VETERANS DAY THOUGHTS

 

In just over a week we will have our Veterans’ Day service at Church of the Advent, and this has caused me to think about the service provided by our veterans, and in many cases the sacrifices many of our veterans have undertaken to ensure our safety and freedom are retained.

 

I myself have not served in the military, but my Father did so in World War II, and was captured at Dunkirk and spent the remainder of the War in prison camp. He volunteered as soon as the U.K. declared war on Germany and felt it was his duty to serve and fight the tyranny of the Axis forces. Both of my mother’s brothers served in the Canadian Airforce during the war, with one losing his life and the other remaining in the Airforce after the war, finally retiring as a Group Captain. Again both volunteered at the start of the war feeling it was their duty to serve their country and fight the tyranny of the Axis forces.

 

Having grown up talking with family members who have served in the armed forces, and with others, many my peers who served in Vietnam, I have come to appreciate that Veterans’ Day isn’t just about celebrating those who served, but rather it is remembering why they served. As abhorrent as war is it is sometime a necessary action to right wrongs and bring freedom and a beneficial life to people who are being repressed by their regimes. The bible does not address military veterans specifically, but it does speak about the principles that our veterans embody – freedom, sacrifice, overcoming fear, being brave and heroic – values that are often lost in our self-serving culture. In many ways, veterans are one of our best examples of Christians as written in John Chapter 15, verse 13 “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Other verses’ from the Bible that could and do apply to veterans include:

 

·         I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

 

·         I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7

 

·         Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people. Ephesians 6:7

 

 

The Bible is full of stories of veterans and their good deeds, and the ones I particularly remember from Sunday School are David, Joshua and Gideon to name a few. They are all strong military leaders.  Not only did they serve their nations but they also were strong servants of God, just like our many veterans at Church of the Advent.

 

David’s military leadership was decisive and effective. He captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it his royal city and residence. Shortly afterward he brought the Ark of the Lord from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem, publicly acknowledging the Lord’s kingship over himself and the nation.

Joshua’s remarkable life was filled with excitement, variety, success and honor. He was known for his deep trust in God. In the Sinai Peninsula it was Joshua who led the troops to Israel to victory over the Amalekites.

 

God chose Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Midianites, sending an angel saying “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior”. Gideon’s faith was tested as God reduced his army to a small unlikely force of 300. God showed his faithfulness when the small 300 man army defeated tens of thousands of the enemy.

 

At Church of the Advent we have many members of the congregation who have served in the military, ranging from the Army, the Airforce, The Navy and the Marines. Many have seen live action dating from the Second World War through Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. On Sunday November 10th we will celebrate these brave men and women for their service, and many of us will remember our own family members who may have served their countries like I will mine. I think the following by Syndy Sweeney from “Who the hell am I…Honestly” is a fitting tribute to our veterans who we will celebrate on November 10th.

 

Dear Veterans,

 

Those of us who have not served will never fully understand the sacrifices you’ve made both in times of peace and of war.

 

We will never fully understand what you were required to do or how you were able to do it.

 

We will never fully understand the depth of your scars.

 

But what we can offer you is this:

 

We see you.

 

We recognize your humanity.

 

And we send you love that is gentle, patient and healing.

 

With Blessings and Gratitude we ask that you remember you are loved.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by

 

Dave Scott

 

 

God’s Harvest

 

A harvest of apples, a harvest of corn;

A harvest of plenty, an autumn adorned.

With bright colored leaves, a fall festive blend;

A wonderful time for families and friends.

 

A harvest of pumpkins, a harvest of grain;

A harvest of bounty, and cool autumn rains.

A big harvest moon-way up in the sky;

A harvest of blessing that God has supplied.

 

Be grateful, be humble, give thanks to the Lord;

He has showered His blessing here in our world.

But have we been faithful, and have we been true?

Have we put God first in all that we do?

 

A harvest that God sees is not food or crop;

Not pumpkin, or grain, not apples that drop.

But God see the harvest of souls needing Him;

A harvest of people who need saved from their sin.

 

A harvest of souls and a harvest of love;

A harvest of mercy from our Father above.

When we see the harvest, let’s see through God’s eyes;

And share with the nations the life He supplies.

