Grace Baptist 9/11 Memorials Honor The Fallen, Offer Hope
The leaders and congregants at Grace Baptist Church in Saugus joined the nation over the weekend in marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
With the American flag near its entrance flying at half-staff, the church presented three 9/11 memorials -- one late Saturday afternoon and two more on Sunday morning -- to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 people killed that day, and the families who have carried on after the devastating loss of loved ones.
With a 60-member orchestra and a 120-voice choir providing a majestic, glorious soundtrack, the multi-media memorial was titled “Finding a Lasting Hope,” and included patriotic music, hymns, songs of worship, images of the 9/11 disaster projected on large screens. The message from Senior Pastor David W. Hegg (pictured above) was based on the Old Testament’s book of Lamentations, and Jeremiah’s account of the Babylonians’ siege of Jerusalem.
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“Today is the day when we remember something that was tragic, but as a church we also realize that our world is broken and there will always be tragedy, and you can’t escape it,” Pastor Hegg said a few minutes before the 10:45 a.m. service on Sunday.
“You must prepare yourself to go through it with hope, and we believe that our theology is the only one that allows you to have hope in the midst of a despairing circumstance because we’ve tied our hope to a sovereign God whose love never leaves and who alone can guarantee our lives both in this life and the next,” Hegg said.
Worship Pastor Peter Beers and Orchestra Director Lisa Hernacki “put together a program that will cause us to remember and reflect and really celebrate the courage of those who not only lost their lives, but also those who gave their lives,” Hegg said.
Grace Baptist's Ryan Knight performs a spiritual song as Worship Pastor Peter Beers conducts the orchestra and choir before Senior Pastor David W. Hegg (right corner) begins his message.
“Then we’re going to turn to God’s word to see the words of a man, Jeremiah, who went through a cataclysmic devastation when Babylon wiped out Jerusalem, and we’re going to see that he felt the same things we feel, but he also gives us hope, because God’s love never diminishes and his compassions never fail,” he said.
The memorials closed with the orchestra, choir and congregants singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
“The hope is we send people out of here very much remembering the devastation, feeling for those who were most affected by it, but also realizing that as a church, as followers of Christ, that we are the ones who can show people how to have hope in the midst of darkness” Hegg said. “And that’s really what we’re all about.”
Photos: Stephen K. Peeples