2022: A Prayer for the Anniversary of 9/11

For those who perished on September 11th at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in the fields of Pennsylvania:
that they experience eternal life with God in heaven and the new creation, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who grieve:
for wives and husbands, parents, family and friends, that hearts saddened by the loss of loved ones might be strengthened with courage, and come to know the promise of Christ’s Resurrection and new life, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the children:
for those left without a parent, and for the children who witnessed the attacks: that they might flourish in the embrace of loving hearts, and the promise of life well lived, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all those who helped:
for firefighters, police personnel, emergency service workers, for medics and counselors, for all who volunteered, that they experience the reward of generous service in atime of peril, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the grace to forgive:
that our hearts be large enough to forgive those who struck our nation in such dreadful ways, we pray, even as we ask you to turn their hearts:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For world leaders and the governments of nations:
that they will put aside all petty concerns and work together, ensuring justice and peace for all, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For a future of freedom and peace:
for courage, wisdom and strength of heart to live every day in hope for a peaceful world, grounded in the knowledge of God’s love and care for each of us and the hope of Resurrection, we pray:

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Today we remember 9/11. The memories haunt us, the sounds echo in our ears, and the images fill our eyes,
O Christ, lead us home.

When we are hopeless and sad,
O Christ, lead us home.

When we are angry and vengeful,
O Christ, lead us home.

When tears become our only food,
O Christ, lead us home.

When we grieve and despair,
O Christ, lead us home.

When we are fearful and faithless,
O Christ, lead us home.

When in grief, anger, negligence, or ignorance we have turned against you and against one another,
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

When we speak unjustly against others, when we blame unfairly, when we withdraw or lash out,
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

When we seek revenge rather than reconciliation and peace,
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

Give us the will and courage to love and forgive our enemies.
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

Lead them and us from prejudice to truth,
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

Deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge.
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

Enable us all to stand reconciled before you.
Merciful God, forgive and heal us.

For men and women who have given their strength, their wisdom, and their lives for this country,
We thank you, Lord.

For firefighters, police officers, first responders, and all those who were injured or died so that others might be rescued, cared for, and protected,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous who were patient in suffering, faithful in adversity, and selfless in sacrifice,
We thank you, Lord.

For all who participate in interfaith dialogue, relationships, and reconciliation,
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

Collect at the Prayers
O God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Shield of the fearful, Source of hope, as we mourn the sudden violence and the deaths of our brothers and sisters, show us the immense power of your goodness and strengthen our faith. Come swiftly to our aid, and have mercy on all who call on you. Comfort those who mourn this day and gather the dead in your mercy. Bring to us at last the peace you promise in Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Canon J John: The Passing of the Queen

Amen. Well done, good and faithful servant. May you rest in peace and RISE IN GLORY, Your Majesty.

‘The Queen has died.’ We have always known that someday we would hear those words, but that certainty has not robbed them of either their sadness or their solemnity. In the sea of tributes now overwhelming us, how should we react?

Our first reaction should surely be appreciation. We need to reflect with gratitude on all that the Queen achieved for the nation and the Commonwealth. The reign of Queen Elizabeth II was certainly long, yet length of reign – like length of life – is no measure of greatness. The Queen’s accomplishment was not simply to reign for a long time, but to reign well.

It is an achievement made even greater because she ruled in difficult times. She has been compared to both the first Queen Elizabeth and to Queen Victoria yet, unlike them, it was not her lot to rule at a time of either national glory or imperial splendour.

Our Queen Elizabeth came to power in a Britain still recovering from war. Her reign witnessed the end of the British Empire and the emergence of a new, confused Britain, increasingly adrift from its traditional values. During her reign fashions in culture, art and manners came and went; kings, emperors, presidents and regimes flourished only to be swept away by time.

Yet if the winds of change blew strongly, the Queen seemed unaffected by them. Whatever happened to the nation – economic turmoil, terrorist atrocity or political uncertainty – the Queen was there and the nation found comfort in that. In an age of uncertainty and confusion she came to embody what Britain stood for. For that solidity and stability in turbulent times we are grateful.

It is salutary to read the words of the Queen’s coronation service and see all that, so long ago, she promised to defend for the nation and the church. At the end of that long life, we can say with appreciation that she fulfilled her vows and did what she promised. She kept the faith. We are doubtless called to lesser things, but may we keep our promises as well as she did hers.

A good reflection. Read it all.

June 6, 2022: Jack Carr: Remember D-Day as if Were Yesterday, Everyday

Amen.

In the United States, June 6, 1944 will receive passing mention on news programs and social channels. There are few, if any, parades or official remembrances. Even those veterans who fought across the beaches and on to Berlin will receive scant recognition for what they did to liberate a continent and preserve the blessings of freedom for those who would follow.

In Normandy, they have not forgotten. They have not forgotten the Nazi occupation nor those who came ashore and dropped from the heavens 78 years ago. There are parades, remembrances, reenactments, parachute drops, and fireworks. The entire region, thousands of people, come out to welcome these heroes of the WW II generation, hug them, kiss them, ask them for photographs and autographs, and listen to their stories, stories they remember as if D-Day were yesterday.

But D-Day was not yesterday. It was 78 years ago. Those who fought there are creeping up on a century of life; some have passed that milestone. Soon they will walk among us no longer, their legacy honored by some, unappreciated by others, forgotten by too many.

