Notes from the Sept 28 Operation Barnabas Chapter Meeting

Pastor opened the meeting with a devotion from Ephesians 2.  There is more than an alteration from citizen to soldier when each person begins basic training. They move from a nobody to a somebody in the Service.   An analogy is made when St. Paul writes that “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  We, as Operation Barnabas members are to reach out to a world of “nobodies” and tell and share the Good News of salvation.  

The Pinal County Stand Down is Nov. 13 at Coolidge, AZ at the HOHP Veteran Transition Center.  We will not be doing care backpacks, but we will be contacting the organizer and asking if there is anything we can assist with.  Something we could do is donate the socks that are being collected for us at the LWML in-gathering on Oct. 3.

We are trying to contact our Chaplain Aaron Bell at Camp Pendleton to find out how we might help him.  We will contact him again.  Our first attempts failed.

Christie has said she would contact Wendy’s Collection Boutique for female Veterans and find out what we might gather for them.  Things for sharing include jewelry, cosmetics, purses, nice scarves, and feminine hygiene items.

Boyd has been visiting with Bill T who requested companionship with another Veteran from O.B.  Our website received a request for prayers and assistance for Darrell H, by his son Tim who lives in Haven, Kansas and attends an LCMS Church.  We will try to connect.

We received word that we have been awarded a grant from the Veterans’ Donations Fund for a storage unit and shelving for our campus at CLC to house donations for Veterans.  It amounts to $4,155.  As soon as the check goes into the bank, we will move forward on ordering the shed and shelving.

Nov. 11th and the Veteran’s Day Celebration at Claire’s Cafe will include $15 food vouchers for Veterans to get a free meal.  Also, there will be a pickle, jam and bake sale fundraiser.  Pastor is planning commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at 11:00 A.M.  All Church members and the community will be invited to attend.

Three of our members will be attending a National O.B. Conference in St. Louis, MO on Oct.18-22.  They include:  Christie & Boyd  and Vicar.

Our next meeting will be Thurs., Oct. 14 at 10:00 at the Church.  There will be a pickle and jam sale fundraiser at both divine services at CLC on Oct. 17.

Pastor closed out the meeting with a prayer for the families of the soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan on Aug. 26.  He also did a military roll call for each soldier.

In His Service,
Dawn

Notes from the May 11 Operation Barnabas Chapter Meeting

Pastor opened our meeting with the Litany where we asked God to have mercy on us sojourners here on earth.  It is our job to engage the rest of society by pointing the way of peace, hope and salvation while walking with Christ beside us.  We can be joyful as we journey towards heaven. 

Those present at the meeting included:  Pastor & Marty, Vicar, Boyd, Larry, Laura, Kathy, & Dawn.

We have no word about troops in our area returning home or being deployed. Larry has had our banner repaired.  Thank you, Larry. 

We voted to support Airman Perkins, his wife and new baby by sending $250 for diapers or other needs for a newborn.  They are based in Wyoming. 

632 new pairs of socks were delivered to Veterans at various locations throughout Tucson.  These articles were donated to the Lion’s Club which passed them on to us.  Sunglasses & Readers from the Lion’s Club were also passed out to Veterans. 

All Veteran’s resource groups are filled up with donated clothing.  Anything we receive, for the time being, will be delivered to the Impact clothing bank here in Catalina. 

Pastor informed us that it will be the 100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Nov. 11, 2021.  We will plan a special ceremony to commemorate this event. 

O.B. will host Sunday fellowship on May 30th for Memorial Day.  Veterans will be recognized with the reading of their names and the ringing of a bell.  This will take place at both Divine Services that day. 

We will be writing a grant for a storage building on the Church Campus for an O.B. overflow of clothing, household items, and furniture.  A used metal building is being considered. 

The next meeting will take place on Tues., June 22 at 10:00 at the Church.  There will be no meeting in July, but we will pack care packages on Aug. 10 for the Aug. 18 Stand Down. 

Vicar concluded the meeting with a prayer which asked the Lord to help us carry out our mission of helping all military who are in need of services. 

