Alaska Schools and Churches Remember 9-11
With Americans across the nation, Alaskan Adventist schools and churches paused this fall to reflect on the events and aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
Adventist churches and schools hosted a number of commemorative events. Lorraine Carpenter, Dillingham Adventist Elementary School head teacher, reports that her students “prepared an appreciation dinner for local police, firefighters, and ambulance crews.”
After the dinner came a special Prayer Service, conducted by the School, which offers the only alternative to public education in the rural Alaskan town of 2,250, about 370 air miles southwest of Anchorage.
Students at Anchorage Junior Academy (AJA) attended a city-planned “Remember the Heroes” service at Anchorage’s Town Square. They were impressed by speeches given by the governor and mayor. Ellen Robertus, head teacher, said that one of the parts she liked best was “when the crowd applauded the loudest for our Lord and Savior, Jesus, for being our ultimate rescuer.” AJA is the only school group known to have attended the service.
The Hillside O’Malley Adventist Church opened its doors for a Community Prayer Service. State Troopers Tom Shepherd and Paul Kosto were guests of honor, and Anchorage Pathfinders provided a color guard. During a sharing time, Heidi Lubke, who was stationed in Germany with her husband and four children at the time of the attack, said, “It was wonderful to be home again and to experience fully the personal freedoms that the US military works so hard to protect.”
Robert Martínez, pastor of the Northside Adventist Church, was quoted by the local “Anchorage Daily News,” “We believe in the Second Coming of Christ, and that’s what is going to fix things. It’s not God’s fault. God has given us all liberty to choose our pathway.”
An offering raised at Northside’s special, Sept. 11 prayer service, is being used by the Anchorage Fire Department to purchase a lifesaving thermal imaging device to peer through smoke-filled rooms.
Martínez encouraged the community, “We won’t be able to do this alone. We need the community to help with this.
Several churches took advantage of the community exposure offered by the prayer services to promote DVD evangelistic series that began Sept. 13, some in homes, one in an airplane hanger, another in a dental office, and others in church buildings across the state.