Sunday, November 13, 2022

Church Blesses Local Volunteer Firefighters and Their Apparatus

On Sunday morning, a church in Lavelle held a special service to bless local firefighters and their apparatus.

Several weeks ago, the Lavelle Church of the Nazarene's Reverend Jeremy Smallwood invited the first due companies as well as the fire companies from the surrounding communities to a "Blessing of First Responders and Emergency Apparatus" service.

The service was held prior to the church's regular morning service and was attended by roughly 30 first responders and parishioners and 8 apparatus from Schuylkill and Northumberland Counties including Strong, Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Lavelle, and Ashland.

The first part of the service took place indoors in the church's meeting room where the first responders themselves were blessed and affirmed with prayer by Rev. Jim Reibsome.

The second part took place in the parking lot of in the rear of the church where Reverend Smallwood walked up to each vehicle, anointed a cross with oil, and prayed over the vehicle. 

Reverend Smallwood, who is also first responder for 30 years, as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, said he always wanted to bring together his church and first responder communities.

"The main thing we wanted to do was reaffirm the service to those who respond to emergencies in our community, spends their time in training, prepares for emergencies, and carries those critical memories with them everywhere they go.  I wanted to give everyone that was here the sense that God is with them and that they are blessed.  I'm extraordinarily happy with the event and to see everyone here" Reverend Smallwood said. 

Reverend Smallwood hopes to make this a yearly service.