Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Boardman church sets 9/11 memorial tonight
The service will mix video of the tragedy's aftermath with prayer and hymns.
By LINDA M. LINONIS
BOARDMAN In 2004, the Rev. Thomas Madden was in New York for a celebratory occasion to officiate at a wedding. While there, he visited Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center, and bought a video.
"The video tells the story and chronicles the aftermath of the experience," said the Rev. Mr. Madden, interim pastor at Disciples Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 565 Boardman-Canfield Road, which is holding a Service of Sacred Remembrance tonight.
Mr. Madden said the video depicts how St. Paul Chapel, across from the World Trade Center, became a hub of activity. "It shows how people were on the front lines," he said.
He also noted it reveals how people stepped forward to volunteer and use their talents in the time of crisis. "It shows how the church was central to the activity and it brings into focus the reality of God and the need for God."
(Visit St. Paul's Web site, www.saintpaulschapel.org, to see how the 18th-century Episcopal church evolved into a volunteer relief center. Thousands of volunteers were engaged in its relief ministry of providing counseling, food, medical help, rest and refuge. The chapel has the interactive exhibit, "Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero," to honor the eight-month ministry of love and compassion. The chapel also is holding remembrance services today.)
Mr. Madden said the Disciples Christian service will intersperse segments of the video with prayer and lighting of candles in remembrance and song.
Mr. Madden said the video shows fire and police personnel and emergency services workers, and how they related what the experience was. And, he said, he liked the video not only for the information it provides but for the questions it provokes.
"I like it because I think it takes people deeper into questions," he said.
"I think it shows what we need to remember," Mr. Madden said of the events in the video. "And it makes people think about what needs to be done so that this never happens again."
Tonight's service will include a prelude, quiet reflection, group prayer and hymns. It will present many points to ponder.
Passages that are part of the program will remind those attending of Job's story when he was faced with calamities, he tore his robe. That action is similar to another biblical story when Jacob saw the bloody coat of his son, Joseph, he tore his own cloak as a symbol of a severed relationship. The practice "to expose the heart" reveals vulnerability.
In tonight's service, four strips of purple cloth will be torn from a piece on the worship table. The four strips represent the four planes the two that hit the World Trade Center towers, one that hit the Pentagon and the one that crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
And another ribbon, a yellow one, will symbolize that the tragedy of Sept. 11 and sacrifices of fire, police and emergency workers and civilians will be remembered and revered.
Candles will be lighted in honor of those who perished in the towers, on the planes, the Pentagon and at Shanksville and the police, fire and emergency workers who died.
A Christ candle will be lighted to symbolize the unity of Americans who will never forget. "We remember that part of faith that revolves around a much larger wisdom," Mr. Madden said.
The service will conclude with the hymn "Amazing Grace."