Happy summer travels,
Dawn

Notes from the April 13 Operation Barnabas Chapter Meeting

Pastor Morehouse opened the meeting with a devotion and prayer.  The devotion reminded us of the hope and promise of everlasting life given to us at our Baptism which brings us into a life in which every day is Easter.  We must never lose sight of this hope which helps us avoid the temptations of this world.

Those present at the meeting included:   Pastor & Marty, Paul & Donna, Mike & Laura, Boyd, Bruce, Vicar, Liz, and Dawn.

As for funding, our Chapter has been receiving memorial donations from the Landwer and Gaston families and friends.

Marty has volunteered to see if the wind-up mechanism on our banner can be repaired.  Larry had taken it in to the company who had produced it, but they could not fix it.

Sunday, April 18 our Chapter will celebrate its 10th Anniversary by sharing some of our outreach service activities with the Congregation.  This will be accomplished through a slide presentation and oral comments from some of the members.  Our Chapter began April 13, 2011.  Snacks and water will be provided in the Narthex.

We have a chance to get a storage unit at the Church site by writing a $5,000 Grant from the Arizona Veterans Donation Fund.  A committee was formed under Marty’s leadership to get a quote for the cost of this structure and to figure out where it would be placed on the Church property.  The Building Committee would also be contacted to see how we can coordinate this with the new plan for the future sanctuary.

The next meeting will be held on Tues., May 11 at 10:00 at the Church.

Vicar closed the meeting with a prayer and was happy to announce there were no new deaths of soldiers for the month.

Notes from the February 9th Meeting

Dear Members & Friends,
Vicar Nelson opened the meeting with a prayer and a devotion.  Just as soldiers lay down their lives for their country, Jesus shows us His ultimate love by dying on the cross for our sins.  We as Operation Barnabas members can show our love for those in the military service, and continually pray for them. 

A sympathy card for Chaplain Aaron Bell was passed around for everyone’s signature. We are sending a $50 memorial donation of family choice.  His father who was a retired Pastor recently passed away. 

Our Chapter has been receiving a lot of donations of furniture, clothing, and household items which we cannot store at the Church or the Hawk’s garage.  It was suggested that we acquire a shed or storage unit on the Church premises.  With the help of a grant, we may be able to accomplish that.  There is a lead from Mr. Hamilton who works for TVSV (Tucson Veterans Serving Veterans).  He has given me the information and I will start the process.  I will be asking for help from some of our members. 

Bruce is keeping up with adding names to our Veteran’ memorial plaque which hangs in the Narthex.  Don Landwer is our latest addition. 

Larry K has offered to have our banner repaired.  If it can’t be repaired, we may need to find another type of banner that fits our need.  Our cloth banner is looking a little tattered and dirty and we are hoping Nancy S will help us with that.
 
April 13 is the 10th anniversary of CLC’s Operation Barnabas Chapter.  It was discussed how we could share this celebration with the congregation.  I will be putting together a Google slide presentation which could be shown on a Sunday in April after the divine service.  Jean A has helped me get started with this project.
   
The next Stand Down will be held August 18 with some new boundaries.  Our Chapter will be doing the 50 adult care packages and 15 children’s bags. 
The next regular O.B. meeting will take place Tues., March 16 at 10:00 at the Church.  Vicar Nelson closed the meeting with a prayer for the families of the fallen and thanks for Jesus’ unfailing love. 

In His Service,
Dawn

Notes from the Sept 24 Operation Barnabas Chapter Meeting

Our meeting opened with a devotion by Pastor Morehouse.  Why does someone decide to serve?  Sometimes it is selfless ideas of sacrifice or a calling from God.  Many decisions are made to further educational dreams and to pay for schooling and experiences beyond their small town locale.  With the pandemic and the World situation, many chaplains find that after service to their country, soldiers begin to see that they need something more.  This is where the sacrificial love of Christ can help remove the struggle of the eternal consequences of their sins.  They can meet unexpected challenges by reaching out to chaplains, a home pastor, parents, and those who speak God’s Word.  They will be reminded of God’s desire to seek and save the lost.

