Prayer of Remembrance

September 11, 2012
West Springfield Town Common

Pastor Karen E. Gutowski participated in the 9/11 Remembrance Service held on the West Springfield Town Common.  We would like to share these prayers with all who were unable to attend.  May they help you find comfort on this day.

Holy God, on this day we gather with people in our community, – with people all over our country, and indeed around the world, and remember the moments of September 11, 2001, which changed our world forever.

Those brief moments of time are carved into our lives and our hearts and render us helpless and pain ridden in the face of such indifference to life.

Although time has changed the pain – and hidden the grief in different corners of our existence, it still remains a gnawing reminder in a senseless act of violence.

O God, We are speechless, – and yet we must speak, for justice and the future.

We are torn apart, – yet we must be signs of mending, in a world which would rather cherish hatred than be woven into a new cloth of caring and respect.

We are angry – and yet we know that we must temper our anger with hope so that the vision you proclaim for all creation, a vision of peace with justice may indeed be seen in our lives. —

And thus the memory those who were robbed of choice, will be guarded, and that same theft will not be the future of our children or our children’s children.

We ask that you place in our lives the muscle and sinew and heart that beats in the place of those lost that day, so that the love, and compassion that so marked their lives will continue to be seen in each day that we live.

Not for our sake do we ask this O God, but that we may be the sign that their lives continue to have value and that they continue to impact the future of the world. Give to us the eyes to see, and ears to hear and bodies to carry the hope for the world.

We lift before, you with great thanks, the memory of those first responders,– whose valiant efforts saved many, risking all and giving all in the call to serve.

We pray for those who today continue to carry on the difficult tasks – responding selflessly in danger to care for others. Bless them in their chosen work and protect them we pray.

And we remember your beloved child
Melissa Harrington- Hughs. We carry in our hearts her memory and honor her life. We give thanks for the unique gifts of friendship and love which she freely shared with so many others. And we ask that the you shed your peace and grace upon her family and all those who mourn this and every day.

All of this, Great God, – and so much more, we ask in this prayer, with the confidence that as your children, we are known and loved by you. Amen.
Karen E. Gutowski, Pastor
West Springfield United Methodist Church

Closing Prayer for September 11, 2012
West Springfield time of Remembrance of 9/11/01

Receive the Benediction
Holy God as this time of remembering ends we pray that you will help our lives become a new tree of life, rooted in faith, strong in memory and determined in hope for the future.
Let us go forth from this time of remembering to be
re-membered with humanity,so that we may teach the lessons of love to our children and our children’s children for all time. So that violence will be dug up and cast aside and in its place a garden of peace and hope will flourish. A place where all will have value and all will give gifts to one anther.
We pray your benediction of deep peace be upon all who are weary, and in sorrow. Give us new strength for the days ahead and be our constant companion each and every day. This we pray in the assurance of your love.
Now Beloved we are invited to go forth to bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that those to whom love is a stranger will find in you a good and generous friend. Go now in God’s deep and abiding Peace. Amen.

Karen E. Gutowski, Pastor
West Springfield United Methodist Church