The Rev. Dianne O’Connell
Prior to the
Thank you, Kathy. I would like to acknowledge the presence of Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew, Lt. Parker, and Police Chaplains Bert McQueen, and Paul McGee. They have joined us for Police Appreciation Sunday observance. We hope that they each leave our service this morning with the knowledge that their work and calling is much honored.
We have several folks this morning who would like to offer a more personal aspect to our gratitude. During the sermon time, we’d like to give them the opportunity to share their stories and then I will come back and offer a few closing remarks. But first would those who are able please stand for the reading of the Covenant.
Let us for a moment think back to the passages from
Romans that Carolyn Rinehart read for us a moment ago. There is a much longer
version of the comparison of the human body to the Body of Christ, or the
Church in I Corinthians 12
In both the letter to the Corinthians and the
letter to the Romans, Paul compares the Human Body to the Body of Christ. I
believe the analogy can also be extended from the Body of Christ to the
We are here this morning to say thank you to one segment of our community which gets little enough thanks for the work they do on behalf of us all. Without them, our whole effort at living together as a civilized society would be in danger of failure.
Let me see if I can explain myself. The reading
from the Hebrew Scriptures today was entitled the
· There is Someone Greater than You who gets to make the rules.
· That’s Me, God, and I expect to be worshipped and obeyed. So here goes.
· Do not steal from one another.
· Do not kill each other.
· Leave each other wives and husbands alone.
· You get the idea. Treat each other with respect…
That’s a great framework, but who gets to enforce the new rules?
Remember when we were kids? We all, boys and girls alike, wanted to be
police officers. I did. I wanted to help people find their way home
like Officer Van Laningham back in
I don’t know when I began to re-think being a policeman, but it might have started when I realized that Officer Van Laningham had to do the tough stuff, too – like come and take away the sick, rabid dog that had found his way into our neighborhood. Later I realized the job was dangerous, that there were sick, rabid people in this world, too. It might not always be a fun job.
Last night, I checked on the Anchorage Daily News website to see what
Also on the ADN website we learned that because of budget cuts, Police Chief Mark Mew announced the necessity to cut 22 positions in the Anchorage Police Department. Through transfers, grants, and attrition, however, no one was scheduled to be laid off, yet.
On the bright side, there was hope that funds could be found to train additional officers in 2011 with the money saved through the careful stewardship of the overtime budget.
I am reminded of Romans 13