There was no news of recent troop deployments or other communication from our two Church members who are deployed.
Pastor gave out information about some of the webinars that he has attended at the website www.psycharmor.org.  The sessions are free and deal with military culture and how to deal with crisis situations like suicide, PTSD, and disability from injury, etc.  These are great training for Operation Barnabas members who are communicating with Veterans at the Stand Downs.
As for funding for this year, the Diaconate at CLC have offered to assist us when our finances run low.  We are planning to have a pickle and jam sale after both Church services on October 11.  Claire from Claire’s Café said we can sell more produce and bake sale items outside her restaurant, probably in November.  There will be no Veteran’s Day Memorial service and free food tickets for Veteran’s that day due to Covid 19.  One of our members suggested that we do a bakeless bake sale later this year, which we are considering.  
For Reformation Day, O.B. is planning to provide sweet treats for members.  There will be packages laid out in the narthex after both services.  
A thank you letter was received from Chaplain Craig Muehler, Director of the Ministry to the Armed Forces.  He was thanking us for our donation of $500 to the MAF since they are funded by private donations and not the Synod. 
There is World War II Museum in New Orleans that is setting up an honor wall for all soldiers who served in that War.  For a small donation, you can have a name of a family member included on the wall.  This is not a bogus scheme as it is endorsed by George H.W. Bush, Tom Brokaw, Steven Spielberg, and Tom Hanks.  The web site is www.nationalww2museum.org.  Russ Hawk’s Father, Floyd Edward Hawk, has been added to the list.  
We have adopted a new Chaplain, Rev. Lt Aaron Bell, from California.  His wife is Bruce’s 2nd cousin.  We will contact him and find out what his needs are.  Then we can assist with whatever he needs to minister to his service members.  
The VA asked for our help in getting a Lazy Boy chair for a Veteran who was having a neck operation.  We went to the Golden Goose and purchased a very nice lounger for $222.  It was totally automatic and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) came and picked it up and delivered it.  We were thankful for the assistance.
Our next meeting will be held Thurs., Oct. 29 at the Church at 10:00 A.M.  There is a possibility of a Stand Down being held in January 2021.
Pastor closed the meeting with a prayer for four fallen soldiers and their families.

List of items needed for OB Bag Packing

Operation Barnabas would like to ask the congregation to assist with collecting some hygiene items for the backpack care bags that get handed out to homeless and needy Veterans at the March 11 StandDown in Tucson.  What is needed at this time includes small Kleenex packs, deodorant, hand sanitizer, wipes, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, razors, and lotion.  Also needed are snacks like peanuts, crackers, and health bars.  For entertainment, we usually include puzzle books, playing cards, and mechanical pencils.  White crew socks are also included.  We pack 50 adult bags.   Faith Lutheran’s O.B. Chapter is supplying the 15 children’s bags that get handed out at this Stand Down.  We appreciate whatever can be donated and dropped off in the O.B. boxes in the Narthex.

Items should be brought to the church by February 23rd.

Remember that we collect used clothing and household supplies all year long for homeless and needy Veterans.  We are blessed to be able to help so many military members through your efforts.

Notes from the January 30 meeting

The meeting began with Pastor’s devotion based on Psalm 46.  In the Service there are many situations that call for strength and courage after experiencing calamity and horror.  Pastor related an incident where a Sergeant witnessed a terrible accident, and he had to report for duty immediately after.  He had to rely on the presence of God to give him the courage to move forward. Operation Barnabas has the ability to remind military-connected people that God is their refuge and strength.  This is how we can live up to our title as encouragers.

Those present at the meeting included:   Pastor & Marty, Billie May & Jim, Warren & Carolyn, Paul & Donna, Bruce, Vicar, and Dawn.

A thank you note was read from Chaplain Joshua Schneider who thanked our chapter for the Christmas gifts that were sent.  These were shared with other troops. Chaplain Schneider will be leaving Afghanistan after Valentine’s Day. After checking with the LCMS Office of the Military we may be sponsoring another Chaplain who is assigned to that region.

