Every day is eventful in New York City. So many people; remarkable energy abounds; Stimulating sounds from every direction. Such a mixture of behaviors and beliefs! The taste and price of freedom. Walking through Grand Central Station as I do most mornings and evenings, I easily imagine visiting the intriguing, intergalactic café in Star Wars episodes. Each day the Lord has made, all precious, including our annual remembrance of 9/11.
September 11, 2014 began for me with the 7:00 AM New Canaan Society men's weekly prayer and Bible study at Rockefeller Center. The attendance of more than 80 men was excellent. Dr. Timothy Keller urged the men to engage in humble trust in God, restoring some child-like attitudes. There was only a passing reference to it being the 13th 9/11 since the vicious attacks on our World Trade Center. Nevertheless, many of us who mingled after the meeting, including some whom I have known for decades, recalled events and opportunities for service that had so united us after 9/11.
From Rockefeller Center I took the subway to St. Paul's Chapel, directly across the street from where the World Trade Center Twin Towers had stood, on the east side of WTC. Thirteen years ago those towers became a huge pile of massive steel, toxic ash, broken concrete, human remains, and burning fuel from the airplanes and massive tanks full of heating oil for the Towers. more >>
Mufid A. Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old man who owns a food store in upstate New York, has been arrested and charged with funding Islamic terrorist group ISIS, attempting to send jihadists to fight with them in Syria and even plotted to gun down U.S. troops, according to Federal authorities.
The Democrat & Chronicle reports that Elfgeeh is the nephew of Abad Elfgeeh, an ice-cream shop owner who was arrested in Brooklyn in 2003, after being accused of being deeply involved in a terrorism network.
Authorities alleged that Abad Elfgeeh funneled millions of dollars to his homeland of Yemen and had links to Osama Bin Laden. In the end, however, he was only convicted of illegally funneling more than $22 million overseas. He is now locked up at the federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he is serving a 15-year sentence. more >>
NEW YORK — Contrary to a time when urban areas were abandoned in a rush of white flight to the more racially-homogenous suburbs, eager and excited church planters are now flocking to cities like L.A. and NYC, holding up the banner of God's call in Jeremiah 29:7 to "seek the good of the city." But, according to urban apologist and former church planter D.A. Horton, his peers mostly seem intent on seeking the welfare of the safe and gentrified urban areas.
Horton is also a former pastor and previously served as executive director of ReachLife Ministries. He currently works as the national coordinator of Urban Student Missions at the North American Mission Board, or NAMB.
NAMB is among numerous organizations and networks (like the Orchard Group and Acts 29) that are on mission to evangelize and revitalize cities by training, supporting and sending (usually male) Christians who say they feel called to start a church. With so many new churches being planted and launched (read about a few here, here and here), some observers have expressed concerns that the movement has become a fad. Others, like Horton, have noticed that amid the influx of Millennial-led churches to major cities, some leaders appear to be avoiding, or overlooking the inner city — frequently marked by poverty, high crime and afflicted education systems. more >>
NEW YORK — Surviving family members of those killed during the 9/11 terror attacks said this year's tribute and seeing the completion of the September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York made the solemn occasion "more peaceful" and "brought closure" for some. But one New Yorker whose brother was killed on 9/11 described his time spent at the memorial and museum as a "bitter sweet" experience, because it's a reminder of what's no longer there.
The event, which was held at the National September 11 Memorial in between the reflecting pools located on footprints of where the World Trade Center's twin towers used to stand, marked the first year the National September 11 Museum was open on the site during the anniversary of the attacks.
"I thought that the area around the memorial was really nice," said Long Island resident Lawrence Meltzer, whose brother, Stewart, was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. "The completion of the museum made it a little bit more palatable so it was actually a prettier place." more >>
NEW YORK — Under overcast skies in downtown New York City, the grieving families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks remembered their loved ones in a dignified memorial service punctuated by bouts of tears, moments of silence and muted anger over their loss.
As President Barack Obama announced a plan Wednesday night to combat ISIS, many families standing in their pain on the Memorial plaza of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum declared that he has their full support.
"I think it's definitely a bold move to be proactive and counter that terrorism before another incident or event like 9/11 happens again. It's pretty much putting our foot down," said Phil Cruz of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who lost his uncle, John Robert Cruz, in the Sept. 11 attacks. He died while working on the 101st floor of the North Tower for Cantor Fitzgerald. more >>
NEW YORK — Along the hallowed plaza of the National September 11 Memorial Wednesday, preparation work for the service to honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, continued in earnest as memories and emotions abounded among workers and tourists alike.
"When it first happened, I was too young to understand what was going on in the world. But as I got older, I started to understand that it was a terrorist attack," said Robert Peacock, 26, of Glendale, Queens, who was busy cleaning a portion of the bronze panel bearing the names of the dead around one of the memorial pools on the Memorial Plaza in downtown New York City on Wednesday.
For the last four days, Peacock and his colleagues from FCC Fabrication have been working to get the panels gleaming. As he cleaned name after name, he said the gravity of what happened here has hit him hard at times. more >>