At a time when law enforcement is under assault by hate groups targeting them personally, and seeking to undermine the institution of law and order, it is refreshing to hear about a church that seeks to encourage peace officers in a tangible way.
This will occur at Calvary Community Church in Phoenix, AZ next month. Senior Pastor, J. Mark Martin supports law enforcement. He makes it a point to have luncheons honoring officers within their congregation. This year, two special people asked if they could go “a little bigger.” Approval was given, and the church will host a one-day conference titled, Never Alone.
Dan and Rosanna Elting are members at Calvary Community Church, and part of the LEO family. I asked them to share why they asked their pastor to take the luncheon to a new level. This is what they shared with me:
“The passion behind the Never Alone Conference began with our trip to Washington DC for Police Week in May of 2016.
“While traveling to DC we had a short layover in Chicago. While there, we met the parents of fallen Officer Jordan Corder, Covina Police Department. They wore buttons with a picture of Jordan and we asked them to share their story. We spoke with them about their son and circumstances surrounding his line of duty death (motorcycle collision in 2014) before boarding the plane.
“During the candlelight vigil at Police Week, we again crossed paths with Jordan’s parents and spent additional time talking with them. We were moved by many stories regarding the line of duty deaths during Police Week.
“During the Memorial Service Hannah Ellis sang her song “Officer Down.” We were both moved to tears by the raw emotion captured by her song.
“Within days of returning home from Police Week, Officer David Glasser was shot and killed in the line of duty. His death hit both of us very hard because we just attended Police Week, and Officer Glasser was with Phoenix PD, the agency that Dan honorably retired from within days of Glasser’s death.
“In addition to the emotion resulting from Police Week and the death of Officer Glasser, we observed marriages of police officers we knew crumbling around us.
“A month after we returned home to Phoenix from DC, Rosanna had her first physical therapy appointment and met with her therapist for the first time. Her therapist’s name was Jordan Corder (the same name as the motor officer from Covina). We both knew at that very moment, we had to do something. God had placed a desire in our hearts to serve law enforcement in their time of need and to minister to marriages through what God has done in our lives and our marriage. As we started the planning process for Never Alone, tragedies hit in Dallas, TX and Baton Rouge, LA, we also knew at this time it was our calling to help and find a place for ourselves in the law enforcement community. We are excited to see how God will use us now and in our future.”
Dan and Rosanna Elting, your story is inspiring!
Calvary Community Church in Phoenix will host Never Alone, Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. There is no cost to attend for those serving (or retired) in law enforcement, and their spouses. A free lunch will be provided as well. Featured speakers include Pastor J. Mark Martin, Sergeant Jeff Daukas, Glendale (AZ) PD, and yours truly, Jim McNeff, police lieutenant (ret.), Fountain Valley PD. Music will be provided by the inspirational, Hannah Ellis.
You can register for the event through Calvary Community Church.
Jim McNeff worked in military and civilian law enforcement for thirty-one years. He retired as a police lieutenant with the Fountain Valley Police Department in Orange County, California. He currently serves as editor-in-chief with Law Enforcement Today.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Southwest University and graduated from the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) course, Leadership in Police Organizations. He authored The Spirit behind Badge 145 (WestBow Press, 2013) and Justice Revealed (CrossLink Publishing, 2016). He is married and has three adult children and three grandchildren. You can contact him at [email protected] or view his website www.badge145.com.