The prayer I will share with my congregation this coming Sunday, September 11, 2011.
We gather on this beautiful morning,
the anniversary of a day painful to remember
but impossible to forget ...
We remember all the heroes and heroines of that day
the firefighters and emergency responders
who demonstrated such courage in the midst of crisis
We remember the innocents who perished
Our friends and neighbors and the thousands of strangers
Who were victims of random violence
We remember knowing for a moment
That we were connected to each precious life,
To the survivors and to those who died,
With a bond of shared humanity
That the forces of hate could never break
We remember the voices that counseled peace
Even as our nation prepared for war
And we raise our voices still against fanaticism
In all its forms,
Against jihad, against militarism, against racism and religious intolerance,
Praying that the harsh combustion of that day
Might even now cast a more gentle light,
Leading to a future where all people can live in freedom
And without fear.
Sudbury, Massachusetts, where my church is located, lost three town people on that day, including Jeffrey Cloud, the son of members in my congregation, who worked atop the first tower in New York. First Parish of Sudbury will toll its bell for one minute at 8:46 am in memoriam.