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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NRSVue

May the love of God surround you and shine through you! 

To my brother and friend, Bishop Michael Curry,  and the Episcopal Church, the National Council of Churches lifts you in our prayers and concerns in the wake of the recent tragic shooting at St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Vestavia Hills, Alabama. 

We find ourselves again with no words that lives were lost in a senseless act of violence. Yet, it is our faith that will strengthen us in a faith determined to rise above fear and intimidation. 

Please know that NCC stands with you not only today but in the days ahead. It is ironic that today we remember the massacre of nine Bible study members and pastor at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. I look forward to your prayers and comments tonight. 

We must grieve this loss. Then we must work to help to bring healing to hurting people and the community. We must also shape policy and praxis that keep people safe in their homes, churches, supermarkets, and schools. 

Let us be supportive in thought, word, and deed. 

By the Grace of God,

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, NCC Interim President/General Secretary