Australians stand this week with the people of the United States and other nations in prayer and remembrance of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York 20 years ago, the Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, Archbishop Geoff Smith, said.
“Even though the 9/11 attacks were terrible, they are part of ongoing tragedy in our world where innocent people are caught up in attacks whose aim is to cause chaos, suffering, and fear,” he said.
“We continue to pray for peace. We continue to work for peace. We continue to strive for justice so all may experience a world without war and terror. A world where we see and experience life on earth as it is in heaven.”
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church in the US said that the first responders who put their lives at risk had modelled the sacrificial love of Jesus, who said: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
“As followers of Jesus, and with our siblings in other faith traditions, we place great value on the act of remembrance,” Bishop Curry said.
He said that in the aftermath of the attacks people came together.
“We were praying, grieving, and also working together. Because in that moment, however fleeting it was, we knew with immediacy and vulnerability that we need God, and we need each other.”
That co-operation – of love for each other as neighbors — serves as a guiding light for the present, the bishop said.
“Amidst the ongoing pandemic and natural disasters that have taken so many lives and pushed first responders to their limits, and amidst a worldwide reckoning with the sin of racism, we are called to become the Beloved Community whose way of life is the way of Jesus and his way of love,” he said.
Bishop Curry will deliver a blessing and sermon 11 and 12 September at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, which served as a relief mission for recovery workers at Ground Zero for nearly a year after the buildings fell.
You can watch the services online at trinitywallstreet.org/september-11.