On Sunday, September 11, PCF remembered 9/11. And we did it with our town.
We welcomed to our services Pepperell Town Administrator Mark Andrews, Pepperell selectmen Stephen Themelis and Melissa Tzanoudakis, Fire Chief Toby Tyler, Veteran’s Services Officer Joseph Mazzola, and many other honored guests, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs, and those currently serving in the military, as well as veterans. We were humbled and grateful that these folks joined us. 270 people gathered in our two services in order to remember, to say thank you to those who serve our local community so well on a daily basis, and to look to God. We were reminded from Psalm 142 that the Bible gives us lament as one important way to respond to overwhelming tragedy and loss. We lamented 9/11 together.
As Mark Andrews, Stephen Themelis, and Melissa Tzanoudakis spoke to the congregation and shared some readings commemorating 9/11, I stood in the back of the sanctuary feeling deeply grateful to God that he has placed our church in this particular community – Pepperell, Massachusetts. PCF loves Pepperell. More importantly, God loves Pepperell. Our desire as a church is to serve our community and to share the beautiful gospel of Jesus Christ that has changed our own lives forever.
After one of the services, a man came up to me with tears in his eyes and told me he had been a clean-up worker at Ground Zero for many months after 9/11. The experience affected him profoundly, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t think of 9/11 and grieve. He told me that our service had helped him understand what he was feeling and given him permission to lament, to grieve.
We thank God for meeting us on 9/11 this year, and for placing us where he has, right in the heart of Pepperell, MA.