As part of a campaign to stop one of the world’s longest wars, peace coordinator Telar Deng begins and ends peace conferences by sacrificing a white bull. The Sudanese traditional ritual was recently included in the seventh such conference brokered by Deng and the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC).
So common are visitations in reports of near-death experiences (NDEs) that I, for one, do not expect to die alone. As I say this I dread the eye-rollers and scoffers who will label me as an eccentric if not an outright nut.
Americans are still trying to grasp what happened on September 11, and we don’t yet know how to talk about what comes next. “War” was one of the first things we called it, inspired by images of burning buildings and memories of Pearl Harbor.
These past days the church has been open. People have come flowing in bearing pictures of “the disappeared,” sent by St. Vincent’s Hospital two blocks away, where the chapel was overwhelmed and the need had become too taxing for a staff readying for the arrival of the victims—victims who never came in anything like the expected numbers.
After the twin towers collapsed, Washington Square United Methodist Church in Greenwich Village opened its doors and telephone lines to crying, shaken passersby. “Then the walking wounded began appearing—folks who had walked out of the ‘ground zero’ area,” reported Jacquelyn Moore in a widely circulated e-mail message.