That time of year again! A beautiful day it was to say thank you to our community's and city's veterans and first responders and I must say: I am not bragging but we did it right. The community of St. Spyridon's, both elderly and young, united their efforts in a spirit of gratitude to honor the men and women who have served (living and passed on), or who currently serve our armed forces, and those who serve our community as first responders.
Fr. Evan reminded us--using the parable of the Good Samaritan--of the importance of service. He reminded us all of our individual responsibilities to utilize the resources we possess: time, talent, and treasure to serve and not ignore the needs which exist within our own sphere of influence; and to meet those needs according to our abilities and opportunities. As he said, "Love is not an inner emotion alone but rather love is something that results in serving others". This is a duty we all bear. But today we were reminded to honor those who for a living often place themselves in harm's way in order to protect the liberty, sovereignty, and rights secured for us by God's grace and our Constitution and to serve, protect, and defend the dignity of mankind. To all veterans and first responders, we salute you and thank you. Hats off also to the family of these courageous men and women and the sacrifice they make alongside their loved ones.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Timothy Ullmann led us in a beautiful prayer he composed asking for God's blessings upon our vets and first responders. We were grateful to be blessed with the presence of, and the opportunity to pray for, our friends from Loveland Fire Rescue and Loveland Police SWAT. A huge thank you is due to Adam and Emily Lum and the hardworking fellowship team, Andrew Swanson, and Jason Mantas who helped provide us hotdogs and other delicious offerings of American cuisine. In addition, an enormous thank you to Nicoleta and Gunter Bischof who labored for hours to provide us and our guests with homemade German Potato Salad; a delicious treat and great service of love. Thank you Gunter and Nicoleta!
In addition, we were blessed to have Burke from Loveland Police SWAT show us the police Bearcat Armored vehicle and other tools of the trade along with our friends Chris, Andrew, and Jeremiah showing off their fire truck, with all of their tools and gadgets. It was an amazing time. Thank you again to all who helped bless our local church community and community at large with a little more gratitude, smiles, and good fun. Through the prayers of St. Michael our heavenly protector may God have mercy on us and save us!