To receive free resources in time to celebrate LCMS Armed Forces Ministry Sunday on May 16, congregations are asked to place their orders by Feb. 19.
Due to the use of a new ordering system that “more closely links LCMS World Mission via e-mail to each congregation,” all congregations are required to place new orders this year, even if they had automatically received Armed Forces Sunday resources in the past, according to Chaplain Mark Schreiber, director of the Synod’s Ministry to the Armed Forces.
Items available are bulletin inserts in quantities of 50, a suggested sermon, and responsive prayers. This year’s resources are based on the theme “Ceaseless Sacrifice — Enduring Faith.”
Also available, from previous years’ celebrations, are messages and responsive prayers with the themes “Changeless Warriors,” “A Mighty Fortress,” and “When I am Weak, He is Strong.”
The Web site for ordering this year’s materials, which will be mailed out in April, is www.lcms.org/?16277.
Also available on the Ministry to the Armed Forces Web site is a form to register congregation members who are serving in the military so that they will receive free materials from the Synod’s “Ministry-by-Mail” program. Service men and women who are registered receive an initial packet of materials, followed by regular mailings of the Portals of Prayer devotional. Information about the program is available online at www.lcms.org/?8100.
The Web site also suggests that congregations encourage their members who are veterans to come in uniform to worship on May 16 and that a special recognition ceremony be held for them and their family members. A military chaplain also may be invited to speak for the occasion.
“If your congregation chooses to celebrate Armed Forces Sunday on a day other than May 16, appropriate days could include a Sunday close to Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Veterans Day,” Schreiber added.
“This special Sunday recognizes the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform,” he told Reporter via e-mail. “Armed Forces Sunday, as celebrated by our church body today, gives every member time and occasion to reflect upon the dedicated service and tremendous sacrifice of all veterans in all wars who have helped to secure our place as a nation, by the grace of God.
“You can and should be proud of our young men and women who serve today, halfway around the world, under difficult circumstances and in dangerous terrain,” Schreiber continued. “Today’s chaplains serve side-by-side our military. They often find themselves in harm’s way. Your continued prayers and support assure them that their church body has not forgotten their ‘ceaseless sacrifice and enduring faith.'”
To locate a chaplain in your area or for more information about Armed Forces Sunday resources, call 800-433-3954, ext. 1337, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted Feb. 18, 2010