Minneapolis pastor's Sept. 11 sign idea spreads nationwide

  • Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 8, 2011 - 8:47 PM

More than 500 congregational leaders from across the country will participate in a public expression of faith this weekend to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks -- thanks to the initiative of one local pastor.

The Rev. Meta Carlson of St. John Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis launched an invitation on a Facebook group for Evangelical Lutheran Church in America clergy and others to join her in standing at public intersections with handwritten statements, aimed at giving meaning to the terrorist attacks that day.

In the Twin Cities, clergy and interested others will take to street corners from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Each will hold a handwritten cardboard sign, expressing one element of their belief about God's presence. Carlson describes it as a "living Lutheran creed."

The Rev. Patricia Lull, executive director for St. Paul Area Council of Churches, said the initiative has spread nationwide.

"Lutherans want to be seen as 'friendly' and 'welcoming' communities. I can't think of a more hospitable gesture than meeting people on the streets and reminding them that the Church is a people and a place where folks hash out difficult stuff and work toward healing," Carlson said in a released statement.

She plans to be at one of the exit ramps on 46th Street and Interstate 35W with her 7-month-old son and a sign that reads: "I believe God isn't finished working through the church yet ... so neither am I."

Her colleague, the Rev. Mark Hallonquist, will be at 50th Street and Nicollet Avenue S. with a sign reading: "I believe there is no debt ceiling on God's grace."

Anyone interested in joining the effort is welcome. For more information, contact Carlson at pastormeta@stjohnsmpls.org.

Rose French • 612-673-4352

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