On June 17, 2015, nine members of Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina were murdered while in Bible study and prayer in an act of heinous racism that was intended to ignite our nation in a race war. To the contrary, this violence resulted in an effort to bridge the racial divide in Cincinnati. Allen Temple AME Church and Lutheran Church of the Resurrection have built a sister-church relationship. Anderson Churches for Racial Unity (ACRU) is an ecumenical organization in partnership with Greater Anderson Promotes Peace (GAPP) that has a mission to raise awareness surrounding issues of racism and build relationships between people of color and white people.
The commemoration will include reflections on the subject of racism and prayer, music and the naming and remembering of The Emanuel Nine. The Reformation Bell will be rung in their honor, and a brick will be laid in the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection Memorial Garden. Given the current state of affairs in our nation and the rampant death of people of color at the hand of police officers, we will also name 42 other victims and collectively tone the bell in remembrance of them.
Concurrent with this commemoration seven additional churches in our community, members of ACRU, will hold prayer vigils; Anderson Hills Christian Church, Anderson Hills United Methodist Church, Eastern Hills Friends Meeting, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church, Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, Mt. Washington Presbyterian Church, and St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. A day-long prayer vigil is planned. Those interested in participating may sign up for a 15 minute time slot at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0844ACAA2BA0F58-prayer