The shooting deaths in Charleston, SC, during a Bible study at the historic Emmanuel Methodist Church just last week, have spread like wildfire throughout the world. This also includes China and my Yangtze river home, Luzhou.
Today, from the pulpit of the Luzhou Protestant Church, Pastor Liao included the Charleston, SC, Christians and family members of victims in her pastoral prayer. If some in the congregation were not aware of this sad event, they certainly were after worship as it was poignantly brought to our attention by our church leaders.
It is the custom for us to say “amen” at the end of every prayerful sentence given by our pastor or other church members during the service or in group meetings. Our “amens” were very strongly voiced today as Liao fervently went onward about our thoughts of love being with those American brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering now, that we wish them God’s grace, that we are one in the Lord and we support anyone in pain no matter who or where they are in the world. It was a lovely prayer inclusion, one which I’m sure will follow in churches all around America today as you attend your worship services.
My South Carolina Church Family at St. Mark UMC
At this time, I especially find a strong connection to my Charleston, SC church members at St. Mark UMC. We had our first visit last year during my 2014 summer itineration. After years of correspondence with the UMW there, I managed to swing by for a 3-day visit. I was toured the historic district of the town, enjoyed wonderful fellowship with everyone, was presented a prayer shawl which I have here in China and left with a feeling of warmth and love from those I met.
The tragedy of their Charleston community must be even more devastating for them as it hits so close to home.
Many, many heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been touched by this event. Other reports of China happenings will follow soon, now that I’m able to update my entries.
Ping An (Peace) to all.