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Searching for Faith, Struggling to Turn Around: Four Views from New York: People of Faith Respond to September 11, 2001
- Rev. F. Forrester Church (PDF)
On the night of September 12, Rev. F. Forrester Church, Senior Minister of All Souls Unitarian Church, New York, NY, ministered to eight hundred people just hours after explosions had rocked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and killed thousands. Four hundred candles were lit that night for those missing or dead as people crowded the church to hear the homily.
- Rev. Galen Guengerich (PDF)
On Sunday, September 16, a battered and bruised New York City struggled, along with the rest of the U.S., to regain equilibrium, and Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt, the new minister of the Fourth Universalist Church in New York, delivered her sermon on "Turning Around". McNatt issued her plea for peace, saying, "We need to turn away from vengeance, from the cries for carpet bombing and the demonization of entire groups of people. We need to turn toward the support and protection of human beings whose only crime this morning is having been born in the Middle East, and who are being threatened, chased, harassed, and tormented."
- Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt (PDF)
Back across town at All Souls, Rev. Galen Guengerich, co-minister, preached the Sunday sermon to 1500 people at two services. Guengerich's title, "The Shaking of the Foundations;" came from a sermon preached by Paul Tillich in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust. In Guengerich's examination, he said, "We need faith that we too can be heroes by acting in ways that make a difference. We need to keep the foundations strong. We also need hope, which is grounded in a sense of that to which we as a nation have been called. We also need love—for our country, for each other, and even for our enemies. We have done something extraordinary over the past five days. We have paid attention to each other in ways we usually never do. We have listened and cried and phoned and given and hugged as though it really mattered. And it did matter. I want that same spirit to continue."
- Rev. Frederick Wooden (PDF)
Two days later, on September 18 and writing from Brooklyn, Rev. Dr. F. Frederick Wooden, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY, wrote in his latest 'Postcard from the Edge',"… [a young rabbi and I] greet one another, "L'shanah tovah!" ['to a good year!'] They are all on their way down to the riverside to do taschlik, the ritual casting of crumbs on water as a symbol of emptying debris from the old year and starting new. But we both know that the new year will be less innocent than the old one…"