- Aug 17, 2016
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This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of 9-11. Earlier this year, we began to think and pray about how to mark this day liturgically. While we wanted to remember this tragic day in our nation’s history, we also wanted to look forward in hope, thanking our first responders in the City of Sandy Springs and beyond, people who put their lives on the line for us each day.
Then, the summer came with tragic news of events across our country and in our world. Terrorism, attacks on citizens, police, and fire officers, and a time of general unrest came upon us. Our plans for 9-11 became even more important and our prayers about what to do intensified.
At our 10:00 liturgy on 9-11, you will arrive to an atypical scene. Fire trucks will be assembled with ladders raised, the American flag displayed among them as a traditional sign of respect for fallen officers. The Honor Guard of the Sandy Springs Police Department will present colors, Pipes and Drums of the Fire Department will march in procession, and members of both departments will be present along with other governmental officials and possibly members of state and federal governments. We will assemble outside for the “civil” portion of our service, and when we have completed those festivities, will process into the nave for our regular Sunday liturgy with a sermon focused on the day.
Afterwards, we will host our first responders at a covered dish lunch. Because we expect a large crowd, we are asking you to sign up to bring a larger dish than normal. A sign up will be available so we know how to prepare facilities. Spots for clean up and assistance will also be needed.
If you have a first responder in your family, please invite them to participate in this day and join others who assemble outside before the liturgy.
During lunch, we will also host an Open House for children’s formation and our police and fire officers will also educate and entertain our children with tours of the trucks, free hats, etc. Children will love the day and all that is planned.
It is our hope to remember those who have fallen in the past while proclaiming our appreciation and love for those who risk so much for us each day. We look forward to sharing this time and hope that you will invite others to participate in this important day.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. Michael R. Sullivan +