It’s been a rough year for South Carolina.
Last month, the state was struck by hurricane-induced flooding, forcing waters to rise across the Palmetto State for the second year in a row. The trials in two racially charged shootings also are underway in Charleston.
In response to those tribulations, worshipers prayed across the state on Tuesday, at the request of Gov. Nikki Haley, including at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Columbia.
“There’s so much going on, and now we can just relax and pray,” said 12-year-old Abby Suber, a sixth-grader at Saint Joseph Catholic School.
Dan Rogers lead an intercessory prayer at the noon service for the victims of the Emanuel Church shooting and the family of Walter Scott.
“There’s a need to come together,” Rogers said, “No matter how bad things are, we’re bigger than that.”
The Rev. Richard C. Wilson often leads midday services at the church, but he noted the governor’s call for the state to come together, and referenced the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with a call to “give thanks for the blessings we have today.”
The younger attendees at the service appreciated that Tuesday’s prayers held special meaning for a state going through difficult times remembering the devastation of last year’s flooding had on Columbia.
“My neighbors had their house flooded, and they had to swim out of their house at 7 o’clock in the morning,” said Elliott Cox, 12. The displaced neighbors ended up staying with her family for a while, “and I slept on an air mattress,” Cox said.
“All my friends had to evacuate their houses,” said Inara Spector, 11. “Even my teacher had to evacuate, but she still came to school every day to do her duty.”
Those memories, and Tuesday’s service, helped Suber to feel better about the troubles her state is currently going through.
“We’re a good state, and we come together, and everything’s going to be OK.”