HUDSON — Honoring those who helped preserve the freedom Americans hold dear to their hearts will be among the top sermon themes this Sunday before Memorial Day.
"A Memorial Reminder Amidst the Weeds" is the subject Pastor Ken Gruebel of St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, 7922 State Road 52 in Hudson will preach at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
"While wandering through a cemetery some time ago I came across a monument, amidst some weeds, honoring three brothers, Eddie, Willard and William Clark, who all died in the Civil War to preserve the Union," Gruebel said. "When I think of them I think of all the others who lost their lives to keep our freedom."
Gruebel also will remember two of his friends who went to war in Vietnam when he went to college.
"I visited the Vietnam Memorial and touched their names on the wall," he said. "It is hard to fathom the hundreds and thousands who have lost their lives over the years to keep us free."
He will use the book of Lamentations, referring to the fall of Jerusalem, where the best and brightest where sent to Babylon and compare it to the best and brightest of Americans sent to war.
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day to remember those who died in service for their country. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
At Faith Lutheran Church, 5443 Sunset Road in New Port Richey, Pastor Robert Steinke will talk about being in "God's Hands."
"We are not to worry, worry is a sin," Steinke said. "In Matthew 6 it says that he (God) is watching over you. We should not worry about our military, pray but don't worry, if they belong to him, they are in his hands."
After the 10 a.m. service, the church will have a Memorial Day picnic for members and the community. There will be hot dogs, hamburgers, covered dishes brought by the congregation, a water slide for the children and games and bingo.
Patriot's Day will be the theme at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 15801 U.S. 19 in Hudson at 8 and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Father Bill Dopp will combine three topics in his sermon: remembering those who have served and given their lives, commemorating this month's National Day of Prayer and using a patriotic theme with special music and prayers for those now serving in the military.
"We want to honor those who have served our nation and preserved our freedom," Dopp said.