9/11 and the Emerging Church

Here is my 2008 interview with Rev. Dr. Fred Burnham, the former director of Trinity Institute at Trinity Wall Street (Episcopal), about his experiences with former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and many others who miraculously survived the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

This conversation is now 10 years old, and the video quality shows it. But the conversation is one that I return to personally every year at this time. In it, Fred shares the message that Archbishop Williams gave the day following the 9/11 attacks, in which he declared,

“The basic foundations of any authentic pastoral ministry are: the apprehension of death and the experience of radical vulnerability. It is only when you have experienced those two things that your heart can be broken open in such a manner that you can feel the pain and suffering of others as if it were your own. That is the moment in which we discover compassion.”

It was Fred’s experiences at Ground Zero that allowed him to make the fascinating connection between network theory and the emerging/emergent church movement of the early 2000s.

Watch and listen to this compelling story about facing death, bonding in a sacred circle of love, and the true meaning of life:

Stephen Roach Knight