Remembering at Salford Mennonite Meetinghouse
6:30 pm; Harleysville, Pa
by Anne Yoder, West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship
Our country is preparing to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001 in a big way. What stories and images will be re-told over and over, what memories will be evoked, what responses will be expected? Will the secular media and the church differ in its handling of these?
Many of us have vivid memories of the destruction we witnessed and heard about on 9/11, when aggression against the United States killed 2,976 persons. We experienced fear and foreboding, and hardly knew how to react to it all. When our country went to war against in the Middle East, most Americans were all right with it, thinking that it would teach the terrorists a lesson they would never forget. Many vowed to never let 9/11/01 fade from their memories.
In the intervening years, life has gone on for us. We have been able to forget 9/11 almost completely, and even forget the war that has been waged in Iraq and Afghanistan ever since 2003. But the cost of this forgetting is very high. The war in Iraq alone has killed over 101,900 civilians and the Afghanistan incursion has cost untold numbers of lives as well. And then we must consider the cost to the United States and it’s allies in the lives of soldiers and billions of dollars spent every year.
The 10th year anniversary of 9/11/01 provides the followers of Jesus with the opportunity to look back, to examine our response to the events of that day and its aftermath in the light of Christ’s love and mercy, and to commit or recommit ourselves to the reconciliation and shalom that is so much a part of the Good News. A sample worship service was developed for September 11th, which may be used as it is written, or adapted to suit specific congregations. A service of sung and spoken prayer will be held at Salford Mennonite Church at 6:30 p.m. on September 11th, to which all in Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference are welcome.
Proverbs 3:31 reads: “Do not emulate the violent; never model your conduct on theirs.” May the Church take this as its guiding principle for this important anniversary in our history.