19 September 2001

Response to terrorist attacks on US 'should be measured and just'

Statement by the President of the Methodist Conference

"We have all been caught up in the terrible events of 11 September in America. We share with millions of our neighbours a deep sympathy for those upon whom intense suffering has been inflicted. We share with millions across the world a fearful concern that the response of the American government, and of other governments, including our own, should be a measured and just response, which will make the world a safer and not a more dangerous place.

But as a Christian community we have a particular response to make: we have to look and listen for God in this situation, and try to understand what he may be saying; and we have to pray most earnestly for his mercy and grace to help in time of need. The reflection will continue. Today, may I ask that the Methodist people take with all possible seriousness their ministry of prayer? I know that they will already have offered many prayers.I simply want to share my conviction that praying is both something we can do, and probably what is needed just now more than anything else. For prayer releases spiritual energy, and the world has rarely needed it so much.

I ask your prayers for:

  • The American people, that they may find comfort and hope, the grace to forgo a desire for revenge, and in due course the courage to ask questions about the causes of terrorism
  • those who mourn family members and friends (not only in the United States); those who clear debris; those who support them
  • President Bush and his fellow-decision-makers, burdened with responsibilities that it is hard for us to imagine
  • Our own Prime Minister and government, that they may use our special relationship with the United States not only to support but to give honest and wise advice
  • Church leaders as they seek appropriate ways and times to articulate a Christian response to what is happening
  • The media, that they may use their influence responsibly and wisely
  • All those who live in fear of reprisals, not forgetting Muslim communities in these islands.

And for us all:

Lord, you wept over Jerusalem, saying, 'Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace'. Have mercy upon us. Open our eyes to the truth, and turn our hearts to your way, for your name's sake. Amen.

Christina Le Moignan

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