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Pastor's Corner: Veterans Day, ChildBridge, and here comes our Community Thanksgiving Service!

 

November 15, 2019



Veterans Day: I sure did enjoy the Veterans Day weekend! It started, for me, with a Veterans Recognition Service at the Northern Montana Care Center at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 8. All of the Havre third graders were in attendance to sing Veterans Day songs. As the newly hired very, very part-time Care Center chaplain, it was my job to end the observance with a blessing on our veterans there at the Care Center. I had my speech all prepared, BUT after the children finished singing their songs, they were instructed to all sit down on the floor for the remainder of the service. When that happened, I knew that my delivering a speech to the residents at the Care Center with 80-plus third graders sitting behind me was a recipe for sure disaster … so I decided to have the third graders help me recognize our veterans. I announced the name of each veteran and then I picked out one or two of the third graders to accompany me as we went personally to that veteran, shook their hand, and verbally thanked them for their service to our country and to us. When the children shook the hands of the veterans, special moments took place, with veterans’ eyes filling with tears of joy! Wow! What a Veterans Day recognition!

Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, lots of family members and friends texted me or messaged me on Facebook, thanking me for my five years serving in the U.S. Navy (1986-1991; Desert Shield and Desert Storm). Folks also thanked my dad and my brother, career men in the Air Force and my two sons: one three years in the Navy, and one still working on a six-year enlistment in the Navy. Without a doubt, Veterans Day is so very important to our family.

ChildBridge: Thursday evening, Nov. 14, Havre’s ChildBridge group met. You may remember from a prior newspaper article that I wrote that ChildBridge’s mission is to find and equip foster and adoptive families for Montana children who have been victims of abuse or neglect. ChildBridge comes alongside Child and Family Service and focuses on equipping foster and adoptive parents to better provide safe, loving families with safe, loving parenting — with NO abuse and NO neglect. So many times, these abused and or neglected children come into their foster or adoptive families with trauma. These foster and adoptive parents and families need extra equipping and training to more effectively deal with the trauma these children face.

ChildBridge core values state that: “As a faith-based organization focused on finding and equipping foster and adoptive families, our approach has proven unique and effective. Following the successful recruitment and preparation of foster and adoptive families, ChildBridge provides support, advocacy and resources for them as they obtain a foster care license and prepares them to provide the best care possible for children. To meet the special needs of foster and adopted children, ChildBridge provides families with resource groups, focus groups, education, training and special assistance as needs arise, free of charge.” ChildBridge continues to flourish here in Havre!

Community Thanksgiving Service: Now, as we look forward to Thanksgiving Day Thursday, Nov. 28, we, as a community, have a great opportunity to worship together and bless the Care Center residents, by gathering at the Northern Montana Care center’s Grace Chapel Sunday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. for a time of worship and celebration of Thanksgiving. Our pastor’s band — led by me — will be leading singing from 6-6:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., we will start our official Community Thanksgiving Service. Area church choirs will be participating, including the combined ELCA Lutheran Choir, from three different churches, who will be singing at least one song — “We Plow the Fields and Scatter.” Our special speaker that evening will be Pastor Nat Sahlstrom, the youth pastor at Community Alliance Church. I encourage as many as can to attend this service. Let’s pack the Grace Chapel and bless the Care Center residents!

Thanksgiving Scriptures: I close this week’s religious article with these Thanksgiving Scriptures: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Philippians 4:6 — Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Psalms 107:1 — O give thanks unto the Lord, for (He is) good: for His mercy (endureth) for ever. Psalms 7:17 — I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high. Psalms 100:1-5 — (A Psalm of praise.) Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Ephesians 5:20 — Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. James 1:17 — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Matthew 6:25-34 — Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Isaiah 12:1-6 — And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Psalms 50:14 — Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.

Hebrews 13:15 — By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of (our) lips giving thanks to His name. Colossians 3:15 — And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Psalms 116:12 — What shall I render unto the Lord (for) all his benefits toward me? Lamentations 3:23 — (They are) new every morning: great (is) thy faithfulness. Psalms 136:1 — 127:26 — O give thanks unto the Lord; for (He is) good: for His mercy (endureth) for ever. 2 Corinthians 2:14 — Now thanks (be) unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place. Psalms 95:1-6 — O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Psalms 31:19 — (Oh) how great (is) thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; (which) thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Rev. Edroy “Curt” Curtis is lead pastor of Havre Assembly of God Church; president of the Greater Havre Area Ministerial Association and newly hired chaplain of the Northern Montana Care Center

Quotes are from the ChildBridge website and the King James Version of the Holy Bible

 

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