Tryon Methodist honors veterans at special service

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The hour chimed and shortly thereafter members at Tryon United Methodist witnessed the presentation of flags as a special Veterans Day service opened.

After a prayer and singing of “America the Beautiful,” church leaders guided members through a church service peppered with special recognition for all that veteran members of the church sacrificed during service.

“For those people of faith, their military service was and is a significant part of their lives. It’s an expression of their commitment to be good citizens as encouraged by scripture and is a way for some of standing up for the oppressed and those longing for freedom,” said. Rev. Phillip Hurst. “Their service and sacrifice implements a biblical purpose for governmental authority by establishing and keeping order, and providing a corrective force against wrong in the world (Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-14).”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Hurst said such a day of recognition is another way for the church to show appreciation and support for those who have safeguarded the well-being of the nation.

Church member Nancy Hiley said there was a unique energy to the service.

“Seeing some of our veterans wearing their decorations (medals) and even their uniforms,” Hiley said, was inspiring. “The impact of their quiet dignity and looking through the ‘Honor and Remember’ book, I felt the years disappear as I learned more about our members and their relatives.”

This included COL. Carroll Strider, who came to church in his full green service uniform. Member Pam Monterisi said veterans like Strider remind Christians of the true meaning behind patriotism.

“They had a willingness to die for country because they know of Jesus’ willingness to die for our sins,” Monterisi said. “As Christians we are called to have a similar commitment to service as soldiers are committed to service.”

Monterisi said in previous years such a focus on Veterans Day had not been part of worship, but this year veteranmembers like John Albree asked that the church take up honoring war heroes but do it in such a way as to not overshadow regular services.

By commemorating the church’s “Honor and Remember” book, Albree said it will not only honor the past but be a living document as new members add their stories of service.