Albany Hosts 9/11 Commemoration
Members of the Albany, Ore., Church threw open their doors on Sabbath, Sep. 14, inviting the community to take part in a special 9-11 commemorative program and recognition ceremony held to honor local safety agencies.
Sabbath school superintendent John Murray launched the program, emphasizing patriotism in context of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The program, “We Remember, We Give Thanks; We Prepare” was written and narrated by Curtis Miller and wife Joy, using multimedia imagery, accompanied by off-stage voices of Susan Cantrell, Larry Ridgley, Kelly DeVinney, Geoffrey Woitt, and vocalist Alice Burgess.
Worship services began with the seating of guests of honor, escorted by the Pathfinder Honor Guard, who presented the Colors. Pathfinder Leader Jim Woitt led the congregation in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Judy and Lorance Van Tassel led song service, accompanied by brass players Prince Baker, Tyrone Settlemier, Kevin and Monte Van Tassel, and Marla Severance, with pianist, Gillian Nielsen, and organist, Dan Reed.
After the invocation, Pastor Paul Cole baptized the congregation’s newest member, Jonathan Phillips.
Phil Miller and his Shelty dog, “Buddy,” then demonstrated the concept of “waiting” to a group of children gathered around him. As he balanced a doggie treat on top of Buddy’s narrow nose, Phil explained that sometimes God asks us to “wait.”
The coveted treat just fractions of an inch from his taste buds, Buddy sat focused on his master, waiting for the designated word of permission.
A highlight of the morning’s program came during the presentation of commemorative plaques to Linn County Sheriff Dave Burright, Albany Fire Chief Kevin Kreitman, Albany Barracks Oregon State Police Sgt. Mike Peterson, and Albany Assistant Chief of Police Dave Shinholster. Though unable to attend, Albany Mayor Chuck McLaren received a plaque, hand-delivered by Pastor Cole.
Members of the local Spanish group also took part in the service, as did the Albany Church choir.
The worship program culminated with the benediction song, “We Have This Hope.”
Guests and members then attended a vegetarian/vegan lunch, sponsored by the local health/temperance department.
After lunch, guests explored the church facility and reviewed its ministries at special display stations.