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Sep  2012 07
September 11th Remembrance Service

Phillips Theological Seminary

Midday Chapel

September 11, 2012


One World. One Hope.

Gather in Silence


Each of the four candles surrounding the center grouping represents one of the sites of destruction in the eastern United States on Sept. 11, 2001.




                ONE:  O merciful God, comforter, and bringer of perfect peace,

                On this anniversary of the terror attack on our nation, we still remember.

                We feel pain for those who continue to suffer physically and emotionally from that tragic event. 

                         We come to you today, in great need of comfort from the anguish and grief that we continue

                          to experience. Please confer upon us the help and strength to live in this present day

                          with dignity and creativity. Grant us wisdom to move ourselves and our world

                          toward a just place and compassionate space.


                 We know that it is your desire that we love our neighbors and live in peace. Grant us wisdom

                         and guidance to act with graciousness and not with fear, hypocrisy and hate toward each other. 

                         We are confident that you, God, giver of every good and perfect gift, will grant our request.

                         As we reflect on your never-failing faithfulness,

                         draw our spirits closer to yours. Thank you, gracious One.

       ALL: AMEN.


 *Hymn                                                     “Strong, Gentle Children”   (vv. 1-3)                    Chalice Hymnal  #511

 Scripture & Response                                     Jeremiah 8:18-9:1                                                                 

                  Holy Wisdom, Holy Word.                                                                                                                                       

                  Way of Life, Way of Hope.                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Call to Remembrance                                               

                   ONE: Creating God, We remember the shock and disbelief that jolted everyone in America on September 11, 2001.
                         We remember the collapse of the World Trade Center. We watched in horror as frightened people ran to safety, .

                         while others were trapped. We remember the terror and violence that tore through the Pentagon. We remember

                         the tragic loss of those aboard Flight 93. We recall with clarity the immediacy of shattered lives, broken bodies,

                         flames, smoke, and a rising cloud of terror.

                    ALL: Deliver us from our fear, anger, and hatred. Help us to forgive.

                   ONE: We searched, but there were few answers or reasons to be found. We targeted our anger

                         and let stereotypes and fear of the unknown steer our thoughts.  We saw revenge fuel war and watched

                         as our nation suffered the loss of thousands of lives.  We saw many more thousands permanently damaged.


                         We watched as our neighbors in Iraq and Afghanistan experienced the full impact of the destruction.

                         The horrors of war have danced across 11 years, and still, lives continue to be lost.

                   ALL: Deliver us from our fear, anger, and hatred. Help us to forgive.

                   ONE: While we remember the recent past, we seem doomed to repeat the mistakes recorded in history;
                         the circle of violence that never ceases. Give us the courage to change, to love those we don't understand,

                         and to live out your command: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,

                         for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9) 

                    ALL: Deliver us from our fear, anger, and hatred. Help us to hope.

                    ONE:  We have rejoiced at the safe return of many of our service men and women from war-torn Iraq.

                        We hope for the safe return of those who still endure the long and costly war in Afghanistan.  We look forward

                        to a world that is free from fear, deception, and hatred. We look forward to a time of peace for all people.

                    ALL: Deliver us from our fear, anger, and hatred. Help us to act.

Lights of Memory & Hope                                         “God Weeps”                                                                              Murray/Strathdee

                    During the special music, you are encouraged to light a candle at the table. As your light joins with the light

                    of others, please return to your seat and offer a prayer of remembrance for those who died, of healing

                    for those injured and mourning, and of hope, for God’s perfect peace.

Scripture & Response                                                 Job 42:11-17                                                                              


                     Holy Wisdom, Holy Word.                                                             

                     Way of Life, Way of Hope.


 Reflection   Please turn to form a small group with those near you for a brief time of remembrance.

                     What do you recall about 9/11? How did it impact your life, and in what ways do the echoes of that day

                      continue to this day?

 *Call to Hope                                                                                                                                                                  

                ONE:     We come from different places and with different emotions.

                              We were all affected in different ways and continue to be impacted in different ways. 

                              Now help us to offer up our emotions and become centered on you as we reflect in                                        

                              silence at this time. 

                                                                                        silent reflection

                 ONE:    O gracious Creator of all that is, seen and unseen,

                              we bring to you our heartache and sadness, our fear and defiance, our anger and self- righteousness.

                 ALL:     Come and teach us your way of compassion.

                 ONE:    We recognize and still hear the angry cries, the angry guns, and continue to watch as your people die.

                 ALL:     Come and teach us your way of compassion.

                ONE:     We understand the agony of lonely hearts, of broken lives, of desperately seeking love

                              to replace that which is lost.                                                                                                                     

                ALL:      Come and teach us your way of compassion.


                ONE:     We crave justice and desire mercy that they might ever fill the earth,

                               but we do not know how to reach out in your love.

                ALL:     Come and teach us your way of compassion.

                             Lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth, from despair to hope, from fear to trust. 

                             Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace; let peace fill our hearts, let peace fill our world,

                             let peace fill our universe, and let us be the pipeline of your mercy and grace. In the name of the one

                             who is, who was, and who is to come.  Amen.

*Hymn of Benediction & Hope                                    “O for a World” (vv. 1,2,5)                                             Chalice Hymnal #683

Postlude                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         You may remain seated during the postlude or leave silently when ready.


Worship Notes

Worship, central to the PTS community,

                                                                            celebrates the Holy with joy and awe

                                                                            by practicing theological education --

                                                                            the way of Jesus in the world.

In early Fall 2011, in preparation for the 10th anniversary of September 11, 20011, a team of faculty, students, and the worship committee planned a special service to help the PTS community remember the past and hope for a new future., It is a crucial pastoral commitment to recognize the importance of anniversaries of loss.  These dates remind all of us of the deep and lasting impact of grief. Anniversaries are also an opportunity for renewing a commitment to hope and healing. 

Many worshiping at Phillips Theological Seminary chapel find themselves teaching, preaching, counseling, and praying in local congregations on the Sunday following this anniversary; therefore, it is our hope to help prepare our community to lead and participate in worship services in various places of worship.  We are grateful for the students of Dr. McGarrah Sharp’s Fall 2011 Care in Christian Communities course who participated in the creative thinking about the service by writing the prayers.  The prayers include (1) an Invocation to recognize the anniversary of loss, to name the reality of suffering, to confess our complicity in destruction, and to invoke the presence of God in this moment for the sake of healing and wholeness; (2) a Call to Remembrance to invite all who are present to remember the events of September 11, 2001, to remember the national crises sparked that day, to mark the anniversary and passage of time, to name the reality of individual and communal sorrow, anger, and despair; and (3) a Call to Hope to acknowledge the mixture of emotions that grief and fear evoke while calling the community to turn toward hope.

 Midday worship at PTS provides an opportunity to model intentional worship planning, liturgical creation, and careful exegesis in times of loss and around challenging issues.  It is vitally important that we take the time to present thoughtful worship experiences and opportunities for grief, loss, and even anger to be experienced and expressed. It is also our opportunity to participate in moving toward a future of hope and healing away from hatred and mistrust.  May this service inspire you and challenge you.






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