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Encouragement

Many people have asked us about what to say during a time of great suffering.  Most often there are no words that can bring full healing.  Here we share a collection of homilies shared during ceremonies that we have been honored to be part of.  Names are changed to protect the sacredness of the opportunity to sit in the darkest hours with the family.  Many found comfort in the words shared and requested to hear them again, and so we share them with you here.

"I Ain't Got the Words."

12 January 2013

My Old Testament professor in Seminary built his curriculum around quotes from the movieTombstone. I believe that some movie scripts were written specifically around memorable quotes that the screenwriters knew could stand on their own and would become lasting reminders of the movie. Most of Anchorman is written that way, in such a manner that men can communicate through quotes, without ever saying much or being too vulnerable.

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Prayer Vigil for a Tragedy

15 December 2012

Even in Afghanistan, a country rife with tragedy, conflict and violence, the events which are unfolding at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut have sent a ripple of fear and pain through our hearts. Especially because we are unable to reach out and hug our children and spouses, as the body seems apt to want to do when events of this magnitude confront us with the evil and danger in our world. It seemed best to offer our soldiers an opportunity to pause, reflect and pray this evening in The Ghan Chapel, interspersed with music and scripture reading, in order to focus on God during this time. The order of liturgy is detailed below. All Songs referenced are from The David Crowder Band, except for the last, which was done by the late, great, Rich Mullins.

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Memorial Homily for 1LT Tyler Parten

11 September 2009

By far the single most shaping event in my life as a Chaplain and Believer in Christ, was memorializing a great friend and brother in Christ, Tyler Edward Parten. The Sunday prior to him arriving in the glorious presence of His Lord, we planned for him to begin leading worship in Chapel, his idea. The relief that I felt to have someone assisting in ministry to the Destroyers of 3-61CAV was eclipsed by the grief felt by our entire community. I cried over him in the belly of the C-130 which would give him his final trip home. After the final respects had been paid to him by all in attendance to the Ramp Ceremony at Bagram, CH(LTC) Matt Goff put his arm around me, as I knelt and repeated the chorus from Revelation Song, the last song that Tyler praised His Father with, before he entered in to praise Him for eternity: 

"Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings! 
You are my everything, 
And – I - will - adore You!"

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A Multi-Faith Memorial Homily

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven, a time to laugh and a time to weep, a time to dance and a time to mourn, a time to speak and a time to be silent. May we patiently await his voice, calling us out of the wilderness of grief to a land of joy, mercy and peace. And until such time may we not forget that he is with us, protecting us in the valley, our rock and our refuge.

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