We will be sending Valentine or Easter packages to Nathan and Karl.  Karl has moved up in rank as a submarine specialist in the Navy. Nathan is in the Air Force in Texas now and will be leaving for an assignment in North Dakota.

Our Chapter has assisted three Veterans with housing needs in January.  We try to include our cards with the financial assistance we send, and we let them know that we are available at the Stand Downs to further discuss their needs.

Faith Lutheran is forwarding a check for $250 to assist us with the purchase of McDonald’s cards.  They are also going to provide the 15 children’s bags that we normally hand out at the Stand Down. This is a thank you to our Chapter for the collected jewelry that we have been forwarding to them.  We will continue to collect jewelry, especially for the Women’s Warrior event in September. Also, a $55 cash donation was received in honor of a couple’s 55th wedding anniversary.

A fund raiser was discussed where we could work with a local restaurant who would support our cause for Veterans.  Our members would work as servers, bus-people, and greeters. The restaurant would share some of the day’s profits with us.  Several possibilities might be Panera Bread and Chili’s. We will approach them with flyers which explain Operation Barnabas and what we support.  Possible dates for this activity are April 21st or 22nd.

The next Stand Down is Wednesday, March 11 at the Grand Luxe Hotel on 1365 West Grant Rd.  The hours are from 9:00-2:00. Our table will need to be set up between 8:00 and 8:30. I will be leaving my house around 7:20 to arrive by 8:00.  Packing the 50 care package bags will take place on Tues., March 3 at 10:00 at the Church. 

We didn’t set another date for a meeting.  February, with the Capital Campaign, is an especially busy month, so if we need to meet, maybe the first 15 minutes of March 3 could be used to bring up any business that needs to be handled.  Since we only have the 50 bags to pack, we should be able to do that in 30 minutes.  

The meeting concluded with prayers for fallen soldiers and their families.

Wreaths Across America 2019

Seven members of our Operation Barnabas Chapter laid wreaths on Veteran’s graves at Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Marana on Saturday morning, December 14.  The ceremony before the wreaths were laid, involved wreaths being displayed for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, 1st Responders, and POW’s.  Children led the Pledge–many were Boy & Girl Scouts.  The main speaker was the State President of the VFW.  A total of 2.8 million wreaths were laid throughout the country at 1,740 different cemeteries.  We made sure that Art Lewis and Ken Allred had wreaths laid at their graves. 

Operation Barnabas Chapter Members
Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Marana, AZ
Wreaths Across America 2019

Notes from the Nov 14 meeting

Pastor opened the meeting with a devotion and prayer. He explained that “Overwatch” is a military term used to describe a force protection tactic in which one individual or unit supports another by providing covering fire during a mission.  We as Christians employ a similar overwatch tactic called prayer. We call upon God for His blessing and protection in a dangerous world. Through prayer, the members of Operation Barnabas play a significant role in providing overwatch protection for the men and women in our nation’s armed forces.  It’s all about encouraging one another with the love of God in Jesus Christ, specifically all those who are military-connected.

Those who were present at the meeting included:   Pastor & Marty, Warren & Carolyn, Kathy, and Dawn.

An up-coming event on December 14 is the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony where live wreaths are placed on the graves of the military at Evergreen cemetery in Tucson, Fort Huachuca Military Cemetery in Sierra Vista, and the State Military Memorial Cemetery in Marana.    The ceremony begins at 10:00 A.M. and lasts for about an hour. Then wreaths are handed out to be laid on Veteran’s graves. Kathy, Marty and Dawn will be attending at Marana.

Operation Barnabas Veteran’s Day Celebration 2019

We recapped the Veteran’s Day Celebration at Claire’s Café.  There were 30 Veterans who received $10 food vouchers for breakfast or Lunch.  Pastor’s sermon on the patio was heard by Church members and patrons of the Café.  The sermon was directed to all Veterans who were encouraged to wear the armor of God.  The baked goods and pickles & jam brought in $533 for our treasury.  

