Four months after one of the worst racially motivated massacres in recent American history, the members of this historic African-American church are laboring to return to the everyday rhythms of worship. But they also know that things will never be the same.
Many of Emanuel’s 550 members are proud of the example of forgiveness they set for the world ”” the “open heart” that President Obama cited in his eulogy for the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, Emanuel’s slain pastor. But to worship at Emanuel is also to revisit a crime scene, a sacred space violated by a white gunman who took the lives of nine of their friends.
In the fellowship hall, on a post and a wood-paneled wall, a few small, rectangular cavities are visible ”” the places, members say, where investigators cut out the bullet holes.
The members are also struggling with pain, hard feelings and new questions about their future….
Read it all from the New York Times.