[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will participate in an inaugural national Bible study on June 17 marking the seventh anniversary of the 2015 shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist killed nine black worshippers. Curry will deliver closing comments and blessing from the Bible study to Mother Emmanuel, which will air live beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Bible study participants will discuss Mark 4:1-9, the parable of the sower, which the nine victims were studying when they were murdered. All are invited to participate in the Bible study virtually, which will be led by “a distinguished panel of Bible scholars and church leaders” and includes a resource guide.
“Traditionally known as the Parable of the Sower, the text will be considered by a diverse panel from its alternate title, the Parable of the Soils,” organizers wrote. “Given the rising tide of white supremacy in America, panelists will address questions to ask the nation: What kind of soil are we? What kind of soil are we ready to become? »
“Remembering the Emanuel Nine in Charleston is also a call to action, calling on believers, as the parable of the soils suggests, not to grow weary but to keep sowing seeds of change,” said Reverend Margaret Rose, ecumenical assistant. and interfaith relations for the Episcopal Church.
Other religious leaders, including Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; politicians including Representative Jim Clyburn and Senator Tim Scott; and loved ones of the victims will participate in the series of memorial events, including a press conference at 2 p.m. ET on June 17 and a celebration on June 16.
On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black people during a church Bible study. The same white supremacist ideology that inspired Roof allegedly drove a white teenager to kill 10 black people in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, in May. As the “white replacement” conspiracy theory became mainstream, amplified by politicians and media commentators, reports of hate crimes targeting African Americans skyrocketed.
“The loss of all human life is tragic, but there was a deep racial hatred that drove this shooting,” Curry said after the Buffalo shooting, “and we must turn from the deadly path our nation has borrowed for too long”.
– Egan Millard is associate editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.