United Nations affirmed in September 11 memorial service

By Episcopal News Service
September 13, 2007

Members of the United Nations community were welcomed to the Episcopal Church Center in the US for a September 11 evening prayer service co-sponsored by the Office of the Anglican Observer at the UN.

Anglican Communion Secretary General Kenneth Kearon; Bishop John Paterson of Auckland, New Zealand, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council; and Bishop Alexander John Malik of Lahore, moderator of the Church of Pakistan, were among Anglican Communion leaders welcomed to the gathering by Hellen Wangusa, Anglican Observer at the UN

During the liturgy, volunteers in the Observer's Office were commissioned for service by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who also preached the homily.

The Anglican Observer's Office "has a prophetic role," Jefferts Schori said.

"The UN Observer also has the challenge of reminding us of all the children of God whose lot is violence. She and her staff call us to remember hungry children, all who suffer from disease, women who never know basic human dignity, indigenous peoples who are ignored, devalued, and exploited, and this abused earth which is our only home," Jefferts Schori said. "The Observer's work tells us where there is no peace, and challenges us to go forth and make peace."

Acknowledging the impact of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the Presiding Bishop said: "We are also remembering the violence wrought in this city of New York six years ago. The sources of that violence have something to do with the dreams that others have associated with this city and this nation, unholy dreams and dreams that don't have much to do with peace and justice. The prophetic work that continues in the aftermath of that violence is to seek peace, and dream of a world in which people of all faith traditions and all nations can live together in justice.

"That dream has a great deal to do with the work of the United Nations. Those who continue to dream of nations living together in peace challenge the deadly destruction wrought here, and wrought daily around the globe. Peace-making is dangerous and difficult work. But it is the work that is most worth doing."

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