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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Faith-based organizations offer support on the Internet

"How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings" (Psalm 36:7).

Those words of faithful encouragement washed over visitors to the National Council of Churches Web site following the attacks.

As people nationwide struggled to comprehend the tragedies, many faith-based organizations tried to offer a guiding light and a comforting shoulder — over the Internet.

The NCC's site listed many resources ranging from advice on talking to children about terrorism to interfaith litanies and prayers. Pat Pattillo, NCC associate general secretary for communication, said the site was meant to provide all the ecumenical resources that people could want.

"Everything on our site is in response to questions that came to various people on our staff," he said. "It was very important to have one place that people could come to to get everything."

The ELCA hosted sites designed to keep people updated, offer words of faith and provide an outlet for people to express their emotions. Such sites included www.elca.org/dcs/disaster/sept11.html. Lutheran Brotherhood also provided information on help out through various donations.

Pattillo said the Internet became an important resource for all of these groups. "We realized that quite a lot of phone services were down so it became the primary source of communicating what was going on early on," he said. "It's been really gratifying to have the hit count quadruple the normal level."


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