Remembering September 11

August 25, 2002

REMEMBERING SEPTEMBER 11 by Ray Pritchard Sometimes you know an idea is right the first time you hear it. That happened to me in June when someone suggested we ought to hold a public service on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Since then we’ve been working behind the scenes to make it happen. First, we had to find a place. We ended up with a permit to hold the service in Mills Park, which is only about three blocks away from the church. Then we began contacting other evangelical churches asking for their cooperation. I am delighted to say that we received strong support from Judson Baptist Church, Fellowship Christian Church, the Chinese Bible Church, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Forest Park Baptist Church, and First Presbyterian Church of River Forest. Other churches have expressed interest as well. And now we are only two weeks and three days away from the anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in American history. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? Do you recall your feelings when you saw those massive buildings crumble to the ground? Were you one of the hundreds who came to the church that night and the next night for special prayer meetings? I remember sitting at home the Saturday after the attacks when I learned that a church in New Jersey wanted 5,000 copies of An Anchor for the Soul to offer to the survivors. Wayne Kuna, Nick Borton, and my sons, Josh and Nick, drove the church van through the night to deliver the books to the church by that Sunday morning. Another team delivered thousands of copies to Ground Zero in October. Two other teams from Calvary traveled to New York City to minister there. One team was on the ground when the plane crashed in November. Ian Smith and MacLeod-Smith Graphics printed thousands of American flag decals with the phrase “I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I know who holds tomorrow. The Lord Reigns.” Firefighters and police officers at Ground Zero put those decals on their helmets. At Christmastime Jeff & Claudia Eaton along with their children, Jackie, Chris and Valerie, ministered to firefighters in Chinatown who lost their buddies on September 11. I don’t know how many times Claudia has been back to New York City to minister, but I do know that she’s there right now to help with a major evangelistic outreach called “The Festival of Life.” A year ago if you had asked me what connection existed between Calvary Memorial Church and New York City, I would have said, “There isn’t one.” But that’s all changed. God has joined the heart of our congregation with the people of that city who suffered so greatly and who lost so much. It is right and good that we should remember what happened, honor our own police and firefighters, and publicly reaffirm our faith in the Lord as the basis for our hope. Please join us at Mills Park on Wednesday, September 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m. And bring a friend with you.

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