On the anniversary of 9/11 - Reflect and Act
September 11, 2011 will mark ten years since the tragedy of
9/11. The event took the lives of many and shook the consciousness of our
nation and world.[i]
The world will never forget the loss of life, nor the images of unity
and heroic selflessness that became a sign of peace, and hope for a better
world that day.
Unfortunately over the past ten years, the memory of 9/11 has been
used by some not to bolster hope and unity, but rather to foster disunity and even
violence, particularly directed toward Islam and the Muslim community. Just in the past year there have been unconscionable
actions directed toward this community including threats of Qur’an burnings and
Congressional hearings on the “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and
that Community's Response.”[ii] Many people are concerned that this tenth
anniversary of 9/11 could bring with it further examples of hostility directed toward
Muslims in our community.
response to these events, and in keeping with the UCC’s stance against
religious-based hostility, the UCC’s 28th
General Synod passed a resolution in July calling on the United Church of
Counter Actions of Hostility Against Islam and the Muslim Community.” The resolution calls all settings of the
church to express support for Muslim neighbors, learn more about Islam, and publicly denounce any violence against this community and deplore other forms of
racially or religiously-based violence, hatred, or actions.
Rev. Geoffrey Black and members of the
Collegium have written reflections on 9/11 which are posted on a UCC website titled
Plus 10: Beyond Memory and Hope.” This
site includes links to worship materials, ecumenical and interfaith initiatives,
and events to be held in communities across the country. The page was compiled for use by individuals
and churches seeking to mark the tenth anniversary. As members of the UCC and as people of faith,
we are called on this anniversary of 9/11 to reflect and act in ways that move us
“beyond memory and hope.” One way to do
this is to respond to the call of our General Synod resolution and take an
active step in speaking out against religiously and racially motivated hatred
and violence in your community.
Reflect: Visit the UCC website “Beyond
Memory and Hope: 9/11 Plus 10” and read messages by Rev. Geoffrey Black,
members of the Collegium, and other resources.
1) If you
are a Facebook or Twitter user, post Facebook status
updates and Twitter tweets on 9/11 that reflect hospitality, not hostility, toward
the Muslim community in keeping with the General Synod Resolution “To Counter Actions of Hostility
Against Islam and the Muslim Community.” Example:
10th anniversary of 9/11, I commit to working and praying for a world in which
all are welcomed, valued, mourned, and celebrated. I rejoice in the diversity of our nation and
affirm my Muslim neighbors.”
You can get other ideas by following Justice and Witness Ministries @justice_UCC or www.facebook.com/JusticeAndWitnessMinistries.
2) Want to do more? Consider writing a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. We have talking points and tools to make it easy to connect with your local press outlets. Send one now, it only takes a few minutes!
3) Attend local 9/11 commemoration and
interfaith events in your local community and encourage family and friends to
attend. Several large events are planned
for New York and Washington DC. The Rev. Geoffrey Black will speak at an interfaith
memorial in Washington sponsored by the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign. Additionally,
President Obama has issued a call to community service under the banner of the
We Serve” campaign.
4) SPREAD THE WORD…share this
Links/For More Information
The tremendous loss of life includes not only the over 2,500 who lost their
lives directly related to the attack on the World Trade Center, but also the
thousands of soldiers (6,500 US) and civilians who have lost their lives in the
course of the ongoing war on terror and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Hearings held by Rep. King (NY)