From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Statement from the Anglican Dean of Melbourne Australia
Worldwide Faith News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wed, 12 Sep 2001 08:58:07 -0700
ACNS 2636 - AUSTRALIA - 12 September 2001
Statement from the Dean of Melbourne
Statement from the Dean of Melbourne, David Richardson, regarding terrorist
calamity in the United States
The Dean's opening words at a brief Service of Prayer for the victims.
Few of us here are people of great influence or responsibility, and I
suppose at a time like this we wonder how our prayers can affect the course
of world's life and yet we can think of little else to do but pray.
We cannot believe that war or tyranny, famine or sickness, are the
conditions under which God intends people to live. But people have prayed
for peace, and war has not been averted. The tyrant falls, but only after
having caused misery, perhaps to millions. The assassin's bullet still
shatters hopes, dreams and lives; and the terrorist brings disaster upon
tens of thousands. Famine is still normal for most people in this world, and
sickness still takes its toll.
We are here today because we believe that these are evils to be fought, but
that humanity itself is not equipped to fight them. We are here because we
need the love that only God can give, the love which is prepared for great
sacrifice, creative thought and untiring patience. We are here to ask God to
give strength to those who suffer at this time and to make us alert,
discerning and understanding of the ways of making things easier for them.
Loving God, we remember before you today the people of the United States of
America, especially of New York and Washington DC on whom at this time,
disaster - unbidden and unheralded has come.
Comfort those whose family or friends have been killed or whose dear ones
have lost their lives in seeking to save the lives of others. Bless all who
are anxious, not knowing whether any among the victims may be known to them.
Especially we pray for any Australians who have loved-ones travelling in the
United States at this time and who, aware of how few are the degrees of
separation in our tiny world, are anxious for their safety.
Be near to those, whose homes or workplaces have been destroyed; those who
have seen all that they have toiled for, for a lifetime, lost in a few
We pray too for those whose job it is to risk their lives to rescue others,
or keep them safe: those in any emergency services, the fire services, the
police, medical and paramedical workers, and especially at this time, those
in the armed forces.
Give wisdom, discernment and right judgement to the leaders of the nations
at this time: we pray especially for George W Bush, President of the United
States, for John Howard our Prime Minister visiting the United States at
this time, for Arial Sharon and Yasser Arafat in the Middle East, and for
all those whose responses to this act of terrorism and warfare may affect
the future peace of the world. We remember too, all who must make difficult
decisions and who do know at this time what is the right decision, and for
those with difficult tasks to undertake and who fear that they may fail in
them because of the enormity of them.
We lift up to you Lord too, those who were there in New York or in
Washington who saw the event and who have survived it, and who will
permanently be changed and marked by this tragedy.
God of history, we so easily move on and forget disasters letting them fade
into memory; particularly disasters that happen to other people and in other
parts of the world. We ask you to remember those who will never forget what
has happened in the last 24 hours, because life for them can never be the
same again; and remembering them, we ask you to comfort them for your love's
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