                                      -Susan V Nikitenko

Frank DiCamillo

Vestry Member

Everlasting Life Notwithstanding--You Still Need a Will

Do you have a will?  If not, you’re like the nearly half of Americans over age 55 that do not have a will.  Do you have a living will, power of attorney, and an advance healthcare directive?  If not, you’re in good company because only 18% of Americans over 55 have these legacy plan essentials. (Forbes 2-15-19)  The percentages are even lower for those under 55.

Without these documents, other people will make decisions about your money, your care, and your minor children.  With these documents, you will legally express your wishes about how you want your property distributed and your dependents cared for.  If you are alive but incapacitated, these documents are your best bet for making sure the care you receive is the care you want.  These documents legally authorize a trusted person to act on your behalf. 

We’re talking about careful and responsible management of your own affairs—basically stewardship of your family life and your estate.  Together as parishioners, we practice stewardship (careful and responsible management) of Advent.  Individually, we should all practice stewardship of our own affairs.  Even if you don’t have a lot of money or property, settling your estate will be more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming if you do not have a will.  If you are incapacitated, directing your healthcare will be at best difficult and at worse impossible. 

Why don’t most people have these legacy documents?  People don’t know where to start, or they don’t want to face their own mortality, or they think that they are too young to need these documents.  And so they just put it off. 

To address this, Advent is offering a program on estate planning basics.  Advent’s own Tip McCabe will share his legal expertise on essential estate planning documents.  Come learn about wills, powers of attorney, living wills and advance healthcare directives.  If you already have these documents, come find out about updates to the law that may pertain to you.

Don’t leave a complicated mess for your heirs to deal with.  Make a plan.  Bring a friend who could benefit from this information as well.  October 6th at 11:15-12:00 in the Fellowship Hall

 Faithfully,

Kim Hoeschel

Stewardship

Last weekend, I spoke to the congregation about supporting this year’s Annual Giving campaign: “Growing in faith and numbers.”  The message was simple, think about what Advent means to you and then pledge accordingly.  The goal is to raise $554,000 for our various church programs and the maintenance of our wonderful campus.

 

As I reflect on my own situation, I think about how much Advent meant to my mother, Weezie.  We dutifully attended every Sunday and sat up front so she could see the big show.   We rose, knelt and sat on cue and she loved, loved, loved the music.  Kudo’s to Wilson and the choir!

 

During this time, I benefitted from the fellowship of many.  The quiet word, the gentle assurance, the offer to sit and chat while I attended to Vestry matters.  This proactive pastoral care gave me great comfort, for which I remain appreciative today. 

 

Serving as Development Warden has been tremendously rewarding for me personally.  I enjoy helping others and watching the church grow is exactly what I like to do.   We are strong and we are moving forward.  Our challenge is to remain relevant in an ever-changing world while keeping true to our faith.  This is the cycle of life.

 

So come worship with us, enjoy our fellowship, and walk with us as we make Christ visible.

 

Your obedient servant,

Collis

Development Warden

 

Growing in Faith

Fall brings the beginning of a new season, the changing colors of the leaves, the sun setting earlier each day, back to routines, Sunday School begins and church attendance returns to normal.

 

This summer has taken me away from church most of the summer.  Two of my children are moving, one to a new state, one to a different town.  My one child is getting married. With all of these wonderful things happening, there is also a lot of stress going on and tensions can be high.

 

As I was driving to New York City to help my son move yesterday, I was trying to think of the subject of my checking in article. (nothing like waiting until the last minute).  If you have ever driven to New York City, you will understand the meaning of this.

 

 Lots of new beginnings and changes in the season of our lives.  As I share these events with my children, I am trying to impair words of wisdom to get them through these stressful times.

 

These are my two thoughts: 

 

I leave these words every time I leave my children.  Be kind to one another.  These words made me think about what the difference is between nice and kind.

 

Nice: to be pleasing, agreeable, amiable, delightful, caring, tactful.

 

Kind:

1.     Kind is to be of a good nature or benevolent nature or disposition.

2.     Having, showing or proceeding from benevolence.

3.     Indulgent, considerate or helpful.

 

Benevolent is characterized by or expressing good will, kind feelings, desire to help others, charitable.

 

Be kind to one another.

 

Grow in Faith:

 

Growth: To increase by natural development, to become mature or experienced.

 

Faith: Have confidence and trust in each other, be loyal to a person and a promise.  Belief that is not based on proof, belief in God and his teachings.

 

So as the fall season is upon us, let us be kind to one another and Grow in Faith.

 

Faithfully yours,

Mary