Sunday, October 18

Charleston Emanuel AME Church struggles to recover from massacre


The Rev. Norvel Goff Sr. was standing on a Wednesday evening in the room where the massacre occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, readying himself to lead Bible study.
A police officer was at the door. But for those who arrived, even the strangers, there were no pat-downs, no metal detectors. They were all as welcome as Dylann Roof had been when he arrived on a Wednesday night in June, concealing his pistol and his intentions.
If the visitors had come looking for a grand statement on racial reconciliation, the open door was it. At Bible study, surrounded by walls bearing scars of the mayhem, Goff expounded on salvation and sin.
“All have sinned, am I right about it?” he said, pacing the floor. “Is there a distinction between a big sin and a little sin in the Bible?”
Four months after one of the worst racially motivated massacres in recent U.S. history, the members of this historic African-American church are laboring to return to the everyday rhythms of worship.

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