Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, is on a Sunday this year and many churches will be conducting special services to honor veterans but any day can be a good day to remember those who sacrifice so much.
The United Methodist Church offers many spiritual resources for veterans and their families that can be used year-round. In January, United Methodist Communications will be one of the sponsors for America's Sunday Supper, which will focus on supporting military families.
Strength for Service has been a resource and comfort for soldiers and their families since 1942. After Sept. 11, 2001, United Methodist Men took over support of the project. . The devotional is for armed forces personnel and was written for use during World War II and the Korean conflict. The book was updated and reprinted in 2002 thanks to Evan Hunsberger, an Eagle Scout, who found his grandfather's worn copy and made it his mission to get the book updated and republished.
Soldiers like SPC Michael Levine, Second Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division, recently wrote a note of thanks for the book he received:
"The daily devotional, Strength for Service, was a life-saver for me during my deployment in Afghanistan 2011-2012. They brought me closer to God and my fiancée back home, as we shared each daily devotional together."
The United Methodist Board of Discipleship offers suggestions for observing Veterans Day, including resources in the United Methodist Book of Worship, The United Methodist Hymnal and The Faith We Sing, Scriptures and a litany.
For use on any occasion to honor veterans, the Board of Discipleship offers:
United Methodist Men actively strives to supply a copy of the devotional "to every man and woman serving in the U.S. armed forces worldwide."
- Prayer for Protection of Those in Military Service
- Prayers for Armed Forces Week - May 12-20, 2012
- Service of Prayer and Meditation in Time of War
- Chaplains Ministry of The Upper Room (in print) and on YouTube
- Order of Service for Men and Women Mobilized or Deployed
- Order of Service for a Reserve Chaplain Called to Active Duty
- National Civic Days and Worship
The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry has an endorsing office that approves and supports United Methodist pastors called to be military chaplains. Chaplains from all the armed forces have written stories and resources for families who have loved ones fighting far from home.
Some of those resources include:
- Congregational care for deployed services members and their families
- Supporting Military Members & Their Families
- How to Speak Military
- An Order for Blessing Service Members Deploying to War
- Resources for Ministry with Veterans and Military Families
- Trauma Healing - Preparing Churches to Receive Returning Military Personnel
*Gilbert is a multimedia reporter for the young adult content team at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Maggie Hillery, Nashville, Tenn., 615 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.