Lehighton 9/11 service pleads for forgiveness
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Barry Shupp, left of Zion UCC Church, and Emma Weaver, SALM at Grace/Zion Lutheran Church, hold candles during a 9/11 "Service of Remembrance" on Saturday night in the Lehighton Park Amphitheater. About 125 people attended the service.
"I pray that we do not become the evil we deplore."
So stressed Emma Weaver during a 9/11 "Service of Remembrance" held Saturday night in the Lehighton Park Amphitheater.
Weaver, SALM at Grace/Zion Lutheran Church in Lehighton, told the approximately 125 people who attended, "Let us reflect that in our lives, a wound cannot heal if it keeps on being irritated."
She referred to Jesus as an example that we should "show love and offer forgiveness to others, even to our enemies."
The speaker talked about recent events in the news, especially the threat of a Florida pastor to burn the Koran, as part of 9/11 remembrance.
The audience was told, "Peace comes from healing. Healing comes from forgiveness. Forgiveness comes from love. And love comes from God.
"Even that day on 9/11, God's love shone through the smoke and the rubble," she said, telling of specific unselfish acts of assistance and bravery.
"Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you," she urged.
She noted that on 9/11, a total of 2,996 lives were lost, including those of the hijackers. They included "people of all ages, gender, nationality, religion, and culture."
A highlight of the service was a candlelighting vigil, during which audience members sang "God Bless America."
The service was presented by the Lehighton Interfaith Fellowship.
A Litany of Remembrance, written by Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel of Evangelical Lutheran Church, was read by Rose Marie Austin of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. It stated, "We are marked and scarred and still find a need for healing, but we have survived to see Sept. 11, 2010. For this, we can give thanks to the God who provides all good things for our being as individuals and a nation.
"Therefore, let us mark this day with prayers of remembrance, prayers of healing, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers for guidance as we go forward in our lives together."
There was special music by William Meechem and Bill Donovan of Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Lehighton.
Robert Fatzinger of Zion UCC Church directed a choir which sang "Mansions of the Lord."
Austin led the reciting of the "Lord's Prayer."
A silent prayer and tolling of the bell for those who lost their lives was conducted by Barry Shupp of Zion United Church of Christ.
Hymns included "Let There Be Peace on Earth," "On Eagle's Wings," and "How Great Thou Art."
The welcome was by Shirley Stamm of First Presbyterian Church. Rev. H. Wilson Scott, also of First Presbyterian Church, offered the invocation.