Written by Kevin Eckstrom
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is urging churches to use the one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks as an opportunity to build local bridges and reach out to those in need.
Its nationwide campaign—called "9/11: Respond to the Call"—seeks to enlist congregations to work in service projects at soup kitchens, prisons and programs for youth and the elderly.
"You don't have to go to New York City or the Pentagon to respond to this disaster," says the Rev. Jayna Powell, director of the church's Volunteers in Mission program. "This is something that can happen in our own communities."
Powell is urging the church's 3,800 local congregations to collaborate with Jewish and Muslim groups to help local nonprofits "design realistic projects that meet immediate needs." She has enlisted the help of Esther Heymann, whose 28-year-old daughter, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, died on United Flight 93, which crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside during the attacks.
"What those people are doing is what we all should be doing in response to my daughter's death and the death of thousands on September 11," Heymann says in promotional materials. "Please tell them for me, 'Thank you.' I do not want revenge ... I want peace."