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June 17: Commemoration of Emanuel 9

The ELCA Church Wide Assembly made a change on the ELCA liturgical calendar by designating June 17 for a commemoration of a mass shooting at a South Carolina church where the shooter was a member of an ELCA congregation in North Carolina and two of the victims had graduated from our seminary in South Carolina. This mass murder brought home to the ELCA the problems we face with racism, terrorism, and violence among our members.

In coming years, when June 17 lands on a Sunday, I expect ELCA congregations to have special prayers and perhaps a special liturgy to remember the day.

I am also happy we are remembering this tragic event for another reason. We will no longer remember June 17 just for the Watergate burglary. I still remember Senator Sam Ervin and others asking a host of witnesses, "Where were you on the night of June 17 (1972)?"

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