Executive Minister's Desk

The Regional Synod of New York

A Pastoral Letter: Remembering 9/11/2001

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We remember September 11, 2001: a tragedy that changed the world.  For New Yorkers it is impossible to forget the image of the smoke billowing from the towers.  Today the majestic silence that is always present at the Ground Zero waterfalls is strikingly powerful.  The names, the names.

On this fifteenth anniversary, may we recall ever so clearly the best of humanity.  The FDNY.  The NYPD.  Those who chose to run toward the smoke.  The churches that opened their doors.  The chaplains.  May these memories define New York, our future, and our American culture.

May bravery, compassion, service, selflessness, and charity define us.  May we continue to open our doors to the desperate and the needy, the hurt and the grieving.  May fear not shut us out or shut us down.  May we run toward those who are threatened by brutality and never, ever accept violence.  May we nurture community built upon the selfless examples of first responders.

Fifteen years later we remember the names.  We pray for their families.  We give thanks for those who respond to tragedy.  We pray for reconciliation of that which divides our world.

Please take time in silence to remember with us.


Reverend Amy Nyland
Executive Minister
Regional Synod of New York
Reformed Church in America

Reverend David R Gaewski
Conference Minister
United Church of Christ