Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Five Bells, Five Sites Pilgrimage in New York on 9/11

New York, Sunday, September 11, 2011. 

How to observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11?  Since I'm only an hour from Manhattan, I decided to take a train into the city and join my friend of 40 years, Rev. David Best, former pastor of the Lamb's and now Director of Towel and Basin ministries, to spent the the day together.  We met for a memorial service at his church--St. Mark's United Methodist Church--an historically significant,140 year old church in Harlem.  After lunch, we began our tour of Ground Zero (where we met facinating people from conspiracy wackadoodles to European vistors who felt deeply moved to visit NYC on this auspicious day.   We enjoyed the incredibly positive and spiritual energy in St. Paul's Chapel--spared by the destruction all around, and became a refuge for rescue works and sanctuary for many in the chaos. We stood outside St. Peter's Church where the famous 9/11 Cross  stood for ten years before being transferred to the 9/11 Memorial Museum (against the legal objections of the National Association of Atheists.  As fans of Fr. Mychael Judge, we attended Mass at the Church and Mission Center of St Francis of Assisi (where Fr. Mychal Judge lived and from where he served as chaplain.  And we saw the play called "Five Bells" about three victims of 9/11 (performed by our friend, actor Rich Swingle).

Finally, we ended the day by enjoying a middle eastern dinner at a  marvelous Turkish Restaurant on 9th Avenue--two old guys who have been friends for 40 years, had served in ministry together in California and New York, had traveled together to Nicaragua in the 80's, and had similar 9/11 experiences in responding to the needs of the day. It was a good and holy day indeed.

 If your interested in seeing film footage we shot while on this pilgrimage, you may view a few clips here: 9/22 Remembered