Tragedy hits close to home for Lutheran pastor
CHINA GROVE — As soon as the Rev. Susan Bame heard the news of the Tennessee bus crash, she knew there would be connections to her congregation.
Bame lives in China Grove, but is pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Statesville, just 10 minutes away from Front Street Baptist Church in downtown Statesville.
Bame was proven correct, as her council president called minutes later to say the St. Paul’s congregation shared multiple friendships with Front Street members.
“That’s just the nature of community connections,” Bame said Friday afternoon.
Bame visited Front Street on Thursday, to offer fellowship, use of St. Paul’s facilities, and pastoral care. “We just want them to know we are there as the arms of Christ,” Bame said.
She added she was impressed with the hospitality of the Front Street congregation on Thursday, even while coping with their grief. “They are keeping the church open to people who want to come in and minister to them.”
On Sunday, Bame said, her own congregation “will light the Christ candle to remind people of the resurrection, even in the midst of sorrow and grief. God meets us in this pain and sorrow.”
Bame, who also serves as pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Mocksville, attends a Bible study each Wednesday with pastors from Davie, Iredell and Rowan counties.
“We will be discussing this and how we can reach out among our ecumenical members,” she said. “This is going to be tough. This is a journey that won’t end soon. We don’t have faith when we are in isolation.”
Fortunately, the community is surrounding the members of Front Street Baptist.