2017-11-09 / Letters

God calls all to serve

By Allison Byerley

Allison Byerley Allison Byerley This Saturday is Veterans Day, the day set aside to honor those who have served their country in one of the branches of the military and to say thank you from a grateful nation.

I have a clergywoman friend who served as an associate pastor in a large church in Texas. On the Sunday closest to Veterans Day every year, the church remembered the veterans in the congregation, asking them to stand to be recognized.

My friend served in the Army when she was younger, so she stood along with the other veterans in attendance. Every year, but particularly the first year she was there, she could feel the surprise in the congregation when she stood. In fact, when she looked around, all the others standing were men. It was a lot for the congregation to receive her ministry as a clergywoman, and it was just as difficult to recognize her as a veteran!

We make assumptions about who people are, but women have served in our armed services, officially and unofficially, as far back as the Revolutionary War when Molly Pitcher was in the heat of the battle. Some are nurses (I’ve had a World War II nurse in one congregation); some are support personnel; some are pilots; some are commanders; some are in combat. Women are fully integrated into our armed forces and encouraged to serve their country with honor and pride.

God appeared to the prophet Isaiah in the temple. When God asked, “Whom shall we send?” Isaiah answered, “Send me.”

God calls people, men and women, to all kinds of service. Some, like my friend and me, are called into full-time ministry. Others are called into service for their country. Even those who object to war as a matter of conscience can serve. Check out the film “Hacksaw Ridge” for one such story.

Take time to thank someone for responding the to call to serve. Then look at your life and ask how God is calling you to serve today. Listen for God’s call and pray for the courage to say, “Here I am.”

Allison Byerley is pastor of the Mariposa United Methodist Church and can be reached at adbyerley@gmail.com.

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