9/11 Tenth Anniversary resources for congregations

PHOTO from an earlier U.S. Navy anniversary ceremony remembering 9/11.

9/11 resources for 10th anniversary

Nearly half a million houses of worship nationwide will mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Those attacks fell on a Tuesday but the 10th anniversary coincides with Sunday worship. By the time that Sunday morning comes on the 11th, Americans will have been inundated in almost endless television coverage. When people go to church, they will anticipate a 9/11 acknowledgment of some kind: a prayer, perhaps comments from the pulpit, perhaps music—and thay may welcome a chance to discuss these issues in Sunday school classes.
Congregational leaders have asked ReadTheSpirit for help …


We are assembling a series of thought-provoking and hopeful commentaries by a wide array of writers, starting with the Quaker writer Philip Gulley. Tell friends to watch https://readthespirit.com for fresh and helpful materials daily on these themes. NOTE: All of our 9/11 stories can be shared and reproduced, which makes them especially useful for congregations and small groups.


Wikimedia Commons has established an online database of 9/11 images that you are free to use. That database is the source of most images we are publishing.


TV will give us wall-to-wall 9/11!
Television networks plan to dump their archives onto the airwaves. Read this Washington Post overview of the TV tidal wave. We’re not only talking about the major networks: ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. We’re talking about TLC, History Channel, Nickelodeon and even Animal Planet! The best television production we’ve previewed at ReadTheSpirit for congregations is PBS’s Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, which we wrote about in early August. NOTE: PBS confirms that this documentary will be broadcast; check local showtimes.

National Service & Remembrance

The U.S. government hosts the Serve.org resource better known as United We Serve. This website offers a wide array of links and other online resources, including tips on Tweeting about your programs and ways to connect your efforts with other groups. In his weekly radio broadcast, President Obama asked all Americans to plan some form of public service to honor 9/11.

Spirituality & Practice offers
Prayers, Art, Ideas

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, co-directors of the popular Spirituality & Practice website, also are providing a rich array of resources. Among other spiritual gifts they are providing readers this week is a prayer called Rest in Peace that includes these lines:
“I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back my rage and despair at these horrible events, and
“I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the merciful beneficence of God/Lord/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power.
“May I know peace.”

Alban Institute CRG
Reviews Resources

The Alban Institute’s Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) is funded by the Lilly Endowment to help congregations. CRG Director Martin Davis is a former journalist for national publications who now directs the Guide. From his years in the church and in media, Davis is a good judge of what works with a broad audience. He evaluated denominational 9/11 offerings and published columns packed with helpful links.
In September 11 a Decade On: Aspirins and More, Davis argues that—even if such attention by congregations amounts to a spiritual aspirin—the choices we make in our congregations matter to millions. “The aspirins matter. When we are wounded, it is a necessary part of our healing,” Davis writes. He also links to recommended 9/11 resources provided by Methodists, Lutherans, Hebrew Union College and more.
Then in Commemoration to Action, Davis writes about the need to encourage tangible actions, not just private spiritual reflection. This column includes links to recommended resources provided by Harvard, the Presbyterian church and more.


A reader spotted this very helpful page provided by the Smithsonian Institution (and see our 9/11 Events story for more on Washington D.C. events): The Smithsonian works extensively with educators nationwide and published these 5 sample questions that may arise in classroom discussions—along with answers that teachers in history and social studies classes can offer to spark further study and discussion.


We welcome your emails at [email protected] about resources that you have produced or have spotted online.

Originally published at readthespirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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