On Saturday, George and I attended the peaceful protest in Marion Square with so many people we know in Charleston.  We walked away thinking that our community was awake to the injustice that’s been targeted against black and brown people.  

This morning after we listened to the news,  George and I talked about how sad we are to see our own community and the nation dealing with the violence that comes from hatred and systemic racism.  The one thing we both said almost simultaneously was:  “if we just love one another, all of this stuff will go away.”  It’s what we hope will happen because we deeply believe that as people build personal relationships love overcomes hate or fear.

Each of us is being impacted in different ways by what’s happening right now—not all of us equally. But all of us must stand united in a call for justice—the justice that is needed if we are to have an inclusive and equitable democracy.  We know it’s our fundamental right to protest and speak out for justice.  

We know that the violence that broke out in Charleston does not reflect our whole community. We cannot let violence keep us from seeking justice and equality.  

Tonight we join the Charleston Area Justice Ministry because we believe it is the best way for us to systemically and collectively address the social injustice issues that plague our own community.  

Seeking words to comfort the pain in our hearts….I share these words from our church hymnal.

             Love makes a bridge from heart to heart and hand to hand.
            Love finds a way when laws are blind and freedom banned.
            Love breaks the wall of language, gender, class, race, and age.
            Love lifts the hopes that force and fear have beaten down.
            Love guides the hands that promise more than words can say.
                                                                            Brian Wren, 1936
Let’s work for justice wherever and whenever we find injustice impacting our community.

Carol Tempel