Honoring first responders
By SHERRY DIGMON
For the 13th year, the congregations of Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Anna’s Episcopal Church hosted a Blue Mass to honor first responders who serve in Atmore, Poarch and the surrounding area. The service is also a time to remember those who perished September 11, 2001, in the attack on America.
This year’s service was held Sunday, September 8, at Trinity.
The Rt. Rev. J. Russell Kendrick, Bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, brought the message – a message of sacrifice.
Scripture was taken from Luke 14:25-33 in which Jesus tells His followers they must turn from their families and even life itself to be His disciples.
“When we offer our life to God, He messes with our family on earth,” Bishop Kendrick said. “There’s more to being a Christian than sitting in church on Sunday.
I’m getting to the word sacrifice. Jesus says I want you to sacrifice your life.”
He defined sacrifice as “giving up what you love for what you love more.”
“First responders practice this every day of your life,” he said. “It’s a matter of life for you who serve the rest of us in our community … Sacrificial living is not easy …
“We all want a God who is comfortable and convenient. Jesus doesn’t ask anyone to worship him but to follow Him. God made you. He knows you by name. He will never lose you … God believes in you more than you may know; it might be more than you believe in Him.”
First responders attending were
City of Atmore – Mayor Jim Staff
Atmore Fire Department – Chief Ron Peebles, Brandon Barber, Eugene Edwards, Chris Hughes, Jake Lambert, Emergency Chaplain Tom Tschida
Poarch Fire/Rescue – Kevin Baggett, Cade Langham
Department of Corrections – John Skipper
Newman’s Ambulance Service – Abby Harris
Also participating in the service were The Rev. Mike Hill; Lay Eucharistic Ministers Gerrie Bell, Lisa Reynolds, Steven Reynolds; Scott Jolly, pianist.
Following the service, everyone enjoyed lunch in the parish hall.