Remembering September 11


UN Sep. 11

Ryan Smith- Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Christine Mangale- Lutheran World Federation, Joseph Donnelly- Caritas Internationalis. Photo By Alisha Rodriguez

On Friday, the President of the United Nations General Assembly welcomed distinguished guests from around the world to commemorate the attacks of September 11, 2001.  Joining the President of the General Assembly were the Deputy Secretary General as well as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.  I joined ecumenical colleagues in prayer and remembrance that day at the United Nations. 

Today,  I had the opportunity to worship with First Presbyterian Church of  Brooklyn.  Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Ruling Elder Cindy Bolbach and Interim Executive Presbyter of New York City, Ruling Elder Tony De La Rosa participated in the ceremony.  During the ceremony, we were asked to remember where we were 10 years ago.

Ten years ago, I remember calling the Rev. Charles Cammarata of Fairview Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Lake Erie and asking what could I do?  What could our church do?  What could we as people of faith do in this time of panic, grief and horror?

Ten years later, serving as the Presbyterian Representative to the United Nations, I have the opportunity to meet with Presbyterians from across the United States and learn and grow in this church.  This includes work with seminars at the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations as well as other worship opportunities. 

In late August, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations led an interfaith prayer service at the Church Center for the United Nations.  Later that same month, a group from the Presbytery of West Virginia came to the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations for a seminar.  Both the prayer service and the seminar ended with people creating Ribbons of Hope, a project run through the Interfaith Center in New York City. 

Whether people prayed together with the Ribbons of Hope project, with their family, or with their Church, we all joined together today in prayer and remembrance of September 11, 2001.

May God bless and comfort us all.

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