The people of Normandy remember what it was like to be invaded and oppressed. And they remember what it was like to be liberated. They pass along the stories and the appreciation. What these men did on June 6, 1944, and in the months that followed will not be forgotten here. It is a privilege to spend time with them on the beaches, fields, and towns in which they fought.

As I push Walter Stowe through the Brittany American Cemetery in his wheelchair, he reminds me that in life we will touch a great many people. The question, he says, is will the people whose lives we touch be the better for it? Wise words.

Remember these citizen soldiers today and every day. Spend time with them at every opportunity. Listen to their stories. Embrace their wisdom. And when the last of them walks among us no longer, honor their sacrifice by standing strong for the freedoms for which they fought.

Remember them.

Read it all and watch President Reagan’s speech from 1984.

V-E Day 2022

Today marks the 77th anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, in which the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany the day before. Take a moment today and thank God for bringing us victory over evil. Remember the brave men and women who fought against Nazism. If you know a veteran who is still alive, take time today and thank him (or her) for his service to our country. Ask that person to tell you his story and remember it so that you can pass it on to your children and others. Nazi Germany may be a thing of the past, but unspeakable evil certainly is not. #VEDay77

V-E Day 2021

Today marks the 76th anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, in which the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany the day before. Take a moment today and thank God for bringing us victory over evil. Remember the brave men and women who fought against Nazism. If you know a veteran who is still alive, take time today and thank him (or her) for his service to our country. Ask that person to tell you his story and remember it so that you can pass it on to your children and others. Nazi Germany may be a thing of the past, but unspeakable evil certainly is not. #VEDay76

St. Augustine’s Anglican Church has a New Home!

I am happy to announce that we closed on our new building this afternoon. Junior Warden Christopher S. signed on behalf of the parish. Our new address will be 120 N. Otterbein Ave, Westerville, OH 43081. We are currently awaiting an occupancy permit and hope to hold our first worship service there on Sunday, September 13, 2020. Below are some pictures from today’s closing.

December 7, 2019: Pearl Harbor Survivor: What I Saw Aboard the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941

Wow. Just wow.

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President Roosevelt was right to call it “a date that will live in infamy.” But for my fellow survivors and me, it also is alive in memory, like shrapnel left embedded in our brains because the surgeon thought it too dangerous to operate.

Those images remain with us survivors seventy-five years later. Sometimes they intrude into our day, a moment spontaneously combusting, and suddenly we are back in the flames that engulfed our ship or in the oil-slick waters that surrounded it.

Sometimes they come to us in the night, a haunt of images that troubles our sleep. Or perhaps the phone rings, and we flinch. Or a car backfires, and instinctively we duck.

These memories lie within me, forever still and silent, like the men entombed in the Arizona. Others, like the oil that seeps from its wreckage, slip around inside me until they find a way out and make their way to the surface, where they pool and sometimes catch fire.

Over the years, many of us made the pilgrimage back to that harbor, where we have experienced both the soothing of those wounds, and, at the same time, a reopening of them.

Have some been healed? Yes. Year by merciful year. But all? No. And that is true for so many who have survived trauma, not just those who have survived the horror of war.

Read it all and buy the book.

2019: Remember, Remember the 7th of December

Today is the 78th anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor (is that possible???) that drew the United States into the great conflagration known as World War II. Ask anyone who was living that day and they can tell you exactly where they were. It was an act of treachery and it proved to be foolishly short-sighted and ultimately fatal for the Japanese militarists. It was that generation’s 9/11.

Sadly the generation of Pearl Harbor is rapidly fading away. But its lessons remain and remind us that we must constantly be on guard as a nation because there are those out there who hate us and want to destroy us and end our way of life.

From the History Channel:

At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

Read it all.

Remember V-J Day 2019

vj-day pict

Today marks the 74th anniversary of Victory Over Japan (V-J) Day and the end of World War II (the formal, unconditional surrender was not signed until September 1, 1945). Stop and remember the brave men and women who fought against the evil of Nazism and Japanese militarism in the 1940s.

Remember too our brave soldiers today who are fighting against another form of evil and keep our soldiers in your prayers.

From the History Channel.

On this day in 1945, an official announcement of Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allies is made public to the Japanese people.

Read it all.

Also read the text of President Truman’s radio message broadcast to the American people on September 1, 1945.

From here:

My fellow Americans, and the Supreme Allied Commander, General MacArthur, in Tokyo Bay:

The thoughts and hopes of all America–indeed of all the civilized world–are centered tonight on the battleship Missouri. There on that small piece of American soil anchored in Tokyo Harbor the Japanese have just officially laid down their arms. They have signed terms of unconditional surrender.

Four years ago, the thoughts and fears of the whole civilized world were centered on another piece of American soil–Pearl Harbor. The mighty threat to civilization which began there is now laid at rest. It was a long road to Tokyo–and a bloody one.

We shall not forget Pearl Harbor.

The Japanese militarists will not forget the U.S.S. Missouri.

The evil done by the Japanese war lords can never be repaired or forgotten. But their power to destroy and kill has been taken from them. Their armies and what is left of their Navy are now impotent.

Read it all as well.

V-E Day 2019

Today marks the 74th anniversary of V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, in which the Allies celebrated the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany the day before. Take a moment today and thank God for bringing us victory over evil. Remember the brave men and women who fought against Nazism. If you know a veteran who is still alive, take time today and thank him (or her) for his service to our country. Ask that person to tell you his story and remember it so that you can pass it on to your children and others. Nazi Germany may be a thing of the past, but unspeakable evil certainly is not. #VEDay74