December 1999 Newsletter


The RLDS Peacekeepers newsletter is available in an e-mail and a "dead tree" edition. Active-duty military members who join the association can receive either edition for free. Non-active-duty members receive either edition with a paid membership. 


RLDS Association of Ministry to Military Personnel Newsletter 

The Peacekeepers 
December 1999 Issue

The year is rapidly slipping away from us and most of us will be looking toward Y2K. According to all the guys who have worked on this computer, it should be OK. We hope that the New Year Will bring the very best to each one of you and the Lord will keep you from harm's way.

Scott Jobe, our RLDS Chaplain on active duty with the Air Force is now a Captain. It seems that he had his railroad tracks pinned on him by his bride Kim on 18 November. However, his date of rank is 3 November 99. That's really good news, Scott, and we send our best to you.

It seems that Commander David Alger has seen enough of the Navy and has retired this year. My hat goes off to you for staying with the Navy long enough to retire. After two years on a DE, I had seen all the seasickness I wanted and got out. It seems every time I went to sea, I got sick. It is claimed that a DE will roll in dry dock. Congratulations, David; we're very happy for you!

We have also picked up some new people. LT Julie O'Neal of the United States Navy has been reported to us. It seems she is calling Oak Harbor, Washington, home for awhile. We're very happy that you have been reported to us, Julie.

Also, MSGT Wesley and Connie Kreger have been reported to us, and we'll have to get with them soon. It may be that the newsletter will reach them before my welcoming letter gets there. I guess I'll have to get busy on the welcome part. In any event, welcome Sarge and family!

I'm still awaiting word from Tim Kunzweiler that he as made LtCol. No word so far, but we keep hoping.

It seems that one of our own was involved in a training accident. Sgt Matt Pement, who is stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington, had a breech mechanism in a tank malfunction and caused him some serious injuries. We haven't heard lately of his condition, but I'm certain that prayers in his behalf would be appreciated.

Joyce and I are in the Valley of the Sun in Arizona. It was hot when we arrived, but now the temperatures are more seasonable but still very pleasant. The warm weather helps her health a great deal. -CH 


Scott Jobe, our Air Force Chaplain, wrote a poem, which I believe should be included, so here goes:

Go Forth Now in Christian Mission

Help us, O Lord, to seize the day,
Holy Spirit we pray you have your way,
May God in Christ be our guide,
Alive and well and by our side.

Within us now, let us hear Christ's call,
Empower us to give our life, to give our all,
In Christ let us trust, in His love so great,
Ahead lies Christ smiling at heavens gate.

Oh people of the cross-please testify and go,
The love of Christ we must show,
Of forgiveness and sacrifice for sin we must tell,
This good news of the Risen Christ who is alive and well.

Today is the day, that is should be done,
That we must share about God's only Son,
Go forth now empowered to serve where there's need,
Showing forth the Risen Christ in your word and in your deed.

Have faith in Christ who heals and sets free,
Make Christian disciples-help others to see,
For He has a plan and He never fails,
So go forth now with His wind in your sails.

Go forth now in mission and proclaim His rule,
Be His people, don't be stubborn like a mule,
Be a vessel of light to those in the dark,
Be the one who feels the call to embark.

Be disciples of Christ sharing His light,
Be His instruments of illumination that aid in their sight,
Let Christ guide our steps, in His service let us do our best,
Accept Christ and follow Him and He will do the rest.

Show your neighbor Christ's saving grace,
Help them to understand the human sinful case,
Share life with another is God's plea,
For God's love is not just for you and for me.

No, we must serve with mission zeal,
And of others pain we must feel,
In unity with them both far and near,
For all of God's children are so very dear.

Go forth now in mission,
Go forth now be bold,
For all are God's children both the young and the old,
All nations, all races, all peoples on earth,
All created by God, all are children of worth.

Scott Jobe
Chaplain, Captain, U.S. Air Force


A CHRISTMAS STORY

It was December 1945. We had spent a week riding across France and part of Germany in a railroad car of World War 1 vintage "40 & 8" (40 men and 8 horses). We arrived in Marburg on Christmas Eve. Bored and lonesome on this holiest of nights, a colleague and I wandered over to the PX. Somehow the Christmas tree and the music seemed inadequate. We decided to load our knapsacks with candies and trinkets from the exchange and walk the streets in search of small children.

The streets seemed strangely empty as we walked the cobblestone roads. There was little to celebrate in postwar, defeated Germany. But finally, we met a little boy and girl dressed in Christmas clothing and carrying little jack-o-lantern lights. We gave them candy and some small toys. They gave a joyful shout, "Freuliche Weinachten" and disappeared down some steps into a basement apartment. We walked on for perhaps half an hour. Seeing no one we turned back. As we approached the children's apartment, they were waiting for us. They beckoned us to come with them. At the door we were greeted by their parents and they invited us in for a visit. The father had been a mining engineer and the mother a college professor. They both spoke some English so that we could visit about a number of things. They asked what we had done for a living. When we told them we had farm backgrounds, the mother asked in astonishment, "in America peasants can be officers?" We laughed and discussed the lack of class structure in our country and the freedom to choose our line of work.

