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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Awareness Sunday: 11 September 2011

Those preparing services and parish programmes for this autumn will be aware that the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York will fall on Sunday 11th September 2011. Christians have the opportunity to observe the anniversary as a milestone in our continuing search for peace and churches around the world are planning to mark the event by special services. Westminster Abbey will have a service of remembrance and reconciliation that day at 6.30 pm.

A special educational programme has been launched by the Awareness Foundation under the banner: Awareness Sunday: A Path to Peace. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams is patron of the Awareness Foundation. (He himself was in New York at the time of the attacks and wrote movingly of his experience of the horror). Archbishop Rowan said: "Awareness Sunday is acknowledging through education, the urgent need to dispel ignorance and the urgent need to help each one of us to build a path for peace in our diverse, ever-changing world".

Some suggestions for priests and readers who may wish to mark Awareness Sunday include:
  • Conduct a special service for Awareness Sunday
  • Preach a series of related sermons in the weeks leading up to Awareness Sunday
  • Include Awareness Sunday in your intercessions in services or prayer groups and pray for peace and understanding
  • Host an Awareness Round Table event in your church
  • Lead Awareness Sunday activities for children 
  • Write about Awareness Sunday in your parish magazine, write a letter about it to your local paper, and contact local politicians
  • Put an insert in your service sheets about Awareness Sunday
  • Feature your Awareness Sunday activities on your web site
  • Sign up for the Awareness Course, or sponsor another church to teach it
More information and resources to help mark 11 September can be found at the Awareness Sunday website.  There is a helpful sheet of material relevant to the Church of England lectionary readings for Sunday 11 September here.

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