Please Drop-In from 1 to 4 PM
Light refreshments and wine will be served.
Remarks and short reading at 1:30 to celebrate the launch of Reverend Risher's new book, For Such a Time as This. This event is free of charge, and all are welcome.
How can you forgive the unforgivable?
When she realized she’d missed several calls from her daughter, Reverend Sharon Risher sensed something was horribly wrong. News broke of violence at Emanuel AME Church, the church of her youth in Charleston, South Carolina, and she knew her mother was likely in the church at Bible study. Even before she heard the news, her chaplain’s instinct told her the awful truth: her mother was dead, along with two cousins. What she couldn’t imagine was that they had been murdered by a white supremacist. Plunged into the depths of mourning and anger and shock, Sharon could have wallowed in the pain. Instead, she chose the path of forgiveness and hope – eventually forgiving the convicted killer for his crime.
In this powerful testimony and memoir of faith, family, loss, and forgiveness, Sharon begins the story with her mother, Ethel Lee Lance, seeking refuge in the church from poverty and scorn and raising her family despite unfathomable violence that rattled Sharon to her core years later; how Sharon overcame her own struggles and answered the call to ministry; and how, in the loss of her dear mother, Sharon has become a nationally known speaker as she shares her raw, riveting, story of losing loved ones to gun violence and racism.
Sharon’s story is a story of transformation: How an anonymous hospital chaplain was thrust into the national spotlight, joining survivors of other gun-related horrors as reluctant speakers for a heartbroken social-justice movement. As she recounts her grief and the struggle to forgive the killer, Risher learns to trust God’s timing and lean on God's loving presence to guide her steps. Where her faith journey leads her is surprising and inspiring, as she finds a renewed purpose to her life in the company of other survivors.