After a time, the mother disappeared, but shortly returned and asked if we would like to sing Christmas Carols. We happily agreed and were led upstairs to a large room with a grand piano at one end. Soon about twenty people wandered in and we circled the piano and began to sing. At first our uniforms seemed to cause some discomfort. After all, only seven months before we had been at war. The Christmas Spirit soon began to take hold and their were smiles and laughter was we sang "Tannenbaum, O Tannebaum" and other carols familiar to us all.

At last it was time to leave and they asked us if we knew "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht". And that is what they sang as we sang "Silent Night, Holy Night" As the stanza progressed, we formed a circle and joined hands. Tears were flowing as the final notes faded. In that moment, the Christ Child had removed the echoes of war and perhaps foretold of the days when the United States and Germany would once more become friends. The evening was a miracle and one of my greatest Christmas Gifts.

David Nelson - Mesa Congregation - Mesa, Arizona 


A GIFT OF HERITAGE

Almost 50 years ago, I was privileged to share in the first youth camp held in Southern Missouri USA (one of the first even in the whole church}. Along with others there, I eagerly looked forward to receiving an "Evangelist's Blessing," then called a Patriarchal Blessing. I was confident that the blessing would help me find clearer directions in my life, and would sustain me in times of uncertainty and difficulty. I was barely sixteen years old when Evangelist Ray Whiting shared with me in prayer, blessing and assurance.

Throughout my years since 1950, this blessing has helped illumine my way when I have faced crossroads, and encouraged me to respond to God's continuing activity in my life. In ways similar to others, I still refer often to the guidance found in the printed copy of that experience.

Almost three years ago I was ordained an Evangelist and since that time have been involved with others in their blessings. Already I have seen persons react to situations, and make decisions, in ways different than before. What a privilege to share in these life-impacting sacraments.

Recently in a gathering of Evangelists and spouses we discussed our different experiences in various kinds of "blessings". We explored "Family Blessings" and "Congregational Blessings" which speak to the needs of groups; but basic to all blessings are the blessings for individuals, both "Evangelistic Blessings" and "Special Blessings."

What is your experience with blessings by an Evangelist? Have you received such a blessing? If so, is it helpful to you? If not, are you interested in receiving a blessing?

If you are seeking a blessing, make contact with an evangelist in your area or a pastor with whom you have some acquaintance. He or she can assist you in arranging and preparing for one. The benefits can be particularly helpful when you face difficult situations or decisions. My life is enriched through blessings; I trust that you may also be enriched through yours.

Eldred F. Spain


Eldred Spain is an Evangelist in Arizona. When he arrived here he was a Seventy but he is now retired, at least that what is on his record, but to know him is to know he may be tired but not retired. He is fully engaged doing the Lord's work along with his beautiful wife. 


Got an e-mail from Captain Michael Nelson recently and he tells me that he has been rotated to Bosnia. It is a terrible time to be separated from his family but that is the way the military operates. Michael you and Patricia Sefick should get together. Patricia is in the army and is part of a payroll unit in Bosnia (I think that is correct). Her home station is Ft Hood, Texas. Mike is in the Air Force (I think). 


Conference time is coming faster than a speeding bullet. Trying to get loose ends tied up is taking more time that I would like to admit. I want you to remember that we are to have an election of officers at conference. If any of you would like to have your name placed in nomination for offices other than president, let me know. According to the constitution, the president is elected for four years. That means you are stuck with me for two more years unless there is an impeachment vote. 


We need sustaining members. Those of you that are no longer on active duty and are sustaining members please get out your sales uniforms. I find that by talking to people about the association and what we are trying to do most will gladly assist us and become members. In 2000 let's work toward 200 sustaining members. That should give us enough funds to keep the association live and well. In talking to the officers we would like to make the dues year run from April to April. Anyone joining the association after November gets an extended membership until April the following year. 


Also, please let me know about issues or ideas that you would like to see brought up to accomplish in the next two years. That way we can get them on the agenda and published in the February newsletter. We will need members to help man the booth during conference. Take a few minutes and drop me a note telling me about your being able to help. I plan on having it manned only during the time when there are not sessions going on however, that may not be poured in concrete. 


Remember this is your association as well as mine and I really need your input. I feel very strongly about our effort to keep you who are on active duty in touch with the church. I need news from you. I need testimonies from you. I need information about you. I am really disappointed with the response that I got about where you are so I can make our map representative of our worldwide effort. 


Since my hard drive crashed and I lost many addresses as well as e-mail addresses please help me out if you are getting snail mail instead of e-mail. I'm trying to get them back as best I can.

May the Lord bless each one of you in your efforts to keep the peace and representing the Lord Jesus Christ wherever you are.

GOD BLESS,

Curt
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