Click Here to listen to last week's sermon: "Opportunity Knocks" (9-25-16)
Regular Worship Schedule Resumes on September 11
Worship Service with Holy Communion: 8:15 am • 11:00 am
Sunday School for Youth and Adults: 9:45 am
On the eleventh of September fifteen years ago, the entire world was shocked by the treachery and devastation wreaked upon our nation by a handful of terrorists, as three of our nation's landmarks were brutally attacked and over three thousand innocent women, men and children were murdered. The aftermath of those brutal, senseless acts still resonates today as we prepare to remember those we lost and comfort their families and friends who still grieve their loss. So much more than human lives were lost that day, as well. A sense of dignity and calm was pierced by the horror that no one was safe or secure anywhere. Anger and fear caused an immense suspicion and a lack of trust toward others who seemed different. Our desire for peace and fairness toward one another and other nations was tinged with the need for retribution and swift justice.
However, something else was going on beneath the surface of all the turmoil, grief, hatred, and confusion. People of all faiths began to gather together for prayer, consolation, and dialog as they sought to make some sense of it all; churches of all denominations and communities of faith suddenly found attendances growing as people sought solace and reassurance from God and from one another; questions were being asked by theologians and commentators, politicians and psychologists about how we got to this place and what needed to be done to bring us back to where we needed to be. As the years have waxed and waned, attitudes have become a little more galvanized either toward being more open or more protective and suspicious, but anniversaries such as the one we are faced with this month give us an opportunity to once again seek answers from a higher power and to seek ways to create a safer and more congenial world for ourselves and for generations to come.
The School of Grace was in session on 911 when news began to surface about the twin towers. Our teachers and staff did the best they could to maintain their composure and lead the children through as normal a day as possible. But over the next couple days they also knew that something needed to be done to address what had been happening around the children and their families. So, they produced a large cloth and had the children place their handprints on that cloth in the pattern of our American flag with colors of red, white, and blue. While they made that flag, they talked with the children about what had happened and about the importance of loving and respecting one another.
That flag hung in the hallway of our education wing for several years. We've brought out for this month as a reminder that those preschoolers who made that flag are now young adults in college or in the work place. The hands that made that flag are now the hands that will mold our community, our nation, and our world well into the twenty-first century. It is up to us to support them, pray for them, and encourage them to make the right choices and decisions that will provide the best possible solutions for generations to come.
During both worship services on Sunday, September 11th, we will include prayers observing the 911 anniversary. It is my hope that every member of Grace who is able will be here to offer up your own prayers in support of the victims' families, and in praying for peace and justice in the world, both now and for generations to come. On that same day we will hold our Back to Sunday School Rally between worship services, as well as the Stop Hunger Now Project following the late worship service. If you haven't already signed up to participate in the Stop Hunger project, I encourage you to do so now. Participation has continued to grow each year, and all of our participants have been thrilled to be a part of efforts to alleviate hunger in the world.
Grace and Peace,
Mark Your Calendars
Evening and Morning Bible study groups resume on Thursday, September 8.
Morning prayers with Holy Communion precede the Bible study at 10:00 AM in the Sanctuary
Morning Bible Study - led by Pastor Michael Frye - Fellowship Hall at 10:30 AM.
Evening Bible Study - led by Pastor Schmidt - Classroom One at 7 pm
Fall - Winter - Spring Schedule
Worship & Communion
(September through May)