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Call for Prayer, Action After South Carolina Church Shooting

Dr. Nancy Nienhuis, Professor of Theology and Social Justice and Dean of Campus Life, has announced a time of prayer on the Andover Newton quad at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, in the wake of the previous night's deadly shootings at an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. She also issued this statement on behalf of Andover Newton Theological School:

"Most of us awoke today to the horrific news of the shootings at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. And I suspect many of you immediately began to pray for the family members of those who were killed or wounded, and those of the shooter. We hold all of these people in our hearts today as they try to recover from this senseless act of violence. 

This event follows on a long list of tragic events we’ve witnessed lately, events that demonstrate the ongoing demonic power of racism in our everyday lives. And of course, most acts of racism are never brought to public attention, and are suffered by our neighbors in communities of color without public response. Now more than ever we need to not just resist this evil power, but proactively fight against it in our everyday lives. 

In 'Where Do We Go from Here?', the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that we are all interconnected. He writes, 'We have inherited a large house, a great world house in which we have to live together -- black and white, Easterner and Westerner, Gentile and Jew, Catholic and Protestant, Moslem and Hindu -- a family unduly separated in ideas, culture and interest, who, because we can never again live apart, must learn somehow to live with each other in peace.'

This is our challenge as people of faith, to be co-creators with God and each other of a world house that creates love and understanding across boundaries of difference. I know I will be redoubling efforts in my personal and professional life in this fight against racism. And we will continue to provide an education that enables our graduates to go out into the world to fight this egregious injustice. Dr. King also wrote that 'A time comes when silence is betrayal.' Surely this is that time."

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