This Wednesday, September 11, NT-NL Synod, ELCA and Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center staff had our monthly all building staff meeting. An opportunity to connect with those with whom we share ministry space and help grow the vision of an integrated leadership center developing leaders for the church and God’s world.
After meeting we adjourned for synod eucharist (every second wednesday of the month, y’all are welcome). We sung hymns of hope, prayed for many, and remembered those lost on this day 18 years ago and in the violence and war that has come from that act of terror in 2001.
Briarwood Leadership Center Director and Bishop’s Associate Dr. Robert Smith led worship and preached. He used the texts for this coming Saturday, the Feast of the Holy Cross. Remembering back to his experience on Sept 11, 2001 and the days that followed he shared his realization of how the fear we felt that day was quickly transferred to marginalized communities, particularly the muslim community, in our midst. And the cross all too often has been used as a triumphal supremacist symbol to generate fear rather than the scandalous humiliation it was for Christ as God embraced the world. All the world, including even us.
I picked up my daughters today and it was fascinating and frankly saddening to hear how the events of Sept 11, 2001 are being translated to them. They who have never lived a day when our nation has not been in active military conflict as a result of the actions of that day and our nation’s leader’s decisions in its wake.
Had an illuminating moment when I realized that my children’s pastor, Rev. Schroeder, was the same age on that day as my 11 yr old is today. September 11, 2001 has come to define a reality for multiple generations. A reminder our decisions each day to work against hate, to seek peace and understanding, and break down barriers that divide human beings are essential. To cross the divides between we who live in God’s cosmos, we who God so loved to go to the cross for all the world, we who are called to love as God first loved us. #ForGodSoLoved #NTNL #BWTX #InMissionTogether