Members of the Latinx Theological Community expressed their sincerest condolences to Mother Emmanuel AME church after the tragedy which occurred only a few weeks ago.
The Letter, which is Item 10 in the July 3, 2015 Christian Recorder Report, Reads:
“Dear members and friends of Emanuel AME Church,
We, as members of the Latina/o Theological community, educators, students, ministers of the words and sacraments, and lay leaders want to express our deepest and sincerest condolences to the Mother Emanuel “family” during this senseless tragedy that has touched your community. We join in your grief over the untimely departure of your brothers and sisters, pillars of your community, and your pastors, as we remember them among the witnesses to the good. May their witness of Christian love, compassion, and inclusion continue to strengthen your journey.
Like many others around the nation, our hearts are heavy with the news of the hateful act that claimed the lives of members in your community. As brothers and sisters in faith, we grieve with you the loss of the saints and the violent desecration of your house of worship. In moments such as these, we would like to not only express our solidarity with you but also strengthen our commitment to work en conjunto (together-with) with our Black brothers and sisters against the brutalization that white privilege and anti-Black racism inflicts in our communities.
A theological motif of the Latina/o community is that of reflecting on lo cotidiano, the quotidian everyday experiences of our people. As we recognize the particular racial animus that white supremacist structures aim at your community and the ongoing brokenness of black bodies sacrificed at the altar of these ills, we also remember the moments our communities have felt the brunt of a racist whip together and have stood strong amidst this pain together. We remember the lynchings of African Americans which occurred in conjunction with the lynchings of Mexicans. We remember the enslavement of Africans in the United States as we do in Latin America. We also remember the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement which occurred in conjunction with the National Farm Workers Association, the Chicano and Young Lords Movements, and the struggles for citizenship that occur in conjunction with the ongoing civil rights struggles. Throughout history our communities have worshipped, worked, struggled, celebrated, and mourned alongside each other—and in this moment of grief it is no different.
As theological educators, ministers, and lay folk, we are committed to speaking truth to power: To call out and struggle for un poquito de justicia, for a little bit of justice, in the face of a world that seeks our deaths.
In the tradition of our ancestors and the solidarity of our community with yours we say, “Presente! – to the lives and witness of the saints whose bodily presence are no longer with us.”
The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Presente!
Cynthia Hurd, Presente!
The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Presente!
Tywanza Sanders, Presente!
Ethel Lance, Presente!
Susie Jackson, Presente!
The Rev. Daniel Simmons, Presente!
Myra Thompson, Presente!
Assistant Professor of Afro-Latino/a Studies, Drew University Theological School
Jorge Juan Rodriguez V
Masters of Arts Candidate, Union Theological Seminary
Associate Professor of Religion and Ethics, Iona College
Visiting Professor of Ethics, Pacific School of Religion
Luis N. Rivera-Pagán
Emeritus Professor, Princeton Theological Seminary
Raimundo C. Barreto Jr.
Assistant Professor of World Christianity, Princeton Theological Seminary
Synod Networker, Synod of the Northeast, Presbyterian Church, USA
Parish Associate, Nuevas Fronteras Presbyterian Church, Plainfield, NJ
Jacqueline M. Hidalgo
Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies and Religion, Williams College
Pastor, Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church
Co-editor, The Journal of World Christianity
Jean-Pierre M. Ruiz
Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, St. John’s University, NY
Neomi De Anda
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton
Professor of Hispanic Theology and Ministry, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Andover Newton Theological School
The Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre
Professor of Social Ethics and Latino/a Studies, Iliff School of Theology
The Rev. Joanne Rodríguez
Director of the Hispanic Theological Initiative/Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium
Peter Anthony Mena
Assistant Professor of History of Christianity, Phillips Theological Seminary
David A. Sanchez
Associate Professor of Early Christianity, Loyola Marymount University
California State University, Los Angeles
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Religion and Interdisciplinary Studies
Pedro Antonio Pillot Soto
Drew Theological School
Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
Gilberto A. Ruiz
Assistant Professor of Scripture, Loyola University New Orleans
The Rev. Sofia Betancourt
Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University, Interim Minister Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno
Mayra Rivera Rivera
Associate Professor of Theology and Latina/o Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Assistant Professor of Moral Theology, Oblate School of Theology
Professor of Systematic Theology, University of San Diego
Miguel H. Diaz
The John Courtney Murray University Chair in Public Service
Ambassador to the Holy See, Ret.
Associate Professor of Homiletics and Worship
McCormick Theological Seminary
Agustina Luvis Nuñez
Assistant Professor Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico
Erica Bryand Ramirez
Ph.D. Candidate, Drew University Theological School
Assistant Professor Grand Canyon University
Dr. Albert Hernández
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Iliff School of Theology
Doris García Rivera
President Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico
PhD Candidate, Boston University
Javier A. Viera
Dean and Professor of Pastoral Theology, Drew University Theological School
Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois
Interim Editor, Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Sarah González López
Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico-Alumni
Juan R. Mejías Ortiz
Professor of Christian Education, Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico
Mayora Iris M. De La Rosa
Oficiala del Ejército de Salvación – San Juan, P. R.
Oswald John Nira
Associate Professor of Theology & Spiritual Action
Our Lady of the Lake University
San Antonio, Texas
Ivelisse E. Feliciano-Arocho
Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico-Alumni
Diaconal Minister – Methodist Church of Puerto Rico
Rebecca Santiago Mendez
Revda. Diana Ceballos-González,
Iglesia Evangélica Luterana El Redentor, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Marta T. Rodríguez-Fonseca
Presbyterian Women Past Moderator PC (USA)
Robert W. Pazmino
Professor of Christian Education
Andover Newton Theological School”