Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Prayer at Ground Zero, Despite Mayor

After the New York mayor announced the ban on clergy and prayer at the city's 9/11 anniversary memorial service for Sunday, several Christian leaders organized a prayer event on Saturday.

For background, read Clergy & Prayer Banned From 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Memorial and also read Obama D.C. 9/11 'Prayer:' Exclude Evangelicals

-- From "Vigil raps lack of clergy prayer at NYC 9/11 event" by The Associated Press 9/10/11

Religious leaders are protesting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision not to include a clergy-led prayer in the city's ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

About two dozen ministers gathered Saturday in front of St. Paul's Chapel in lower Manhattan. The group planned to walk to the edge of ground zero and hold a prayer service there.

The Rev. Rob Schenck notes that clergy members ministered to people in New York after the attacks. He says it was hurtful not to include religious leaders in the ceremony.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Omitting Clergy at 9/11 Ceremony Prompts Protest" by Laurie Goodstein, New York Times 9/8/11

The second Sunday after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, New York clergy members of many faiths joined elected officials at Yankee Stadium in a city-sponsored memorial ceremony that melded the sacred and the secular, replete with flags, prayers and tears.

Ten years later . . .

Richard D. Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in an interview that the planned ceremony only proved that New York was the “epicenter of secularism,” out of step with the rest of America.

“We’re not France,” he said. “Mr. Bloomberg is pretending we’re a secular society, and we are not.”

[Former New York mayor] Rudolph W. Giuliani who helped organize the 2001 event at Yankee Stadium [said this week] “I feel like America has lost its way.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Clergy Plan 9/10 Prayer Service at Ground Zero" by Joseph Perkins, Christian Post Contributor 9/7/11

The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition . . . found Bloomberg’s decision “extremely troubling.” That’s what prompted him and his fellow religious leaders to hold their own prayer vigil the day before Bloomberg’s strictly secular memorial service.

Meanwhile, a study by the Barna Group suggests that New Yorkers have gotten increasingly religious since 9/11. In 1999 and 2000, according to the study, only 31 percent were weekly churchgoers. Ten years later, that figure has increased to 46 percent.

The ranks of “active-faith adults,” those who pray, read the Bible and attend church in a typical week, has grown from 17 percent to 24 percent since the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble. All told, the Barna survey reveals, 61 percent of New Yorkers say their faith is very important to them.

“Our intention,” said the Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, and another of the organizers of the planned Saturday service, “is to address that need in the hearts and minds of so many affected by the pain of that infamous day.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lack of clergy at Sept. 11 memorial prompts separate prayer event" by Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency 9/10/11

“During the past 10 years, it has only been faith in God and prayer that has enabled so many to move forward and rebuild their lives and protected America from another major terrorist attack,” [Rev. Mahoney] said.

Rev. Mahoney thought it was “imperative” to have a public prayer service at Ground Zero during the anniversary weekend. While the absence of prayer at the official service may seem reasonable to some, he suggested, “it will only compound the pain and the loss of others.”

“During our prayer time at Ground Zero, we will seek God for His continued protection, especially with new credible terrorist threats, pray for those who lost loved ones, pray for our leaders and elected officials and turn to God in repentance recognizing only He can bring healing and restoration to our nation,” he said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.