Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pam's Presence - Minister's Column - September 2011 Newsletter Content

September Greetings!

This summer I have had the opportunity to meet regularly with leaders from other congregations in and around Denton as we planned for the 9/11 Denton Interfaith Service of Remembrance and Hope. This evening service on Sunday, 9/11 at 6:00pm at First United Methodist Church will include representation from people who identify as Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist, Christian, Jewish, Latter Day Saints, Catholic, Baha’i, Methodist, Sikh, Hindu, Presbyterian, Muslim, Pagan, Seventh Day Adventist, and Lutheran. In our conversations and in our planning we have learned and grown from our time together. Together in faith, we walked this journey of figuring out what it means to be “interfaith” and how to craft a service that is both an articulation of our various faiths and accessible to all people. Together in faith we shared agreements and disagreements. Together in faith we felt the pain and memory of 9/11/01 and wondered what it would take to truly heal ten years later. Together in faith we imagined interfaith partnerships that will last long past this 9/11/11 and that will bring more and more people to the table of dialogue, diversity, and peace.

This effort has been coordinated by Rev. Matt Gaston of First United Methodist Church and me. Rev. Gaston and I share a desire to do 9/11 differently this year than we did last year. You may remember that last year a pastor in Florida was threatening to burn Qur’ans and there was a lot of media attention around that threat. Folks here in Denton responded in various ways and some of the responses were, I’m sad to say, very hateful toward non-Christian people. This year, we’d like to build our communal response to this anniversary and we’d like to make it one that is filled with compassion, hope, and peace for all people of all faiths.

I am so inspired by the energy that so many of you at Denton UU Fellowship have already brought to the planning for the 9/11 events in Denton. There are ways for every last one of you to get involved. There are flyers on the Outreach bulletin board at the Fellowship and other places around the church. There is a Together In Faith Facebook page. Feel free to contact me with questions. Also I'll be sending oute-mails with other ways to get involved. No matter what you do on the days surrounding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I do hope each of us will take a moment to reflect on where we have been (as a city, state, nation and world) and to consider a future of peace and hope where we all live together in

Love and light,
Rev. Pam