By: Rev. Watson Gunderson, Westminster Church in Conway, SC
The Conway Police Department has long used our church parking lot as a part of a speed trap. Not many days go by that there is not one or two patrol cars in our parking lot. One day I noticed an officer doing some paperwork and I approached him, thanking him for their work in keeping our community safe. In the conversation, I asked him how morale was at the department in light of all the visceral anti-police rhetoric. He waffled his hand and said so-so. I could tell that the added political pressure on our local law enforcement had made life even more difficult and dangerous for those in blue.
I started thinking of ways that we as a Church family could bring some comfort to those who are facing such trials daily. And hopefully, repair the divide that occurs between the public and the police. I spoke with the session as well as the women of the church and it was agreed that one simple way that we could share the love of Christ with our Law Enforcement Community was to provide monthly care packages. Each care package is designed to be carried in a patrol car, they include, a couple of water bottles, protein bars, crackers, peanuts, and occasionally some chocolate. They are presented in a simple bag with a label that has the church’s name and the simple message, “Praying for You”.
The ladies of the church have even taken it a step further to include special items like a Christmas card or some Valentine’s candy, depending on the season. That extra personal touch makes it all the better. However, I did warn the congregation that just because we give candy to the police does not give you the ability to get out of a speeding ticket or a get out of jail free card! So yes, slow down!
Our hope is that with all the stress that our nation has endured the past several months, our simple care packages will bring not only some happiness but remind those that receive them, that Jesus loves them and we do as well.
As Paul reminds us, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).