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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Appreciating blue

Like many ministries and traditions, the annual Men and Women in Blue Appreciation Day luncheon at University Lutheran Church, Clemson, S.C., is an idea transplanted from a previous congregation.

Another couple started it, explained Jean Doerr, who helped continue it.

The gracious gesture of thanking police, fire and emergency workers (about 20 from each branch) with food and table decorations of red, white and blue has been happening for several years in Clemson. Doerr won't be spearheading the effort this year, but is still an expert on the luncheon. She believes other congregations could easily duplicate what University does.

police luncheon
Clemson, S.C., police, fire and emergency workers enjoy an annual lunch provided by University Lutheran Church.

For three years the congregation invited the men and women in blue to lunch at church, usually around Memorial Day weekend. University would serve up barbecued pork between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., but varying work shifts made it increasingly difficult for the public servants to attend. So last year the church decided to make and deliver pot pies, salads and desserts to the workers. "They were actually waiting for us," Doerr said.

University puts a note in with the food delivery, thanking the public servants for "securing our safety."

"We're a small town and nothing like the larger cities," Doerr continued, "but this is a nice group of people and I don't know if they're ever given that sort of appreciation. We really do appreciate them."


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