Sermons on 9/11 anniversary have theme of reconciliation

The 9/11 anniversary won’t be the primary focus of Sunday services at every church, though it’s likely to be acknowledged at most.

“It’s essentially a time of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation,” says Father Mike Morrissey, pastor of St. Bede Episcopal Church in Port Orchard.

Morrissey, a Navy combat veteran in Vietnam before he became a minister, said the need and desire for national security shouldn’t be at odds with the teachings of Jesus.

“The nation in a real sense is in a fight for its life, but we need to make sure we observe the sanctity of life and understand the other, like Jesus undersood the other,” he says.

And Morrissey, whose church will fly the American flag at half-staff Sunday, is concerned about a lack of such understanding.

“We really need to move away from the McCarthyism of the old days, as it were, that I see becoming more and more prevalent in our treatment of another faith tradition and another ethnic group,” he says.

“We’ve seen it occur between black and white, between white and Asian,” he notes. “The political rhetoric — and this isn’t aimed at the Republican party or the tea party or anyobdy else — but in the political rhetoric out there, some very reasonable people are starting to sound like the iconic personage of McCarthy.”

While he hasn’t tailored a liturgical service for the 9/11 anniversary, Morrissey said the part of the Episcopal service called “prayers of the people” will incorporate prayers from other faith traditions.

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