Clergy looks at tragedy from faith perspective

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 7, 2002

The Freeborn County Ministerial Association put on a non-denominational Christian service dealing with the Sept. 11 tragedy for a crowd of 30 people at the Albert Lea High School auditorium on Saturday afternoon.

The presentation, called &uot;Why 9/11?,&uot; combined music and a play featuring Paul Evenson, Todd Utpadel and Jim Young in the roles of three men discussing their faith. Al Cooper, a Baptist minister from Clarks Grove, played the role of God and spoke with the men about their faith.

The play started out with voices from the audience speaking of their uncertain feelings in uncertain times. &uot;We want some answers. My insecurity doesn’t seem to budge,&uot; they said.

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To address the present, the play focused on the history of Christianity and God’s interaction with people throughout.

&uot;God has a plan,&uot; they said.

Cooper, in his God role, said, &uot;When I make a promise, I keep a promise.&uot; He spoke of the promises made to prophets such as Abraham and Moses.

Cooper said God destroyed the kingdom of Jerusalem thousands of years ago because his people were not faithful. The words seemed to be not addressing that, but addressing the attacks of Sept. 11.

&uot;Our nation as a whole is not being faithful to God,&uot; said one actor. &uot;Is it because we don’t talk to God enough?&uot; replied one actor. &uot;How can we be faithful to God for 9-11?&uot;

The men decided that God had not provided protection because we had let our faithfulness down.

They referred to the &uot;hedge&uot; of protection, a hedge being the protective blockade that farmers put up around their crops to protect them.

The men concluded that faith in God was the only thing that could provide any peace of mind and security.

The service also included a number of musical offerings. Madonna Boss, George Marin and Todd Utpadel along with the God’s Singers group all sang songs.

The conclusion of the service was done by Sandra Tonsing, one of the executives of the FCMA.

&uot;We didn’t come here to provide political answers but to look at things from a faith perspective,&uot; she said. &uot;Will you now accept what God has to offer?&uot;

The service let out into the hallway and members of the audience were encouraged to ask questions to the pastors in attendance about their grievances and faith.