Bishop's Letter: Honoring Veterans

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.
Psalm 67

One hundred years ago this Sunday, November 11, the most terrible war the world had ever known came to an end.

Sadly, Armistice Day did not mark the end of all wars. Human affairs among nations fail and natural disasters strike. Violence, cruelty, and injustice overwhelm us. And God raises up people who are willing to put their lives in harm’s way on behalf of their country.

This Veteran’s Day, please join me, and neighbors from across the Grand Canyon Synod, in honoring members of the military, military chaplains, veterans of all wars and their families.

One of those is Chaplain Matthew Dobyns. Formerly associate pastor at Desert Cross, Tempe, Matt is chaplain to the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Chaplain Matt is the " Maintenance Group Chaplain," ministering to 1,000 airmen who are responsible for maintenance and loading of aircraft. Matt provides spiritual, emotional, and mental care in all of life's circumstances.

He provides hope and care for couples struggling with dynamics of marriage, sexual assault victims, and even suicidal ideation. God is very much at work through his presence.

You and your congregations can play a critical role in supporting veterans and their families. Reach out to people you know in prayer and concern. Host local events, like support groups, drives for comfort items, 12-step programs, or special meals for military families and veterans. Monitor veterans’ issues and advocate on their behalf (read the ELCA's For Such A Time As This in honor of veterans.)

What are you doing this Veteran’s Day? Please share your highlights with me on Facebook and Instagram, so that you might inspire others.

This Veteran’s day, we share hope for a more peaceful world. We give thanks for the soldiers’ bravery and courage. We remember those who have lost their lives and pray for those in danger today. With them, may we glory not in war, but in God’s love and righteousness.


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA