Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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God Bless our First Responders

                                                            September 23, 2020

Dear Friends,

It was 5:04 a.m when my pager went off. I sprung out of
bad, grabbed my clothes, and was out the door. A few
minutes later I was in the back of the ladder truck. We
were heading down to check out the alarm. You never
know what you are going to find. It could be burnt food,
a faulty smoke detector or a building engulfed in flames.

There is a display of patches on the wall in the meeting
room at the Watch Hill Fire Department. They are from
Fire Departments from across the country. There is one
that caught my eye today. It's the company patch for
Providence's Engine 1. It simply says, "Always Ready."
That's a great motto!

It describes our community's first responders. They are
always ready to stand in the gap between us and danger.
To do that, they need to be prepared. That's why training
is important. I used to think you could just pick up a hose
and point it at the fire. Do that and you are likely to end
up on your bottom. I know from personal experience.

To be effective, you have to practice. It takes time but the
more you do it, the more it becomes a part of you. We saw
that as police officers raced in to face an active shooter at
Westerly's Babcock Village last December. No one can be
completely prepared to face a situation like that. Yet, all
the officers' training came into play. They rapidly secured
the area and brought the situation to a quick resolution.

We are fortunate to have these men and women serving in
our communities. As a chaplain, I've had the privilege of
watching these heroes in action. My admiration for them
has only grown as I've learned what it takes to become a
firefighter, EMS or a police officer. They embody the
meaning of dedicated service.

I think what I've appreciated the most as a chaplain, is
the fact that the more experienced members of the
departments have gone out of their way to encourage me
and the other newcomers. They understand the fact that
everyone has a role to play. If we all do our part, we are
more likely to have a good outcome.

For the last four years the Westerly Pawcatuck Clergy
Association has set aside this upcoming weekend to show
our appreciation for our first responders. We have hosted
a celebration at Christ Church. This year it isn't possible
because of the pandemic. But we can still honor our first
responders. We all have a role to play.

Take the opportunity to thank them when you see them
in the community. Let them know you care. Send a
"thank you" note to the station. It means a lot. Most of
all, when you hear a siren, stop and pray for both the
first responder and whoever is on the other end of that
call. Pray that they will know that God is with them and
all will be well.

God bless! See you in church.
Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
Pastor Cal's Weekly
Epistle

Every week Pastor Cal
writes a weekly column for
the Spirit Page of the
Norwich Bulletin.

He also sends it out to
members and friends of
the church via e-mail.

E-mail him at
calstigers@gmail.com if
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