Church conducts service for town: Members thank community for work they’ve done



While sweeping a parking lot, a woman received a red ribbon with the slogan “Who I am makes a difference.”

She was thanked for all of the work she does, and she was touched by that kind gesture.

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A cashier at a local store also received one, as did local first responders.

As members of Brownstown Church of the Nazarene handed out the ribbons, each recipient was encouraged to keep it themselves or give it to someone they felt deserved it.

They also were invited to a thank-you service at the church, where community members, first responders, business owners and others were recognized and thanked for everything they do.

More than 130 people attended the recent service.

Donna Baughman, the local missionary president, said the Church of the Nazarene does a wonderful job of supporting missionaries and different aspects of that area around the world.

After talking to the missionary council, she said they all agreed more needs to be done locally to impact the community and make a difference for the better.

The church has been focusing on America’s needs through prayer and a Helping Others and Praying for Everyone group.

The thank-you service was another way to impact the community.

“We felt like our law enforcement tends to get a bad rap because of previous things that have happened around our country,” Baughman said. “We all realize that in any profession, there are some rogue ones, but the great ones and those that go above and beyond far outweigh the bad.

“We just wanted to let those that serve our community know that we really do appreciate them and wanted them to know that we are praying for them as well as honor them,” she said.

The council asked Linda Lawyer to organize the thank-you service. She put a committee together, and it took off and just kept expanding.

“I prayed about it, and the Lord gave me this plan,” Lawyer said. “I truly believe with all of my heart that the Lord put it together. I think that is the reason for the success that we had.”

She was happy with the turnout.

“It was just reaching out to the community to say, ‘Thank you. We appreciate you for what you do,’” Lawyer said. “The idea was that anybody can make a difference. No matter where you work, you can make a difference in somebody else’s life. We need each other as a community.”

In her opening remarks, Baughman said the purpose of the service was to honor people who have impacted others’ lives.

“Many of you are doing thankless jobs or putting your lives in danger to protect us, and we want you to know that we appreciate that,” she said. “We all hear so much negativity in our daily lives. We want to change that.”

She said the hope is to start a ripple effect that will affect not only Jackson County but surrounding areas.

“We are hoping that you will feel this way, too, and will leave here tonight and continue to show love, kindness and support to our fellow human beings,” she said. “After all, isn’t that what God tells us to do? … A little kindness and appreciation goes a long way.”

Lawyer read a poem written by church member Dell Parker before introducing the speakers, including local police officers and firefighters. They received banners and figurines as tokens of appreciation. Prayers from Pastor Tim Lichtley for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians also were shared.

Jason Taskey with the Seymour Fire Department was among the speakers. He attends the Brownstown church and was asked to talk about going above and beyond the call of duty and making sacrifices for his job.

“To me, I’ve never really gone above and beyond,” he said. “It’s your job. You’re called to help. You go there and do your job and go back (home).”

Taskey said he joined the Redding Township Volunteer Fire Department when he was 16 and then worked for Jackson County Emergency Medical Services for six years before being hired by the Seymour Fire Department six years ago.

As a firefighter, Taskey works for 24 hours and then has 48 hours off. While he works, his wife has to take care of their two daughters, who are 4 years old and 6 months old.

“It’s a lot on her to be at home with two kids when I’m gone every third day when I’m working,” Taskey said. “That’s a lot of sacrifice, in my mind, to have somebody gone every third day.”

The other speakers shared similar thoughts about their jobs.

“You have a job to do, and you go and do your job and take pride in it,” Taskey said. “It’s nice to be able to give back to the community and serve and help others in their time of need.”

Local military veterans also were recognized. After the anthems were played for each military branch, church member and veteran Mike Martin shared some comments. Prayers also were offered for the veterans and their families, and soldier statues and awards were presented.

Following words of appreciation, Becky Crockett sang a thank-you song before the service was closed, refreshments were served and gifts were handed to people on the way out.

“We were thrilled to have them, and they seemed like they really appreciated the service,” Lawyer said of the attendees. “It was such a good turnout and a good response from the community, such positive remarks. Someone said that they felt it was a very touching service and really meant a lot, and each speaker was very interesting, I heard that over and over.”

Several people said they would like to see the service become an annual event.

“We have never done a service of this type before,” Baughman said. “We had many people ask us if we were going to do this again or something similar, so that might be a possibility.”

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A poem written by church member Dell Parker was read during Brownstown Church of the Nazarene’s recent thank-you service for those who make a difference in the community.

“Who I Am Makes a Difference”

Good evening, everybody, and a big “How do you do.” Tonight, this service has been designed especially for you.

We think our community is wonderful, and we want you all to know that who you are makes a difference wherever your path may go.

We want to say “thanks” to each of you for the special part you play in making our community just what it is today.

Someone once so wisely penned, and oh how very true, that “No man is an island.” They must have been thinking of you.

We really do need each other as we go from day to day. The sheriff will seek the policeman’s help, and the ambulance is on the way.

The teachers have our kids in school to teach and guide their days. These kids will soon serve our community in their own special unique ways.

We must never forget our veterans, who have put their lives in harm’s way protecting our country and keeping us safe so we can be here today.

Thanks again for coming tonight. We appreciate all you do. May the good Lord bless and keep you. Please know we’re here for you.


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