Editor's note: This story is part of the 2011 Welcome to Worship Guide, a special advertising section produced by Wednesday Journal and Forest Park Review. Click here to view the entire 2011 Welcome to Worship Guide.
Ten years ago, the final act of many 9/11 victims was one of love. Facing the unthinkable, their parting gesture was to reach out to family and friends – knowing that in the end – relationships are what matter most.
For many people in today's uncertain world, the need for relationships – a community where we are known and loved – includes a spiritual home. Adults and children alike need a place where lives are shaped by love, hope, service, and forgiveness. Sadly, too many places of worship have not been always been – expressing fear instead of hope, and intolerance instead of love.
This is NOT the case, however, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Oak Park, where we are committed to the "great commandment" that Jesus quoted from the Hebrew Scripture. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength," said Jesus, "and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."
We are committed to peace and unity among people, much as people around the world were the day after 9/11. Many reached across boundaries of faith, race, and class to connect not only with family and friends, but with perfect strangers. Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists, and agnostics were together in their shock, and quite honestly, filled houses of worship to capacity for weeks after that fateful day.
There was a sense of unity that helped us survive those first days of trauma, and although ten years later the context has changed, our need for communities of love and support has not. The economy is fragile, political cooperation diminished, and resources for crisis response are drying up. We need each other more than ever – need honorable values, places of accountability, and a chance to make a better world together.
So join us at 545 S. East Ave. in Oak Park on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at 8:00, 9:30, or 10:30 a.m. Formation classes for all ages begin the following week.