Rev. Darrin Goss, president of the Coastal Community Foundation (CCF) of South Carolina, met via Zoom with clergy engaged with Interfaith Action on June 18 to discuss healing in the wake of a community tragedy.

Shortly after the Mother Emanuel church massacre in June 2015, Rev. Goss returned to Charleston to work at CCF. Since then, he has been a leader in forging Charleston’s pathway towards community healing. Along with clergy and other leadership in Charleston’s white, Jewish, and black communities, Rev. Goss learned many lessons as their community held together and then built greater strength.

Rev. Goss says that while leadership in the black community is of course essential,  bold and unifying leadership from the Jewish and white faith community is key as well. While the murder of George Floyd happened to a black man and effectively to the black community, acknowledging that this is not a “black community” problem is critical. All of our communities need to step up and state this truth and then put actions to words. This kind of coalition building in Charleston is making all the difference.

We deeply appreciate his willingness to share the lessons learned and his thinking about the clergy’s role in community healing after the Mother Emanuel massacre.

  • We heed Rev. Goss’ words that the faith community is “necessary and essential” in addressing systemic racism.
  • We take hope in the example of the Charleston Justice Ministries, an interfaith group formed in response to the horrific massacre, which now, in the words of Rev. Goss, “is a permanent source of righteous irritation to the status quo.”
  • We take to heart his call for clergy to provide a “compassionate space” to hold difficult conversations that are vital to true community healing.
  • We appreciate the direct line Governor Tim Walz, in his opening remarks, drew from the lynchings in Duluth in 1920 to the murder of George Floyd 100 years later.

We have work to do — together:

  1. First, watch the full conversation with Rev. Goss and share it with your faith community, families, friends and colleagues.
  2. Second, read and share this powerful article from Rev. Goss, “I Am Not Alright.”
  3. Third, like Interfaith Action on Facebook to stay up-to-date on interfaith work to address racial justice in our community.
  4. Fourth, if your faith community is not a member of Interfaith Action, please do so! Your congregation can join for just $100, which brings many benefits, including exclusive invitations to events like this conversation with Rev. Goss. Become a member here.