September 11th

peace 9 11 sculpture

9/11 sculpture

The sculpture consists of an iron beam pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center held up by two stainless steel hands. The hands holding it up are constructed from 2,976 individually crafted stainless steel doves – each representing a victim of the attacks.

All these years since 9/11 –
what is worth remembering?
How fragile we are.
How deeply we need each other.
How little our differences matter.
That in our vulnerability
we are most human.
That we can always respond to violence
with violence or with peace.
That violence begets violence.
That in danger, chaos and trauma
we can choose to come together.
That you always have a choice
to contribute to the world’s hurt
or its healing.
That we are one.
That entering into the world’s suffering
is divine.
That the world is not ending yet.
How beautiful it is
when we care for each other.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Litany for 9/11
God, we remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
We know that you remember them too, and are keeping them in your care.
We acknowledge the pervasiveness of violence in our world:
Sometimes it explodes with intent to kill
And has its success, as on 9/11.
And sometimes it creeps in subtly:
In attitudes and mindsets, in worldviews and passing words.
We find it even here in our own hearts.
Cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and restore us to justice.
We rely upon your mercy.
Grant that we may forgive those who have committed atrocities against us
And remember them also to your merciful love.
We hear your words to us: “Do not resist an evil person;” (1)
We are baffled and astonished at this instruction.
We have no paradigm for understanding a peaceable kingdom,
Other than your example.
Console us in our grief, Oh Lovely One.
Speak to us in our confusion.
Guide our feet on the path of peace. (2)
Be to us a light in darkness,
A lamp of peace drawing us lovingly in. Amen
(1) Matthew 5:39
(2) Luke 1: 78-79
(Source: Fran Pratt, Godspace)

Textweek resources for September 11 anniversary.

In 2012, Pilgrim UC held a ‘spiritual exploration of lament’ on September 11th, for the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The online planning can be found here, and will take the form of stations around the church. Here’s a link to Geoff Boyce’s website which gives more details of the service of lament.

Blessing/benediction incorporating Jewish blessing of the mourners and Sufi blessing of peace and love. blessing – Sept 11 service

Engage Worship website with prayer resources for Sept 11, and more here at Godspace.

Here’s a thoughtful reflection on the gospel reading linked to 9-11,

Here’s some more resources from United Church of Christ (USA).

Thom Shuman wrote an excellent reflection piece on September 11th. ‘We can remember and honour 9/11.   I hope we are defined by September 12th’. I’ve adapted it for my own context in Australia, but hopefully remaining faithful to the intent of what Thom has written. Thom Shuman reflection

William Willamon reflections on 9-11: Will Willamon on 9-11

A note re children – the TV images will be relentless in the week leading up to 9/11. Young children do not know it’s the same image over and over again, and may well think it’s happening here and now. The violence and destruction carried in the visual images is disturbing to children so extreme care should be taken in what children view on news and current affairs programs leading up to September 11th anniversary.

Interfaith matters – with rising hostilities reported around the world, the terrorist attacks in many countries including France, Germany, and Indonesia, the controversy over the ‘burkina’, the denigration of Muslim people, etc, it’s timely for the church to exercise leadership in promoting peace and understanding, and standing in solidarity with other faith traditions. How might we be ‘practitioners for peace’? There are so many heartwarming and inspiring stories of faith traditions working together – maybe some of those may be woven into worship?


About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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