On Chaplains

Thank you for your article on the ministry work of chaplains (“In the Shadow of Death . . . Chaplains Speak of Life Eternal,” August). As one who lives and works for and with the military, I know that the work of chaplains can be distant or close to home. One chaplain, Ch Richard Townes, is a friend. Not only does he serve the Lord with gladness in the field, but also in the church when he is away from the battle. He has assisted our congregation, Good Shepherd in Yucca Valley, Calif., with his wisdom and knowledge, as well as his time. As he prepares to deploy for a second time, we ask God’s protection upon him.

We also thank God and ask His protection on Chaplain Towne’s wife, who also has been a blessing to our congregation. We expect Chaplain Townes to be re-stationed after he returns from Iraq, and we know that we will miss him and his wife greatly.

Also, we at Good Shepherd encourage anyone who has a loved one serving in the Marine Corps (or any other branch of the military) in Twentynine Palms, Calif., to encourage them to seek us out. We are always ready to welcome those who serve the Lord by serving our country.
Jonathan J. Wegner, President
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Yucca Valley, CA

I am so grateful for the article about Lutheran chaplains. Roland Lovstad is an excellent author.

Rev. Henry F. Gerecke came to St. John’s, Chester, Ill., as our associate pastor shortly after the end of World War II. We loved him. His sermons were loaded with alerts against spiritual laziness, greed—both personal and national—and cheap grace. He recounted over and over the pride and defiance in the warped personalities of the condemned Nazi kingpins he walked to their executions. Christ, our adorable Savior, must always be before our eyes, and we must spend time adoring Him and serving Him, or we fall off the track and tumble into oblivion and finally hell. This was Pastor Gerecke’s message.

While still in high school, I worked as secretary to Pastor Gerecke. I typed many of his sermons. I also typed the story about the war-crimes trials he wrote for The Saturday Evening Post—without one error!

It was Pastor Gerecke who first mentioned deaconess work to me, and I later trained to become a Lutheran deaconess.

Chaplains—we need more of them. God bless them all.
Catharine Bewie Bluege
Belvidere, Ill.


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