“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
It is a compassionate wind stirring the chimes today. What do you hear?
Extending Veterans Day
Yesterday I shared a prayer with you. I used the prayer in worship at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church in Idyllwild, CA. In the Presidential Proclamation for Veterans Day, 2012, we were exhorted to a daily work of remembrance and gratitude. Today I share a note from “Church Leaders” about the needs of returning Veterans. The note is a plea and an invitation for people of faith to reach out with compassion to our returning Veterans. During the rest of the week I will find and share other voices: some highlighting the needs of our returning Vets, some asking for you and me to be involved, some reporting what is being done to care for Vets returning to civilian life, and some speaking to the needs of active duty personnel. A common thread in most Veterans Day celebrations: remember, thank, and care for Vets not only on one day a year, but every day of the year. ~dan
An every day commitment
On days like this, we are called to reflect on immeasurable burdens that have been borne by so few. We pay tribute to our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families—men and women who have known the true costs of conflict and deserve our deepest respect, now and forever. We also remember that our commitments to those who have served are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day. As we do so, let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward.
From the Presidential Proclamation to observe Veterans Day in 2012
Church leaders say returning Vets need time, attention
Statistics are few, but Scott McChrystal, a retired Army chaplain and the military/VA representative for the Assemblies of God, doubts that more than 5 percent of churches have an ongoing ministry for returning vets. He says churches can start small, with a coffee hour or other monthly gathering for veterans.
“The churches can make a huge contribution and most of what needs to be done, in my opinion, can be done by reasonably educated informed lay people, not experts,” said McChrystal, whose brother Stanley was the head of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.
Read the entire article on Religion News Service (by Adelle M. Banks and dated 11/8/12)
Photo: U.S. Army photostream on Flickr ~dan