A Statement from the SEJ College of Bishops

June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015

In response to the murders of the pastor and eight others during a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015, the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops of the United Methodist Church offers the following response:

"The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church stands with our Methodist family at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, with our brother Bishop Richard Franklin Norris of the Seventh Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and with our colleague Bishop Jonathan Holston, of the South Carolina Conference.

We condemn this act of violence in the house of the Lord. We commit ourselves anew to the work of reconciliation in the midst of hatred. And we lift high the cross of Jesus Christ, as God's witness to the violence and division that is our human condition.

Please join us in acts of prayer, compassion and justice on behalf of our Pan-Methodist sisters and brothers.

We also commend the Statement on Racism offered at the Council of Bishops in Berlin, Germany, May 7, 2015." 

Bishop Paul L. Leeland, resident Bishop of the AWF Conference, has personally spoken with Bishop Richard Norris of the 7th District AME Church in South Carolina and has communicated with Bishop Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the UMC. He offered his support and prayers on behalf of our conference during this tragic time. Please continue to pray for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.