When the Churchwide Assembly endorses a memorial, it’s hard to know what will come of it, but in the case of one passed in 2007, it’s safe to say the Rocky Mountain Synod took it seriously.
Memorials aren’t mandates but strong encouragement for congregations to carry out the spirit of the statement. In this case congregations were encouraged “to support returning military personnel and their families,” and provide “healing ministries to military veterans and their families.”
In 2010, Bethany Lutheran Church, Cherry Hills Village, a suburb of Denver, formed “Operation One Nation” to raise funds and gather resources for agencies dedicated to helping veterans and their families heal.
From concerts, Veterans Day observances and other fundraisers, Operation One Nation collected more than $25,000 to give to nonprofit agencies that provide services to military families. That included the Colorado-based “Project Sanctuary”, which hosts five-night retreats for military families in the Rocky Mountains with an array of recreational activities, including fishing, horseback riding and skiing.
For the people of Bethany, “our partnership with Project Sanctuary and Operation One Nation is a response to share one another’s burdens,” said Ron Glusenkamp, one of the pastors.
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