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June 19, 2017

Thank you, Ronnie, for this reflection

Ronnie McBrayer

MAMETwo years ago today, nine beautiful people were shot and killed inside the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. As it has been with a growing list of terroristic tragedies in this world, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news, and I remember the revulsion and bereft I felt.

It was a deep, personal sense of loss, not because I knew any of the victims, but as a child of the Deep South and as one with no conscious memory of life apart from the church, this intrusion seemed especially profane. I was left asking, “Is there no holy place left? No sacred space that has not been assaulted by bloodshed and violence? Is there no safety, even in the presence of God?”

As a minister I have come to understand my role as a “meaning-maker.” This is not the pompous assumption of…

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