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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Tragedy, trauma and traffic

Nearly everyone in Ohio emailed me or called me (as early as 6 a.m. the next morning) to find out if Ken and I were okay. Mostly I believe they wanted a way to connect with a tragedy and a trauma that didn't directly affect them. The collapse of the bridge has captured the attention of the nation over the last few days because we all drive over bridges. Many of us in Minnesota drove over that specific bridge on some kind of regular basis, if only when driving into the Twin Cities. But everyone drives a bridge somewhere. And so the collapse of this bridge is a tragedy, trauma and traffic reality for all of us, leaving us feeling (once again) very vulnerable to the fragility of life.

We remember those whose lives were lost and those who lost loved ones. We honor those who have risked their lives (physically, emotionally and spiritually) in rescue, recovery and care.

So, WDYT? What has this tragedy, trauma and traffic event elicited in you and your congregation, family, and circle of friends?


Michelle said...

It Is Difficult To Be Out Of Town During This Time But Touching To Hear The Concern And Prayers Of Ums From All Over The Country. Michelle Hargrave In Kansas Right Now.

Michelle said...

Bishop, I apologize for the weird capitalization but I was, with little experience, texting from my phone. Thank you for your comments about this tragedy and your reminder to us to be in prayer in worship this weekend.

Duane Lookingbill said...

Ruth and I were actually on the phone, touching base about getting home at the end of the day, as I first heard the breaking news. Immediately, I had the same sinking feeling as I did watching the Trade Towers collapse live on television. Yesterday evening we attended the service at St. Mark's and the message that spoke to me was about needing a bridge of faith, trust and communion when a bridge of steel and cement fails. One thing hitting home to me in all of this is how we are relying on our "infra-structure" (at once spiritual and material) as a condition of our actions.

Ed DuBose said...

This terrible tragedy has struck too close to home. I have become 'desensitized' by endless reports of tragedy in the media. I noticed that on the same day the bridge collapsed that over 140 people died in Iraq and almost 100 died in a train accident in the Congo.

We are blessed to live somewhere we can take safety for granted. This is a grim reminder that our lives are very fragile.

I am reminded of the verse in Luke 13:4-5

"Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

When we realize our life is fragile it makes us all the more dependent upon the Lord.


Ruth Hograbe said...

The first response I had when I called Duane as I was starting home Wednesday and he said, "Turn on the radio -- there's breaking news -- the I35W bridge collapsed", was to turn the car around, return to the church, share the unbelievable news of the tragedy with the people there working on a project, and get our prayer chain started. Then we went home to watch the unfolding story on the news.
The next day (Thursday) at noon we had a 30 minute prayer service at church. It was what we could do. We prayed, read scripture, sang hymns, sounded chimes, and lit candles for: the victims, those missing, those not yet known to be missing, the children on the schoolbus, families and friends, rescue workers, and all of the community.
Yesterday morning during worship we had a time of prayer and again, ringing of chimes.
I was deeply moved by the coming together of many traditions at the service at St. Mark's. And so pleased that Janet Larson was part of the procession.

Carrie said...

Messiah UMC (Plymouth) has decided to adopt and morph an idea we picked up from COR: We have obtained a list of all the Plymouth police officers, fire stations, individuals who work with First Response, and other civil servants and service agencies in the Plymouth area. On Sunday morning, those names and agencies will be printed on cards available for people to take home with them. During worship, everyone will be encouraged to select a card and then go and do something to "bless our neighbor(s)." People will be encouraged to use their creativity (e.g. write a kind note, bake and deliver a pan of brownies, etc.) when blessing those who are in a profession of serving others. For those congregants who do not live in the Plymouth area, we are encouraging them to extend a blessing to someone(s) in their own neighborhood. Our hope is that many will be blessed around the Twin Cities. (Messiah apparently did something similar a few years ago, but directed its efforts towards people who work in nearby schools.)
Carrie Binnie

Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

After watching the video of the bridge collapsing I am simply amazed that so many people survived. My favorite “bridge story” is about the woman who was jogged under the bridge moments before the collapse. After witnessing the collapse she did the only thing she could do… pray and found others to pray with her. “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20.