“When I am Weak, He is Strong” is the theme for this year’s “Armed Forces Sunday” observance on May 20. Free resources are available online to help congregations remember military families and support the Synod’s armed forces ministry.
“It is a challenging time for our American troops,” said Rev. Mark J. Schreiber, director of the LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces. “The war on terror continues unabated. Thousands of American men and women are in the Middle East supporting that effort. Military units are deploying over and over at a high pace — including Reserve and National Guard units. Duty tours are being extended.
“Whether you are deployed overseas, or part of the ‘rear guard’ back home, the war effort means family separations, loss of friends and loved ones, injuries to many others, and a challenge to our resources and resolve.”
Referring to the theme, “When I am Weak, He is Strong,” Schreiber said “it is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge that God is our true source of strength; rather, it is a statement of confident faith.
“When we are pushed to the limit, pressed to the wall, or searching for meaning in time of chaos and destruction, we know that there is One who went all the way to death and the grave for us, and He is faithful,” he continued. “Our security and strength in God, the Father, Son and Spirit — and especially Christ’s victory over death — stands as the unchanging backdrop to everything we face in life.”
Visitors to the ministry’s Web site at www.lcmsworldmission.org/armedforces can download this year’s “Armed Forces Sunday” materials:
- a bulletin insert with attached offering envelope;
- a responsive prayer; and
- preaching helps for pastors.
The suggested hymn for this year’s observance is No. 665 from Lutheran Service Book, “Be Strong in the Lord.”
The Web site also offers information on how to become a military chaplain; a list of “care package” items most useful to troops; a worship service that honors veterans; a history of Veterans Day; a copy of So Help Me, God!, the quarterly armed forces newsletter; a brochure about the Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces; and resources for military chaplains.
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has provided ministry to military personnel since the Civil War, and for more than 60 years has conducted a “Ministry-by-Mail” program for those serving in the military worldwide, providing them with free devotional literature four times a year.
The Synod has 76 active-duty chaplains in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, with 105 Reserve and National Guard chaplains serving in various units throughout the United States. Thirteen chaplains currently serve in Iraq or Afghanistan — six of those are reservists called to active duty from their parishes.
For more information about the Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces, call (800) 433-3954, Ext. 1337, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted April 27, 2007