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    Alliance of Baptists Grieving with Mother Emanuel, Charleston, S.C.

    In her book, Lamentation & the Tears of the World, Kathleen O’Connor writes that lamentation calls us to “. . . a spirituality of attentiveness not merely to the beauty of the possibility and wonder of creation, but to internal conditions and external realities that deny the world’s beauty, dehumanize others, and diminish life on this earth.”[1]

    Today, we must again be attentive to internal conditions and external realities that have denied the world’s beauty in Charleston, S.C. The tears of the world today flow as we grieve with our sisters and brothers at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston. We Alliance of Baptists' members join with our ecumenical and interfaith partners in grief at the tragic loss of life. We surround Charleston with our love and prayers for peace.

    We denounce the violence. We commit ourselves anew to our corporate work to identify the racism present in our society as America’s first sin and to build together the beloved community. We commit again today to our work together to end gun violence with our partners in Faiths United Against Gun Violence.

    But mostly today, we send our heartfelt sympathy and love as we shed tears with the world for those killed by this violence.

    [1] Lamentations & the Tears of the World, Kathleen O’Connor, Orbis Books, Feb., 2015.