A memorial service will be held Dec. 5 at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, S.C., in honor of the nine victims of the June 17 shootings at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Two of the victims – the Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the Rev. Daniel Simmons – were graduates of the seminary, an institution of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. LTSS is one of eight ELCA seminaries; Lenoir-Rhyne is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities.

“As our seminary community continues to mourn the loss of the nine in Charleston, including two beloved alumni, and as the world seems to keep spinning out of control, we are drawn to gather in worship and prayer, asking God for an end to senseless violence and for peace in our community, state and nation,” said the Rev. Clay Schmit, provost of LTSS. “We pray that this service of commemoration will bind wounds and bring reconciliation for our shattered communities.”

Pinckney, who served as pastor of Mother Emanuel, also served in state government. In 1996, at the age of 23, he was the youngest member elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. Four years later he was elected to the South Carolina Senate. Simmons served on the ministerial staff at Mother Emanuel.

Speakers at the service will include the Rev. Timothy Bupp, pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church in Columbia; the Rev. Leroy Cannon, pastor of Christ Mission in Columbia; and the Rev. Jackie Utley, pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Columbia.

The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the seminary’s Christ Chapel.

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