An open letter to the churches and residents of Lodi: It will not be long before another Sept. 11 comes again. This time, there are two catastrophes to remember: The Twin Towers and Benghazi.
Pastor Mark Price from St. Paul Lutheran Church led Lodi's ecumenical observance of the 10th anniversary in 2011 of the attack on the towers, and Rabbi Raphael Pazo led the 11th anniversary observance. Nearly all of Lodi's churches participated.
Those who attended found both ceremonies memorable, and some of us would like to see this date, now designated Patriot Day, observed with annual ecumenical participation by all of Lodi's churches.
But the time has come for a different approach. We should not be remembering two deadly occurrences, but rather asking for the spiritual protection and guidance which we need in these very uncertain times to keep our nation strong and on the right track.
When the Israelites were attacked by the Assyrians and their cities destroyed, instead of turning to God, whom they had forgotten in their reliance on their walls and arms, they rebuilt the mud brick cities with stone and planted stronger trees. They ignored God again, and the next Assyrian attack destroyed the Israelite nation and led to 500 years of captivity.
So I am asking our people, our churches and our city leaders to once more participate in a 9/11 observance, again to be led by a pastor of one of our churches and to make this observance not a remembrance of things past, but a time of ecumenical prayer for protection and guidance for our country.
Please call me if you are a pastor willing to organize and lead this special event. I am sorry I cannot take on this task myself, but I am simply unable to.
Gwinnett Mitchell Paden