto State has been a fast-growing region for years and that continued through mid-2018. The state added 62,908 residents. More than 80 percent of the growth came from people relocating from other states, the Census Bureau estimated.
New census estimates show the population soaring in Horry, Berkeley and Spartanburg counties, while growth has slowed in Charleston.https://t.co/ze3PAULm3q
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 18, 2019
— Kimberley Pfeiler (@CanonKimberley) June 27, 2017
Please join us tomorrow for our final Lenten Teaching Series with The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence. 11:00 – Holy Eucharist (Chapel)11:45 – Lunch served (Fellowship Hall)12:10 – Teaching time (Fellowship Hall)12:50 – Blessing and Dismissal https://t.co/dXxdBPa2ON pic.twitter.com/2u80ePrDkX
— St. John’s Church (Anglican) (@STJOHNSFLORENCE) April 10, 2019
In July of 2018, a summons ordered me to report to Charleston Municipal Court for jury duty in early August. After reading the very limited exemptions from duty, I realized that resistance was futile and reported on the required Monday morning to fulfill my civic duty.
As it turned out, a priest named Ryan Streett and 40-some other Charlestonians had been summoned for this same jury duty, and we all sat in the courtroom that Monday waiting to see if we would be selected. Later, those of us who were not chosen for the first case lined the walls of the hallway outside the courtroom waiting for the next case to be called. The week progressed this way and with a great deal of waiting outside the courtroom in the hallway.
During a particularly long recess, I spotted Father Ryan and I nervously approached him, introduced myself, and asked if he ever performed baptisms for people other than those in his congregation….
Roseanne Gudzan–How a Jury Summons led to a very unexpected Outcome https://t.co/DOClpaZw2k … #parishministry #baptism #evangelism #law #southcarolina #lowcountrylife (photo: St. Philip’s #CharlestonSC) pic.twitter.com/ZGoknUzHF8
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 10, 2019
(The State) ‘The devil you know.’ South Carolina residents are selling family members into the sex trade
A Richland County woman told her 13-year-old sister and her friend they were attending a birthday party one Saturday night in 2016. Instead, the woman lured the teen girls into a trap, according to police reports, court records and interviews with law enforcement.
The woman delivered her sister and friend to Quincy Brian Bright in north Columbia. He told the girls he had invited men over to have sex with them. The men were paying customers, he told them.
The girls were separated, and the 15-year-old friend was taken to a room with a man she had never seen before. He raped her, according to the police report. But it wasn’t over.
She was taken to another room, where a second man raped her. Afterward, she was taken to another room, where a third man forced her to perform a sex act. Court documents show she, and the woman’s little sister, became victims of sex trafficking that night.
Data suggests South Carolina is grappling with one of the most horrendous crimes imaginable — familial trafficking. People are introducing or selling their family members into the sex trade. The reason why it happens is unclear, but officials who work the cases point to heroin, crack and opiate addictions.
I didn’t want to believe it…until I read the article..
‘The devil you know.’ SC residents are selling family members into the sex trade https://t.co/4QkszISUw7
— Sammie D ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@M08D26) March 31, 2019
(Local Paper front page) South Carolina’s treasured dolphins tangle with human threats. Their future is uncertain.
That leaping dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.
Nobody knows how many are really out there. More dolphins are dying tangled up in yards of crab pot lines and other marine gear. They are backing away from their usual behaviors as beachgoers and boaters crowd them.
The local population of the sea mammals is smaller than many people realize. Some people think the waters around Charleston are home to thousands of dolphins, said Lauren Rust of the Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network.
But the last survey by a federal team was done more than a decade ago, in 2008. It found only 350 living in Charleston area waters.
The dolphin, one of the most beloved animals of the South Carolina coast, might be dying off in front of our eyes.https://t.co/LkLFRn19h1
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) April 7, 2019