by the Rev. Mark W. Olsen

Petty Officer 3rd Class Colin Kroeker, corpsman, L Co., 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, hugs his mother, Melissa, during a homecoming at Del Valle Field, Oct. 9, 2013.

With Veterans Day, November 11th, and Sunday, November 12th fast approaching, especially remember in prayer those in military uniform, the veterans who have served, the wounded and their families in their recovery and in their coping, and the families of those who have lost their lives in military service who now live with pain and loss. Since 2016, our church has encouraged one another to show gratitude and support to military service members, veterans, and their families, and this is one way to do so.*

Affiliated with our ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Ministries, https://elcachaps.com/ offers a central place to find tried and true resources help you in your ministry to military members, veterans, and their families. Under the “congregational resources” tab you will find prayer resources, litanies, and the like which you can use as is, or tailor to your context.

Also, view a message from our presiding bishop, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, at https://youtu.be/cGaNHOOCuFI inviting members to prayer and action in support of our military, veterans and their families.

Finally, on this and every Veterans Day, we would do well to remember and give thanks for all our ELCA pastors serving as military chaplains, whether on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard. Theirs is a vital ministry of our church that needs our encouragement and support.


* “Supporting Military Personnel, Veterans, and Families” (link to pdf file) was adopted by the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in August 2016, in part based on the memorial adopted by the 2016 Metro D.C. Synod Assembly, “Gratitude and Support for Military Service Members and Veterans” (link to pdf file).

ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER: The Rev. Mark W. Olsen, Associate Director, ELCA Fund for Leaders, serves as our synod’s “Centurion Contact,” the identified contact person within our synod who has been asked to foster connections between Lutheran veteran/military personnel/families with congregations, synods, and ELCA churchwide colleagues, agencies and institutions. Centurion Contacts encourage prayer, networking, and foster support by highlighting and advancing creative ministries taking place within the synod. Contact him at pastormarkolsengmail.com.