General News

A Prayer for September 11

Today marks the 19th anniversary of an act of terrorism that shook our congregation, our city and our world.

For many of us, this day evokes difficult memories and painful emotions. We remember how so many gathered together in our sanctuary that day to grieve and seek solace together.

Today, we invite you to come together in spirit, united in our prayers for healing and peace.

In Christ,
The Rev. Kate Dunn
Associate Pastor for Congregational Care and Outreach

A Prayer for the Day

Gracious and loving God,
today, as we remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001,
we turn to you, trusting in your abiding presence,
your boundless compassion,
your promise never to abandon your children,
or leave them alone in suffering and heartache.

Today we remember a day of catastrophe
for our city and the whole world.
We remember the loss of lives,
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers,
daughters, sons, friends, loved ones, co-workers,
people of countless ages, ethnicities,
religions and countries of origin.

We remember the courage of first responders,
and all those who risked
and all those who sacrificed
their own lives to save others.
We remember the kindness strangers
showed each other that day
as all New Yorkers came together,
choosing love over hate and courage over fear.

We remember the compassion that flooded into our city
from every corner of the world,
reminding us that we were not alone,
but held and carried in the hearts and hopes
of neighbors far and wide.

God, we give you thanks for the good
that blossomed from that valley of tears:
the rebuilding of Ground Zero,
reclaiming and dedicating that sacred space
to memorialize and teach and unite.

God, we pray that you touch and turn
the heart of any person today
contemplating violence and destruction.
Raise up wise teachers
to guide and redirect the lost.
Transform hate and cowardice
into courage and love.

And today, as our city once again faces a mighty challenge,
due to threats to physical, emotional and economic well-being
wrought by the Coronavirus,
we turn to you for comfort and guidance.
We see empty streets and closed businesses
and we feel anxieties and fears about what the future holds
for our own lives and the lives of our neighbors.

So, God, on this day when we remember September 11, 2001,
we once again lift up to you our prayers
for the welfare of this city, which we love.
We thank you for the reminder
of the resilience of New York,
which overcame hate, destruction, and fear,
and continued to be a haven and home for people
born in every country of the world.
We pray for resilience and courage now,
in the face of so much uncertainty about what lies ahead.

And knowing that you hold our city, and all cities,
and indeed, the whole world, in your hands,
we lift up these prayers in trust,
giving thanks for your boundless love,
which you shower upon us
from generation to generation,
from everlasting to everlasting.