The California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church

A Letter to the Beloved of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Charleston, South Carolina

Brothers and Sisters,

May the tender mercy and healing balm of our Lord Christ Jesus be upon you.

I write to you on behalf of the California-Pacific Conference of The United Methodist Church. We represent the United Methodist community that serves in the name of Christ Jesus in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. You faced your terrible hour of darkness as we were gathered in our annual conference session. As soon as we knew of your suffering we began to pray for you. We continue to pray for you and now turn to the action of seeking every good way to join you in your faithful witness for justice and forgiveness.

We are bound together with you. At least one member of our conference has come to us from your congregation and faithful ministry. Ms. Elizabeth Michel, a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of San Bernardino, California, informed me that you are her home church. She also shared with me that her 103 year old mother-in-law faithfully attends your Wednesday night Bible study but did not attend last week’s Bible study because she was not feeling well. We are bound together by persons like sister Elizabeth and her family, but even more, we are bound by love because together we are members of the Methodist family and the greater body of Christ.

As we gathered at our annual conference last week we acknowledged the fact that we represent separate denominations today because of the racism of our mother church, the Methodist Episcopal Church. We dare to believe that things might be different today if our mother church had given a more faithful witness of the fact that we are all the children of God, beloved of our Creator, without exception. We pledge to walk with you in helping our nation and our world overcome its sin of racism. And, we commit to overcoming, with your help, the racism that still pervades our United Methodist Church.

We are so very grateful for the witness and service of the Rev. Clementa Pinkney, your pastor and our brother. We shall pray for his family and for you his church family without ceasing. We are also in prayer for the families of

Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Ethel Lance
Cynthia Hurd
Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons, Sr.
Tywanza Sanders
Depayne Middleton-Doctor
Myra Thompson
Susie Jackson

May the families of these servants of God be comforted by the Holy Spirit, the very living presence of our Good Shepherd among us. We know by faith that these servants of Christ now rejoice at the banquet table of God’s mercy and eternal care.

We pray that God will continue to strengthen you for this hour. God is at work in the world through your congregation. We give God thanks for you.

Your Sister in Christ,

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church