Submitted by Pastor Tony Pittenger, Bethany Lutheran Church, Port Orchard, WA.
1. We try to regularly include our military personnel and their families in the prayer of the church.
2. We include special prayers on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Veteran’s Day, and in response to news concerning the military (e.g. local deployments, accidents, attacks, etc.)
3. We’ve found that displaying an American flag on our website seems to help. (Most military families have investigated our church/school online before they arrive in our area.)
4. We post/retire the colors on Sunday nearest Veteran’s Day. Include a listing of all current and former military members. (Contact me for details on those rubrics/commands firstname.lastname@example.org )
5. We try to keep apprised of deployed situations and try to keep in touch with the family at home to see where we can help out. In the past, this has included: yard care, babysitting, Christmas tree/lights, changing flat tires, etc.
6. We have a stock of these books. Inside the teacher writes a note and gives to children in our school when a parent is deployed:
Hero Dad– byMelinda Hardin
You’re A Grand Old Flag– by George M. Cohan
- Oh Say Can You See– by D. Clark
7. Our roots go back to the ship repairing/building industry of WWII. We make a conscious effort to keep that connection before the people. We’ve found that this helps assure veterans that their service will be appreciated and it helps teach new families with no military connection about what has been sacrificed for us to live as we do today.