November 22, 2017
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…connect with others....

  Free Community Meal in the Fellowship Hall.....Wednesdays at 5:00 pm.  Join us for food, fellowship and friends.  Also stay for Wednesday Prayer Meeting in the Sanctuary at 5:45.     

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Hi, Folks, 
      I was in a Worship Team meeting after church. We were discussing different ideas for events coming soon and how we might celebrate, illustrate, and demonstrate them on the appropriate Sunday. Looking at the calendar, I saw Veterans Day, November 11, is coming fast.

A bit of information on military holidays—they started under other names than what they are known as today. Memorial Day, which honors those who died in the service to our nation, started after the civil war in 1868. Veterans Day honors all those who have served our country in uniform, and can be traced back to 1918. Armed Forces Day honors all those in military service and started in 1949.

Veterans Day is a bittersweet holiday. For me this is a rough day. I grew up in a family of five: Mom, Dad, and three boys. Veterans Day is a good day, because my older brother enlisted in the Air Force and committed 26 years to the USAF and then continued as a civilian. He now has over 37 years of DOD service. I served one enlistment, having followed my big brother into the USAF. My younger brother (he was taller than me so I cannot call him little) enlisted in the Navy. We lost him during his second enlistment in the Navy. He was found unconscious at his duty station, and the cause was never determined.
To honor my younger brother, I fly the flag I have from his funeral. His base commander brought additional flags for my brother and me, so when I am working on his birthday, the day we lost him, Veterans Day, or Memorial Day, I find a flag pole in the area I am working. With permission from the owner of the flag pole, my brother’s flag is set free to be filled with God's wind. This is a small gesture of remembrance and respect.
In the Worship Team meeting, this was going through my head, as we looked at the calendar and talked about plans and altar decorations. So I brought forward the following idea, which was discussed and reshaped and is now offered to you.
We all know someone who is or has served our nation. Unfortunately, several of us have lost people who were close to us during service to our country. I think we found a good way to honor them. Do you have an honor flag folded into a triangle and sealed in a case? Would you consider bringing it to church to be placed up at the altar? How about a photograph of a loved one currently serving or who has served in the past? Would you bring that to church for the altar area?
We also thought it would be fitting to have in the bulletin an “In Honor of” sheet. This would list your name, the service person you are honoring, branch of service, and the relationship. For example:

Your name: Scott Ritsema

Relationship: Brother

Service person: Steven Ritsema

Military branch: US Navy

Please fill in the enclosed form and submit it to the church office by Wednesday, November 8. This is a nice way to honor the service and sacrifice of our loved ones. So I submit this idea for your consideration as we approach Veterans Day. May your day be blessed. –Scott Ritsema