The Reverend Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, issued this statement (also online at UUA.org) following the news of the shooting in a church in Charleston, South Carolina:
News of last night’s shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, fills me with a profound sadness. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims and to the entire Emanuel Church community.
Unitarian Universalists are sadly familiar with the tragedy of church shootings. When two congregants were killed and six wounded at our Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in 2008, the entire community reached out and embraced our congregation with love and support. We will pass that love along to the Emanuel Church community in any way we can.
Emanuel AME Church has faced many hardships over the years, but the church has persevered and thrived. May Emanuel’s faithful find the strength to make their way through the tragedy that has taken the lives of nine of their members, including their pastor. We share their grief, and we stand with them in love and solidarity.