Episcopal Church sponsors Breakfast with Heroes

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

The Episcopal Church of the Incarnation are sponsoring its second annual Breakfast with Heroes, this morning from 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. Previously, the West Point Police Department. Clay County Sheriff’s Department, the West Point Fire Department, EMTs and 911 dispatchers, were the ones honored, but this year the church is including local members of the National Guard.

"This time we have also invited the 223rd Engineer Battalion of the Mississippi National Guard," