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Pastors Prepare Messages of Hope for 9/11 Anniversary

Various pastors from the area talk to Patch about what they plan to say during sermons this Sunday.

Area churches will be filled Sunday with people coming out  for more than just their typical weekly hour of worship.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, local pastors and deacons plan to deliver messages Sunday of forgiveness, moving on and having hope.

With special memorial services planned at some churches, it will be a time to honor those who died on that day and for people to come together to talk about how to move on from it, said Deacon Cy Grossmayer with .

"We’re going to honor those people who so courageously lost their lives that day," said Grossmayer, who will give the sermon Sunday. "This is going to be something very, very special.’’

Police and firefighters from area are invited to attend a special 4 p.m. service at St. Margaret Mary to honor the victims of 9/11.

"If they all show up, it’s going to be huge," Grossmayer said.

With traditional taps played, firefighters, police and civilians will walk at the ceremony, holding their hats out to represent all of those who died that day. 

"I’m going to talk about forgiveness — as difficult as it is for us to do. I think all of us at one time or another had to fight the anger in us —especially at the very beginning," Grossmayer said. "We all need each other. We need to talk about it and we need to let go as difficult as that is."

Nearly 1,000 paper cranes will be hung in the Sunday for the 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services.  

"The emphasis there is on peace and hope," First Congregational Pastor Bud Friend-Jones said of the cranes.

Two candles, representing the Twin Towers, will be lit. 

"It’s a very important service for us. A service of grieving, of longing and of hope," Friend-Jones said.

People should also reflect on tragedies around the world since the 9/11 attacks, he said, like the tsunami in India and the nuclear disaster in Japan.

"Our emphasis is not just on that there was an American tragedy," Friend-Jones said. "We are part of a world that is imperfect and suffering and longing."

Local cellist Alexi Hagedorn will play The Adagio by Samuel Barber to close the service, with images of beauty and hope projected on a screen.

"Our lives — how we live our lives — can become images of beauty and hope," Friend-Jones said.

First Congregational Pastor Dave Inglis, who will give Sunday’s sermon, said he hopes we have become better people since the tragedy.

"Are we as people any better or worse because of the last 10 years?" Inglis said. "If we’re worse how can we be better people."

Our reaction to the tragedy should have been better he said, adding, we turned to war as a response instead of conversation.

At the noon service at , the brother of a 9/11 victim will share reflections, Pastor Steve Knox said.

"It’s such a significant anniversary," Knox said. "For those who lost their lives and for the families who are still grieving."

Keeping hope and faith is important to moving forward, he said.

"Stay anchored in those principles that have guided us so well," Knox said. "Our faith can help us walk on the right path. People can so easily lose hope."

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