7 Replies to “Poetry in April”

  1. Forgiveness/Resiliency…
    As parishioners and visitors fanned themselves against the heat of the first day of summer, the service opened at 9:30 a.m. ET with the hymns “Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow” and “Blessed Assurance.”

    A worship leader said: “we still believe prayer changes things. … prayer not only changes things, it changes us.”

    “Many hearts are broken and tears being shed,” he said. “Through it all we are reminded that we serve a God who still cares.”

    Another church leader prayed that “in life there are ups and downs. There are dark days, but there are also bright days.”

    He called on God to “guide and strengthen those families who were victimized,” and referring to Wednesday’s tragedy said “the devil tried to take charge.”

    “But the devil cannot take control of your people and cannot take control of your church,” he said.

    NPR’s Debbie Elliott, reporting from the church, says: “It’s a very emotional day for the city of Charleston. People are gathering, bringing flowers, weeping, praying, and preparing for this very difficult morning.”

    Debbie adds: “This is all happening at the same time that police officers and their dogs are doing searches of the parking lot and preparing the church to be a safe place for people to come and remember this morning.”

    The Rev. Randolph Miller, pastor of Nichols Chapel AME Church in Charleston, tells CNN: “We must continue to preach [forgiveness] and drive it home. It won’t happen overnight, but we must not stop preaching forgiveness.”

    “Hopefully one day it will sink in and bring a change,” he said.

    Emanuel AME


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