“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Moving Forward With Hope

Today is the 10th anniversary of the acts of mindless violence which have come to be known as "9/11", and there has been much coverage of it in the media. All day today in the US, special ceremonies are taking place at Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center used to stand, which has become in a very particular way, hallowed ground.

One of the two memorial pools

Today a memorial is being dedicated, based on the footprints of the twin towers. The holes have been turned into memorials to the nearly 3,000 dead, their sides engraved with their names, which are movingly arranged by friendship or association, rather than alphabetically.

Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church, near Ground Zero, shared a hopeful reflection on the Daily Devotions website yesterday, which sums up my hopes for the future. I choose to share her words, rather than writing my own, as this feels more fitting on this particular day:

"Across the street from Judson Memorial Church, on the South End of Washington Square Park, a seven-storey Spiritual Life Center is opening at New York University. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and more will cohabit a space. Students will learn a new way of campus ministry. We joke about whether such ecumenicity is too close or too far from ground zero. Framed between this new building and our own rises a new smaller tower at the World Trade Center. From the arch at Washington Square Park North, you see all three buildings, as though they were always there, as though we hadn't lived through a decade of emptiness in the sky or immature religion on the ground, and Americans, Afghanis and Iraqis uselessly dead in wars no-one really understands. The artists and architects have given us what we couldn't find ourselves. They have shown us a new sky and a new scape. From these we will also draw a new spirit, a mature religion, and a revenge-free way of living under one sky.

God of earth and air and sky and water, God whom no one faith can capture, draw near and let this next decade be one of remembering how much we love each other. Help us beyond high-priced, useless revenge into free and abundant relationship. Amen."

May it be so. Amen

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