People around the state took time for God recently after Gov. Nikki Haley called for a Day of Prayer.
Gov. Haley asked for the event because of difficult times South Carolinians have experienced. Severe flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew devastated many communities barely a year after the record-breaking floods of 2015.
Also, two racially-charged trials are underway in Charleston. One is for Michael Slager, the North Charleston police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott in April 2015, which just ended in a mistrial. The second is for Dylann Roof, the man charged with the deaths of nine people in a rampage at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. That one is moving into the opening statements phase.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone asked churches in the diocese to set aside time for prayer and reflection, and to have church bells rung for an extended time at the noon hour. He also led a prayer service at the Diocese of Charleston’s Pastoral Center.
St. Joseph Church in Columbia and others also held prayer services during the lunch hour. Worshipers at St. Joseph participated in the Liturgy of the Word and Dan Rogers, parishioner, led prayers for the Emanuel 9 victims and the family of Walter Scott. Father Richard Wilson led prayers for the state and also encouraged people to focus on the blessings in their lives during the upcoming holidays.
Both adults and children who attended the service reflected on the need for prayer at this time. Many had friends and family who were affected by the October 2015 floods, so focusing on this year’s storm victims was important to them.
Bishop Guglielmone said the governor’s call for prayer was a good reminder to turn to God in stressful times.
“This is a chance to think in terms of recognizing God’s goodness to us, even amidst all of these negative things that have happened,” the bishop said. “We need to move forward, be realistic and merciful to others as we continue to move forward from the difficult time we have had.”
Miscellany/Deirdre C. Mays: Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone leads prayer at the Diocese of Charleston’s Pastoral Center on Nov. 22.