Letter: Bible study brings connections to victims in Charleston shooting

Last Wednesday, we held our Bible study at our church as usual. Twelve of us in Rochester. White adults all. Before beginning, we marveled that, simultaneously, at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., a regularly scheduled Bible study was being conducted one week after the tragic shootings.

We recited prayers that others had prayed in support of that congregation. We struggled to understand the depth of forgiveness these worshippers were able to find and express.

Our lesson for the evening, Matthew 5, concerned the sin of murder and hatred. In light of those difficult passages, we contemplated our brethren in Charleston.

Some of the thoughts expressed:

• "I hope we could summon up the same ability to forgive that Nadine Collier and Alana Simmons exhibited for the man accused of killing their loved ones."


• "It reminded me of a terrorist suicide bomber without the suicide."

• "I subscribe to the Southern Poverty Law Journal, and they report over 750 active hate groups in the U.S. There's a lot of hate out there."

• "Let's pray that the message of forgiveness is stronger than the message of evil."

And so began the evening's life lesson.

Al Depman


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