President Newsletter (4/17)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this year of milestone anniversary celebrations (e.g., the Reformation in 1517; World War I in 1917), our Lutheran Military Support Group (LMSG) is so blessed to exist for a little more than one calendar year. We thank God that so many of the ELS/WELS congregational (350) and individual members are backing our efforts.

Our congregations are making a difference in the lives of military members and their families. In support of those local efforts, LMSG awarded 14 grants totaling nearly $56,000 in 2016; so far this year, four grants totaling $13,650 were disbursed. Learn more about these grants on our LMSG website.

Recent studies are staggering. The latest suicide rates among U.S. veterans is 20 per day; the average age is 50. Many of these tragedies are tied to the mental damage caused by some trauma the service member underwent while in the military. Spouses and families are affected, too. It is difficult to see the deep, punishing wounds they suffer but, as Christians we can and should reach out in love to share God’s plan of salvation.

LMSG asks for your help with our “Ammo Box” donation drives scheduled to take place each year at Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Many churches already have ammo boxes; if you don’t have one, please check our website for order information. Materials like prayers and bulletin inserts will be provided to you by email during the next few weeks. More ideas for recognizing your veterans during or after a church service can be found on our website, too.

Thank you for continuing to assist those heroes who are serving or have served in the United States military, so that we all can continue to worship without fear and persecution.

Erhard/Erik Opsahl
President, Lutheran Military Support Group
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