As part of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, voting members adopted a resolution designating June 17 as a commemoration of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9—the nine people shot and killed on June 17, 2015, during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
The resources referenced below are provided to help congregations mark this day. Many of these materials were recently produced for this first year of marking the commemoration; among the others are helpful ELCA websites and documents as well as resources from our ecumenical partners.
In this time of pandemic, many of the resources will need to be adapted for virtual worship, online conversation, or individual reflection and devotion. You are invited to use them in whatever ways are most helpful for your local context.
Our relationship to the shooter, as well as two of the slain, reminds us of both our complicity and our calling. Together we confess that we are in bondage to the sins of racism and white supremacy and, at the same time, we rejoice in the freedom that is ours in Christ Jesus who “has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14). May God continue to guide us as we seek repentance and renewal, and racial justice and reconciliation among God’s precious children.
An online ELCA Prayer Service for the Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine, including Bishop Eaton and leaders from around the church, is being prepared for viewing beginning on June 17, 2020, the fifth anniversary of the martyrdom of the Emanuel Nine.
Resources for the Commemoration of the Emanuel Nine can be found at ELCA.org/EmanuelNine.
The video prayer service will be available for viewing at any time, aiming for release by mid-day on June 17, possibly with a timed “premiere” in conjunction with the CWO worship time, 11:15 a.m. CDT.