calendar June 9, 2011 in Communications

Commemorating 9/11, Ten Years After

"Hanson1"ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson encourages congregations to reach out to ecumenical partners, including Muslims and Jews, to plan local 9/11 commemorations.

In a May 24 letter to the church, Bishop Hanson noted that the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, just four months away, still evokes deeply personal pain for many. "Our words of healing must speak to the grief that still remains," he wrote.

Bishop Hanson urged congregations to participate in inter-faith commemorations to counter the "fear of Muslims (that) all too frequently shows up in our society as public suspicion of an entire religion."

"In the past ten years, ELCA members have served frequently with Muslim, Jewish, Christian and other religious partners in efforts to heal national wounds and address the rise of bias against Muslims," Bishop Hanson writes.

"A Quran burned in Florida or Michigan is an attack against the very faith we confess if we do not speak out on behalf of our neighbors. Religion must not be used as a foil for human hate; we know that Muslims join us in our commitment to combat terrorism. As we seek to build trust through these relationships, we experience the truth that terrorism is not in the core of any religion, that sacred scriptures have deep relevance to communities today, and that God’s vision for our future will not be diminished by unchecked fear."