ELCA Commemorates 9/11, Begins Weeklong Peace Initiative

((Photo: WCC))Members of the World Council of Churches Central Committee pin colorful ribbons together at their 2008 meeting in commemoration of the Decade to Overcome Violence initiative.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) commemorated the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks today with a special video on their website, the first in a weeklong series which culminates on Sept. 21, the International Day of Prayer for Peace.

The three minute video, organized by the ELCA Internunit Task Force for the Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, includes a reflection from Rev. Stephen Bouman, Executive Director for the ELCA Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission, who was in New York during the 2001 attacks.

 "What kind of world is emerging from Ground Zero? A world of conflict, a world of hungering for peace. And how will that world be shaped by our faith?" reflects Bouman in the video.

"Each of us can do what we can. Each of us can move out into wider worlds. The prince of peace, Jesus our Lord, is leading us."

A series of the video greetings will be posted on the ELCA website every weekday until Monday, Sept. 21, which marks the fifth anniversary of the International Day of Prayer for Peace, an event proposed at a 2004 meeting between World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia and UN secretary general Kofi Annan.

The WCC's invitation to pray for peace on 21 September, or the closest Sunday, coincides with a United Nations' initiative that encourages "global 24-hour spiritual observation for peace," which "is meant to demonstrate the power of prayer and other spiritual practices in promoting peace and preventing violent conflict," the ELCA website reads.

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