Church honors veterans, strives for peace |

Church honors veterans, strives for peace

Michelle Balleck

The First Congregational United Church of Christ will honor veterans and strive for world peace as part of activities it has planned this month.

On Sunday, at the 10 a.m. service, the church will honor veterans with a liturgy. All veterans who attend the service will receive a pin and certificate of appreciation.

Church officials sent invitations to all veterans who they knew. An invitation isn’t required, and the service is open to all veterans, the Rev. Bob Woods said.

After the service, the church, 630 Green St., will dedicate its newly installed Peace Pole on the church’s front lawn. The dedication is open to the public.

The wooden pole is inscribed with “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in four languages — English, Spanish, Greek and Chinese.

Members of the community will read each of the languages aloud during the ceremony. Veteran Bill Harding will read the English portion.

“We are encouraging people of all nationalities to come together and find a place where they can worship,” said Vicki Burns, a member of the church’s mission team.

Woods ordained

Also, the church will ordain and install Woods at 7 p.m. Sunday. Woods has served the congregation for six months. The ceremony marks his official welcome into the church.

“The United Church of Christ comes in and acknowledges my call and approves me to be a pastor of a church,” Woods said.

On Nov. 20, First Cong–regational will present another guest speaker, the Rev. Amanda Shipman. A longtime missionary from southern Africa, Shipman is now a member of Parkview Congregational United Church of Christ in Aurora.

Something bigger

Woods said he’s excited for church members to hear her speak and learn from her experiences. “We’re a part of something much bigger,” he said. “We’re a part of a world of Christians, not just a small community.

“Our mission extends beyond just here. We have obligations to the whole world.”

After Shipman’s service, the church will host a potluck dinner at 12:30 p.m. The dinner is open to the community.

The church will provide meat, drinks, bread and dessert. Guests are asked to bring a salad, vegetable or potatoes to share. Place setting services will be available at the church.

For more information about the church’s activities, call 824-6836.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or

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