Monday, September 17, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Maya Matsumoto, 5, prayed after offering incense
yesterday morning during a service at Jikoen Hongwanji
Temple in Kalihi that touched on last week's
terrorist attacks. At the service the Rev. Bruce
Nakamura spoke on the importance of coming
together and comforting each other.

Isles seek solace
through faith

One priest cautions against revenge
despite anger and pain after the tragedy

By Leila Fujimori

Many in Hawaii and across the nation sought healing, solace and answers through places of worship yesterday, the first Sunday after Tuesday's terrorist attacks.

Penny Minehira, though not a regular churchgoer, made it a point to attend services at Jikoen Hongwanji, a Buddhist temple in Kalihi, to acknowledge those who have suffered in the attacks and to find comfort to cope with the tragedy.

"It's nice to be together," said Minehira, 44. "We sang together and recited a meditation. It made me feel better."

Minehira listened to the Rev. Bruce Nakamura's sermon on the importance of coming together and comforting one another.

Members of the Nuuanu Congregational Church and
clergy held hands yesterday afternoon during an
interdenominational service and prayed for the
victims of the terrorist attacks.

He said it was important to acknowledge the feelings of pain and anger after tragedies, but cautioned against acting upon them.

"In the name of patriotism, the lust for revenge and blood is feverishly sweeping the American psyche," Nakamura said.

He spoke of violence against American-Muslim communities shortly after the attacks. "The American heart has not yet learned of the many lessons of World War II against Japanese, German and Italian Americans," he said.

"My personal concern is that we don't target people of this (Muslim) faith," said June Sutterfield, 53, who teaches Sunday school to 24 fourth- and fifth-graders.

Some places of worship drew larger-than-usual crowds yesterday.

At New Hope Christian Fellowship Oahu, a Pentecostal church, 9,898 packed the Farrington High School and Sand Island sites, far more than the average 7,500 to 8,000.

"It shows how people are seeking answers," said member Shayna Ching, 25. "It's been an encouraging time for me to renew my faith."

David Kusumoto, 29, said he initially felt anger over the attacks, but yesterday's sermon helped him be more at peace.

Kazuko Ishihara Love, 52, attended a Protestant interdenominational prayer service of a dozen Japanese-language churches held at Nuuanu Congregational Church.

"I felt alone at my own church even though I was with other parishioners," Love said after the service, in which they held hands, sang hymns and prayed. "But here I felt I was together with people, brothers and sisters. We shared the sorrow together."

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin