· Strength for Service

Ministry presents devotional books to 52 first time chaplains

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif.––Larry Coppock, top staff executive of the Strength for Service ministry, presented copies of Strength for Service to God and Community to 52 first-time fire chaplains.

A total of 105 chaplains attended the Oct. 20-23 Federation of Fire Chaplains meeting, and 53 of the chaplains had previously received complimentary copies. Most of the chaplains have given copies of the devotional books to men and women in their fire stations.

Books for academy graduates

Diane Peterson, executive director of the Alaska Police and Fire Chaplains, provides copies of the book to each recruit in the Police and Fire Academies. St. Johns UMC in Anchorage provided the funding for 2018 and 2019 graduates.

During book presentations, Chaplain Peterson tells graduates, “It is important to stay mentally healthy and one must be grounded to see the things they see on a daily basis. Like a physical injury, a mental injury needs to be addressed.”

She underscores the important role chaplains play in the mental and spiritual health of fire fighters and police officers. “Chaplains are here for them,” she says.

The chaplain also quotes James Keller: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”

Worn out copy

Tim Cheatwood, retired chaplain of Fire Rescue at the Ontario International Airport, handed Coppock a shabby copy of the Strength for Service book. The dog-eared copy indicated it had been opened and closed hundreds of time, and Chaplain Cheatwood wanted Coppock to know how much he appreciated the book. “I read the devotional almost every day,” says Chaplain Cheatwood. “I appreciate the variety of subjects and the areas covered––from first responders to military, from ordinary people making a difference to presidents. Thank you for sharing these amazing stories and giving hope for the future.”

Other visits

Prior to meeting with fire chaplains, Coppock visited with Doug Wright in Phoenix, a United Methodist Church leader who recently completed a three-year term on the SFS board. He also stopped by Clovis, Calif., to express appreciation to Michael Feist, one of 12 members of the SFS Society, a group of supporters who commit to legacy giving through their will or estate plans.

“It was a very productive 6-day trip,” concluded Coppock

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