Seeds of September #6

Dear Friends,

The Shalom Center in its "Eleven Days in September: Remembrance, Reflection, and Renewal" project for a self-examining way of observing the annivrsary time of 9/11 has been working closely with the National Council of Churches, Sojourners magazine, and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

We specially recommend their Websites for addressing these questions:

Each of these sites will also guide you to more.

And of course you will also find very rich material in our own 11 Days in September section.

Each of the "Seeds" items on that list includes MANY national and local resources, with additional reports from around the country.


  • The Waters of Our Planet (a cross-traditional liturgy, for use with Tashlich or on its own.
  • Three Prophetic Reflections
  • War in Iraq — Rushing or Reflecting?

And two items of my own, "The Towers — and A Sukkah" and "Undimmed by Human Tears?"

Some more seeds follow for "11 Days in September," varied ways of commemorating 9/11.

Please remember to send us information on your own plans.

Shalom, Arthur
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director
The Shalom Center

Pastoral Prayer, One Year Later

from the Rev. William G. Sinkford
President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Please enter the space of silence and honesty, which is known by many names.

Let us pray.

Gracious spirit of creation, dear God.

A new church year begins. Life goes on.

Babies are born and we dedicate ourselves to them. People die and we memorialize their lives, laughing and crying as we grieve our loss. Marriages and partnerships are formed and blessed. Triumphs and tragedies enter our sanctuaries with us as we gather.

Life goes on. And our ministry together tries to hold it all: the joys and the sorrows, the pleasure and the pain, the fullness and the emptiness. All enter here with us. Our coming together bears witness to the power of love, and the possibility of community.

For what should we pray?

Twelve months ago, our illusions of security, our sense of safety were shattered. How many times have we heard and said: "Since September 11th...," as if by saying those words, we could somehow control the reality of grief, loss, anger and fear; the reality that there are those in our increasingly divided world who see us differently from the way we see ourselves. We say those words- "since September 11th"- as if we could gain dominion over their meaning. Yet as we have grieved and feared, raged and anguished through this last year, life has gone on.

For what should we pray, then, one year later?

Should we pray for peace?

Peace in our lives and peace in our world? Should we pray for an end to grief, freedom from fear, an end to violence? But is it not our own hands that must make it so?

Yes; despite our failures to achieve peace in our own hearts, still we pray for peace. We pray for an end to grief for those who lost loved ones on September 11th and since September 11th, for those working in rescue and recovery efforts and for those members of our nation's armed services who stand in harm's way. And we pray for those, no less bereft, who have endured losses unrelated to September 11th that have been overshadowed by that communal tragedy.

Should we pray for safety?

A sense of security, confidence, trust that the universe welcomes our presence and offers a home for our spirit? But at whose expense are we willing to seek safety for ourselves?

Yes, we pray for safety, but we also pray for those profiled, jailed and deported since September 11th, and ask forgiveness from those whose safety has been sacrificed in our attempt to guarantee our own.

Should we pray for wholeness?

A world in which Muslim and Jew can live together, a world in which gay and straight, men and women, Black and white and brown and red and yellow encounter one another not in fear but in thanks? But can we ourselves-do we-live with such integrity?

Yes, we pray for wholeness, in our world and in our own lives.

Should we pray for our nation?

Can we learn to define our national interest in a way that acknowledges we share a single destiny with all our neighbors on this small blue planet? Can our policies recognize at what cost in human suffering American privilege has been purchased?

Yes, we pray for our nation.

We pray for all these things. And, gracious spirit, we pray for ourselves. It is so hard to trust. Everywhere we look, reality contradicts our yearning to hope. It seems that we must walk alone, even through the valley of the shadow of death. We pray for the willingness to walk with one another, for we know we will need to walk together if we are ever to make justice and peace real.

For there are no hands on earth but ours. And our hands seem so few and our abilities so small in the face of such great need for healing.

There are no hands on earth but ours. So we pray for the strength to try. We know how real the brokenness of this world is, but we will not give brokenness the last word.

So we pray for an end to grief, for peace, and safety. We pray for our nation. And we pray for ourselves, that we might feel the spirit of life and the stirrings of compassion. Help us resist both fear and complacency. Help us give life the shape of justice. Help us know that we can collude with love. Help us live as if wholeness can happen, and by our living, help us to make it so.


San Jose Peace Center

Remembering 9-11 - Imagining a future of Peace

September reminds us of the suffering and death wars have brought to the world.

Rather than resign ourselves to continuing violence, the South Bay community will come together on September 14th, 2002, to celebrate life. The afternoon will feature music, dance, readings, and drama that focus on our capacity for compassion, for tolerance, and for love. We will remember the victims of the past year, and we will imagine a future of peace, justice and non-violence.

September 14, 2002 2:00-4:00 p.m. Cesar Chavez Plaza Downtown San Jose

For Futher Information Contact San Jose Peace Center 408-297-2299


9-11 victims' families will join other victims of terrorism and war from Israel, Palestine, Iraq, the Philippines, Japan and Afghanistan to call for peaceful solutions in a national speaking tour from Sept. 6 - 15.


Ryan Amundson, who lost his brother Craig at the Pentagon.

Kat Tinley, who lost her uncle at the World Trade Center.

Dr. Imad Alduri, Iraqi now living in Philadelphia.

Members of The Parents' Circle of Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace, both of whom lost their children in the cycle of violence consuming their region.

Ms. Amirah Ali Lidasan, Secretary General of the Moro Christian People's Alliance in Mindinao, Philippines.

Miyoko Matsubara, a leading Japanese Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor) from Hiroshima, Japan.

One local ev ent on this tour:
Friday, September 6th
The Foundation for Islamic Education (1869 Montgomery Ave, Villanova, PA, 19085-1734)
Event Begins at 7:00pm

Directions from Philadelphia: Take Schuylkill Expwy West towards Valley Forge to Exit Gulph Mills (320 South). Follow 320S and stay on it for few miles (it becomes Montgomery Ave) untill The Foundation for Islamic Education on right hand side.

For more information, call 215-241-7003 or e-mail