Partnering with Our Common Table and Our Common Ground:
Our Common Table is a new Christian Community seeking to cultivate spaces of welcome for all people where we can explore and practice life in the way of Jesus together, seek holistic justice, and love and celebrate our neighbors and neighborhood.
Donate to Our Common Ground:
Here is a current list of needed items at Our Common Ground:
Socks (new crew socks are preferred)
Gift Cards to grocery stores and restaurants in Everett
Coffee (preferably ground)
Snacks (protein rich and non-perishable are best)
Razors and Shaving Cream
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
On November 11, 1918, Private Henry Nicholas Gunther was killed. It may seem historically insignificant, other than to Henry's friends and family, to consider the death of one soldier amid the 113,000 American's killed during World War 1. But Henry became the last American to die in the "war to end all wars." His death, like the 2,700 others killed in action that November morning in France, was tragically unnecessary.
At 5:00 am on November 11th, the armistice was signed in the private railway car of French Marshal Foch, in the Forest of Compiegne, 30 miles northeast of Paris. While the news spread rapidly, the agreement called for the war to end officially at 11:00 am Paris time. Instead of standing down and waiting until the 11th hour, the fighting continued on both sides. Estimates are that almost 11,000 soldiers were wounded, killed or missing in action during that 6-hour period; exceeding the casualty count on D-Day in World War II.
As the men of Company A, 313th Infantry Regiment, 79th Division approached the village of Chaumont-devant-Damvillers, they encountered a German unit. The Germans fired on the Americans first. While some considered this an ambush, others claim that the Germans appeared to have been firing over the heads of the Americans as if to signal them that the war was about to end. Although one account says it happened at 11:01 am, one minute after the war ended, records show Private Gunther was killed rushing the German position at 10:59 am, a mere 60 seconds or less before the war officially ended. He was the only casualty in the skirmish, and the last Allied casualty of the war. Private Gunther was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Like so many other American casualties, his remains were brought home to the United States in 1923 and buried in Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. Henry was not forgotten though. On November 11, 2008, the town of Chaumont-devant-Damvillers in France, erected a monument to Gunther to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the end of the war. Two years later, on November 11, 2010, a new memorial stone with a bronze plaque was placed next to his grave in Baltimore. The inscription read: "Highly Decorated for Exceptional Bravery and Heroic Action That Resulted in His Death One Minute Before the Armistice."
Henry Gunther was simply an ordinary man who lived at a time when his country needed soldiers to defend its freedom. Like thousands of others, he responded to the call and did his duty. Had he and his unit arrived in that little French town a minute or so later, he more than likely would have left France, returned home, and resumed his ordinary life. However, by a cruel twist of fate he became the last of soldier to die in the final hours of one of the bloodiest wars in our history.
On Veteran's Day, many of us observe a moment of silence at the hour the firing stopped to end World War I; the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. I don't know about you but in that moment this year, I will think about Henry and the sacrifice he made a century ago. In fighting for a cause he believed in until the very end and giving his life in defense of the freedoms we enjoy today, Private Henry Gunther is an example to all of us who served, and what Veteran's Day is all about.
Several years back I was asked to prepare a prayer for the Veteran’s Day service on the Lummi reservation. As the events of the day unfolded, the prayer was never given. This year seems like a good time to share it.
“Creator of all things. Cry with us in this moment as we stand humbly in the presence of those who have fallen, those who have felt loss, those who have wounds, and those who continue to serve our people at home and in far off lands. We seek your strength, your guidance, and your comfort. Help us in this moment of sorrow, to become one spirit, one people; united in a prayer for peace in our world. Grant us the serenity that can only come from you; comfort for today, and hope for tomorrow. Great Spirit, cry with us in this moment as we remember our warriors. May we never forget to thank them; not just on this special day, but on all days. Amen!”
Rev. Jack Miller … USMC (1962-1966) Vietnam Veteran
Our church hymnal has the hymn entitled Give Thanks with words and music by Henry Smith, 1978. The beginning says “Give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because he’s given Jesus Christ his Son.” Henry Smith was a young seminary graduate struggling to find work and coming to terms with a degenerative eye condition that would eventually leave him legally blind. Despite those hardships, Henry found hope in 2 Corinthians 8:9 and penned “Give Thanks.” I found a video on You Tube with Henry and his wife Cindy singing the song and playing their guitars in 2010. It has been said that you can hum “Give Thanks” at almost any church in the world, no matter the country or the language, and someone will recognize this simple song of thanksgiving and trust. During this season of thankfulness, could we take the time to give special thanks to someone or more than one by telephone or a written note. I would be happy to hear about any responses that you receive.
Jesus calls us to service. In answering his call, we support a number of community service organizations and projects. Among these are the Friendship House, Skagit County Community Action Agency, Domestic Violence Women's Shelter, Everett's Common Ground and Common Table, Family Promise, Neighbor's in Need, Samaritan's Purse Shoe-box Project, and Lincoln Elementary School.
Everyday is not a good day, but there is good in every day.
As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), we believe our only creed is Christ. We shouldn't burden our lives with confusing rules of fellowship. There is no test of membership beyond faith in God's love and the Christ we have in Jesus, who leads us to reconcilliation with God and each other. Our emphasis is placed on living in ways that confirm our beliefs and understanding. At our best, we carry out a ministry that makes a difference in the world and reflects the good news of God's grace extended to all people.
Self-care for the sake of others
In light of Matthew 22:39, where Jesus says we should love our neighbors as ourselves, Rozella Haydée White writes: “I believe that we are called to love ourselves so that we can love our neighbor. I believe that loving God leads to loving self. When we love self, we practice how we are called to love others. Then when we love others, we love the incarnate God. And this cycle continues, leading us deeper into love with the One who is love.”
Unfortunately, many Christians have been taught that loving oneself is, well, selfish. But White understands self-care not as being self-serving but as recognizing oneself as a holy, beloved dwelling place for God.
She asks, “What if God has been inviting you not just to rest but to remember that you are first called to love God and love yourself? What if living out the commandments in that order gives you boundless energy to love others?”
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Mount Vernon First Christian Church
Disciples of Christ
MVFCC Volunteer Opportunities:
1. The Friendship House needs you the last Friday of every month. Sign up at church this Sunday.
2. Neighbors in Need Food Bank is looking for donations of canned and dry foods. Place in the bins provided this Sunday.
3. Our Common Table requests financial donations for growing their congregation.
4. Family Promise: We partner with Salem Lutheran Church on a rotating basis to provide food, shelter and support for families who are struggling to find affordable housing and employment opportunities.
Visit us at:
900 Skagit Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98274
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Schedule of Weekly Events
Sunday Class - 9:30 am
Sunday Worship Service - 10:30 am
Sunday Fellowship Time - 11:30 am