Tiana Holding

Guest Blogger

Posted on: October 15, 2011

This week’s topic of the week required that we switch blog posts with a blogger of our choice. I chose a blog post from Stephanie Schroepfer’s blog:

One Decade After 9/11

By:Stephanie Schroepfer

Ten years ago, a foundation in the United States shook. Families and friends came together in support and sadness. Church and State wept together. What has changed?

Since the tragedy of 9/11, communities and churches locally and abroad have mourned and memorialized much throughout the past decade. In the past decade, Toms River has been one of the communities to significantly pull together. The congregations of Toms River had much to say over the impact of the national tragedy on their houses of worship.

Reverend Tory Pruner of the Presbyterian Church of Toms River reflected back ten years earlier, when a number of clergy came together for an interfaith service.

“It was amazing to see New York City pull together in that moment,” said Pruner.

In the same way, their local community pulled together in that tragic moment. Toms River clergy hosted memorial services together for the weekend following that Tuesday morning.

“We were all reeling,” said Pruner.

Many turned to a higher being for support. Pruner conveyed that immediately for several years, there was an increase in church attendance, but since then has dwindled. For the Presbyterian Church, they have not forgotten and they plan to set aside time in their worship service for “a participatory service” in memory.

A Presbyterian Church of Toms River member, Michael Barozzie wrote a song in memory of those lost and to those who must continue with the loss. “You Will Not Be Forgotten,” title of Barozzie’s track, will soon be available to purchase.

Reverend Pruner emphasized that the past ten years have been an “ongoing effort to bring peace and change. We remember the tragic event and those who have to take it on daily.”

Senior Pastor Bruce Quigley of First United Methodist Toms River also wanted to give the community and his congregation an opportunity to remember and honor the day.

“It happens to be on a Sunday, but it gives us an opportunity and obligation,” said Quigley. The three worship services will emphasize the memories of those lost.

Quigley remembered how his church responded, “That evening we had a special service; a loose service. It was a time of allowing people to express their anger, misery over unknown lost members; there were a lot of emotions. We had an open discussion about how they should be feeling or how they shouldn’t be feeling.”

Ten years later, with the drop in church attendance, the senior pastor knows exactly what he is going to say Sunday morning. Just as the tragedy changed their mindsets and their hearts’ cry, they should not be turning their backs on the God who supported them through their time of need.

“What was different back then? What is different in their lives? How is it different?” asked Quigley.

Pastor Tim Shorey of Trinity Fellowship Toms River remembered what he spoke about 10 years ago.

“A foundation in God: When your foundation is solid, then when a storm comes you will be unshakable,” said Shorey.

He remembered a small increase in church attendance, but overall their congregation remained even keeled.

Various other houses of worship in Toms River will be memorializing the national event, but with so many  deities to turn to, one would hope that the locals would realize that there is one true God. Humans are not good at their core. They believe that the power lies in their selves, and when they believe that, they lie to themselves.

There is only one God who can catch, comfort and lift them up. He will build a strong foundation and encourage a faithful heart. He is a God who loves more than our finite minds can comprehend. One day every knee will bow and see He who is King. One day we will not have to remember those we’ve lost because we willforever be reunited the Lord who loved us first.


And here is the link to her post from my blog: I Was Born In The Wrong Decade


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