Greetings to you all

As I write to you on this weekend of the 80th anniversary of D-Day, I have been thinking about the enduring impact of that phenomenal series of military operations involving over 7000 ships and hundreds of thousands of troops, organized under Dwight Eisenhower as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces. The raw courage those men poured into the cause of liberty leaves an indelible mark on the USA that still inspires freedom-loving people everywhere.
We’ve all been moved by seeing the lengths to which families have gone to get a centenarian loved one to a World War II ceremony, including many who even went the distance to gather in Normandy this week for the 80th celebration.
One of those men passed away while enroute to France from his home in upstate New York. His name was Robert “Al” Perischitti, a patriot who at age 102, carried the memories of D-Day in his heart since he served so valiantly there. Al and his family and church had been excited about the plans for his return to Normandy.  Unfortunately, he got ill and was hospitalized during a stopover in Germany and passed away there on June 5th, a day prior to the big celebration. While he missed that thunderous standing ovation that tens of thousands gave for his heroism in June of 1944, there’s no doubt what he heard in heaven was far brighter, bolder and beautiful than anyone can imagine.
Like thousands of other men who carried out the extraordinary plan, with all its perils, including over 10,300 American casualties, Al Perischitti gave his very best to his country. We owe an incredible debt of honor to those men and to the wives, parents and loved ones who seek today to keep their stories alive.
But aside from the great honor we all owe these men, there’s another (one of many) lesson in D-Day that fits the challenges we face in 2024.
In every aspect of D-Day, a fierce determination to defeat evil and to call “evil” exactly what it is, was the driving force behind their mission.
It’s the same awesome reality that the Old Testament prophet Isaiah spoke of when he called the nation of Israel to repentance. In words that ring so clearly into the cultural context we see around us today, Isaiah said “Woe to those who call evil good, and [who call] good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21 NIV)
Clearly, we can see that the men of Pointe du Hoc, those guys who “took the cliffs” at Normandy, charging directly into the line of fire, have something more to say to us than simply the heroism of their military training. They were stirred into action by a hatred of evil, a determination to vanquish the lie behind Nazi tyranny.
They prevailed against great odds. Champions for truth in our generation can do the same. And as approximately 131 World War II veterans pass away per day, we can say of all of them that their courage calls us to “stand therefore and having done all to stand” against the evils of our time. (Ephesians 6:13)
 When Jesus declared that “the gates of Hell will not prevail” against His church (Matthew 16:18) His voice as Supreme Commander of our souls placed that fierce determination in the very core of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. The celebration of His conquest is a destination to which each of us is invited.
Those men of D-Day who are still among us are living witnesses to a fierce determination that was worth every life-threatening step forward. And of those among them who, like Al Perischitti, have now passed, it can truly be said that “though he died, he still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4b ESV)
Those “boys who took the cliffs” set a high bar for courage and their stories are further reason to sing to our nation in need: “God shed His grace on thee”
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We welcome each of you for Cafe Liberty in the 9:45-10:15 AM time prior to Worship tomorrow (June 9th) and next Sunday, on Father’s Day.
[There will be no email update next weekend].
Becky and I will miss you tomorrow as we’re away. We so appreciate all who give so generously of heart, time, energy and love to serve in the teams who bless us all each Sunday.
I’m so grateful for Justin Ready ministering God’s Word and for Josiah Nusbaum leading worship tomorrow. I’ve often said how highly I value the way Justin leads in the work he does as senator for District 5 and as Minority Whip in the Senate of Maryland. His voice on every issue that matters is crystal clear in Maryland and we pray for God’s grace and guidance on all he is doing to represent citizens in his work. In his walk with God, Justin aims high and digs into God’s Word to serve the Lord with vision and integrity as a husband, father, leader and friend.
Thanks again to all givers – and a word about the Rainy-Day Fund:
We got another example this week of the reason for the church’s “Rainy Day” fund. The need for mold remediation in two classrooms and in a storage area under the baptistry presents costs for which this fund is designed to help cover. The success of the Future Fund over many years as a fund aimed toward specific long-term goals was vital for many expensive improvements. Before moving toward another such goal, thought, the Rainy-Day fund holds reserves for such situations as this. All together (with testing and inspection costs two weeks ago and the interior work to be done for mold remediation and additional repair work) the costs will be approximately $7300. Currently, the Rainy-Day fund stands at $70,529 and, as noted on the display in the sanctuary, our goal for the RD Fund is $90,000. Of course, as is always true, the care and generosity of those who give is deeply appreciated, no matter what the amount of an offering. Thank you for your prayers as well, for the growing reserves reflected in the Rainy-Day fund faith goal.

Last call for a great opportunity for CPR Training!
We’re pleased to offer the American Heart Association-certified training, with Instructor Myriam Lewis, for anyone interested in learning basic CPR techniques.
CPR/AED Training opportunity offered free of charge here in the fellowship hall:
You’re invited. It’s easy to register for the two-hour course that Myriam is offering on Tuesday, June 18th @ 4:00 PM
Reply to this email and we will gladly add your name to the registration list (on the Connections Table here at church). Invite a friend or co-worker as well and simply send us his or her name, phone # and email address.
Note: The sign-up sheet on the Connections Table will also remain open for sign-ups through Sunday, June 9th.
Water Baptism Orientation ~ the basics on believers’ baptism and a Q&A opportunity open for members, guests and friends.
Update: this date (June 19th) originally set for a kids and parents baptism orientation is open to anyone interested – you’re welcome to sign up at the Connections Table or reply to this email. Note: for any parents with questions or who would like to schedule a session for Q&A at a different time, that’s most welcome as well. Email anytime and we’ll set up a good time to meet together with you and your son(s) or daughter(s)
In these sessions, we open God’s Word to see how baptism activates faith and empowers a rich understanding of the calling of Jesus for each of us. Then we’ll cover a few practical steps that help us serve each person and his or her friends and family members.
It’s our goal to walk alongside those who have questions in any area of spiritual growth.  We look forward to seeing you and/or welcoming anyone in your family or among your friends who would like to learn more about baptism.
Live-stream friends!

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“Blessed by the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things. 
Blessed be His glorious name forever
and may the whole earth be filled with His glory.” 
(Psalm 72:18-19)
In His love,
Pastor Joe
Liberty Church
P.O. Box 295
Westminster MD 21157

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