Church’s 9/11 service to honor local responders

Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church will be honoring area service men and women at a Sunday service in Front Royal in memory of 9/11.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s “God’s work. Our hands” Sunday has been a traditional day of service for Lutheran congregations across the country. This year’s designated Sunday happens to land on Sept. 11.

Kim Okland, church council president at Good Shepherd Lutheran, said the church is taking the words of Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, as inspiration for their day of service. In Eaton’s words:

“The world can be a dangerous place. But there are some who, when disaster strikes, run toward the danger. These are the first responders, firefighters, police and EMTs, who live out their baptismal vocation in service to their communities in times of intense need. They do God’s work with their hands.”

That quote is displayed on a banner outside Good Shepherd Lutheran in Front Royal, and Okland said it’ll also be on certificates handed to attending first responders on Sunday.

“We just want to thank them, basically, because they’re providing this great service to our community,” she said.

Certificates will be given during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday service, parts of which will be streamed live on the church’s Facebook page. Okland said the church has invited first responders, law enforcement officers, fire and rescue workers and their families for the service and following picnic. Those on duty Sunday are encouraged to stop by and get lunch.

“We have a congregation that is very supportive of first responders,” she said.

Pastor Neal Davidson said his sermon and the prayers of the church will be reflective of honoring service men and women, although they weren’t specifically chosen for “God’s work. Our hands.” Sunday.

“It just so happens that the prescribed lessons for the day just perfectly fall into being able to talk about people who go the extra mile,” he said. “It just kind of works out real neat.”

He said the congregation has taken the lead on planning the day of service, and streaming Sunday’s service will be a first for the church.

The live stream will be on the church’s Facebook page at

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or


Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church’s service will occur at 9:30 a.m. at 18 W. 6th St.

Comment Policy

Print This Article