Chaplain Michael A. Morehouse, AUS (Ret)
Service held on the patio at Claire’s Cafe Catalina, AZ
Veterans Day Celebration 2019

A discussion was held about our newly adopted Chaplain—Joshua Schneider who is based in Afghanistan.  We want to support him and his fellow soldiers with four boxes of Advent & Christmas items. Some of the suggestions for what to pack include trail mix, candy canes with their religious meaning, Nativity ornaments for a tree or to set out in their living quarters, and some posters on Advent and why Christ came for them—to receive His forgiveness, life and salvation.  The boxes will be packed on Tues., Nov. 26 at the Church at 10:00 A.M. and then mailed quickly, hopefully arriving before Christmas.

Monday, we will be delivering a load of clothing, household items, books, bedding and towels to Old Pueblo Community Services where the items will be available for Veterans who have been homeless and are setting up living quarters.  This is the fourth load we have delivered in 2019.

Our next official meeting will be Thurs., January 30, 2020 at the Church at 10:00.  The next Stand Down is March 19 at the Grand Luxe Hotel on W. Grant Rd.  

Pastor closed the meeting by reading the names of fallen soldiers in the past two months.  Prayers were said for their families.

Notes from the Oct. 18 Operation Barnabas Meeting

Pastor Morehouse opened the meeting with a devotion on “overwatch,” a military term used to describe a force protection tactic in which one individual or unit supports another by providing covering fire during a mission.  He gave us an example from his own experience where this tactic failed and the reason that it failed. We as Christians are called to do “overwatch” tactics through prayer as we call upon God for His blessing and protection in a dangerous world.  Likewise, through prayer, the people of Operation Barnabas play a significant role in providing overwatch protection for the men and women in our nation’s armed forces.

Earlier this month, OB helped a Veteran, Christopher, with a $40 application fee for an apartment.  We would like to continue reaching out to him if he needs our assistance. We also collected all the furniture and household items from Art’s apartment and donated it to Old Pueblo Community Services for their use in setting up housing for homeless and needy Veterans.  It involved two pickup’s and one trailer load of materials. Bruce H will order a plate for Art’s service to be placed on the memorial plaque in the Narthex.

The pickle & Jam sale at Church netted $627 for OB.  We hope to do more fundraising at the Veteran’s Day sale at Claire’s Café and the Welcome Wagon Group from the Foothills in early November.  We received word from Laura and the LWML that the grant that was written to assist former Vicar Wirtz will be funded for the $300 which we requested. It will help him carry out his chaplain duties when he returns to Arizona next summer.

Esperanza En Escalante, the low-cost housing group for Veterans located near DM Airbase, had a ground-breaking ceremony on October 10 for 50 new apartments which will be built in the coming year.  It will involve housing for families, something not available before this time.

We shared a picture supplied by Dale & Jayne S, which showed the happy expression of a little boy who received a teddy bear from our care packages for children of Veterans at the Stand Down in August.  

There is a web site that provides information on understanding and treating psychological problems.  It is a good resource for problems like suicide, PTSD, and brain injury. It can be accessed at psycharmor.org and is free to anyone who is interested.

Bruce H suggested that we support another LCMS Chaplain in the field like we did last year.  A call will be made to the LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces Office to acquire this information. 

The Veteran’s Day Celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 9 at Claire’s Café in Catalina.  Pastor Morehouse will hold a Memorial Service at 11:00 for fallen soldiers and all Veterans.  OB will be offering $10 meal tickets to the first 40 Veterans to be used towards a breakfast or lunch at Claire’s.  Also, we will be holding a Pickle, Jam & bake sale from 7:00-12:00.

Our next meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 14 at 10:00 at the Church.

Prayers were said for our deployed soldiers from CLC and Jacob M, who has recently returned home from duty in Jordan.  Other prayers were said for Chaplain Josh Schneider, who is the Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Wailuku, HI. He has been deployed and leaves behind his wife and 3 children.  The meeting closed with a roll call of fallen soldiers who were killed in July & August and a prayer was said for their families.