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Horrific event drew some people closer

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Bill Cummins

Rick Keiser II

Clifford Shirk Sr.

Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 2:11 pm | Updated: 10:09 am, Sat Sep 10, 2011.

Sept. 11, 2001 changed the lives of many over the last 10 years. Some church congregations have banded together for support and prayer. Here are the reactions of some local pastors of how this event changed their congregation:

Bill Cummins, Bear Creek Church

“Following the Sept. 11 event, the local Imam from the Mosque in Lodi visited our church and we had a very congenial talk. Later that fall, we planned a Sunday afternoon family picnic and concert in our outdoor amphitheatre. We invited the families from the Mosque in Lodi to join us. That Sunday afternoon, there were hundreds of people from our church and the Mosque who gathered for food, music and fellowship. It really helped to break down any of the suspicions and ill feelings that may have existed. After Sept. 11, we erected a steel I-beam cross as a replica of the one at ground zero memorial in New York City. It sits adjacent to our driveway as people drive into our facility. This coming Sept. 11 we will have a young man share at all of our three services his experience in escaping the Twin Towers just before they collapsed.”

Rick Keiser II, Family Life Christian Church

“I remember quite vividly when Sept. 11 happened. At the time I was working for American Medical Response in Stockton and was a member at Family Life. We met at “Break Away Sports” in Galt because the school (where regular meetings where held) was working on their floors. 

“There was about 50 of us that gathered on one of the indoor soccer fields and we joined hands in a circle and prayed. We sent all of our offerings to a church in New York. We were less than one year old at that time and had about 60 people that called Family Life home. Over the years our church has continued to grow and serve the people in our community and around the world. The event itself reminded us all that we are part of a much larger church. We are part of a global family that is more successful when we work together!”

Clifford Shirk Sr., Beth Hallel Messianic Fellowship

“One of several reasons given by those responsible for the Sept. 11 attack on the Trade Center and the Pentagon was America’s support of Israel. Our congregation was organized and began meeting in Lodi in February of 2002.  From the beginning we supported Israeli organizations and have increased the support several times. That, of course, makes us enemies of the very people who conducted and supported the attack on Sept. 11. Over the years we’ve drawn closer and more supportive of Israel and consider ourselves part of the Commonwealth of Israel.”

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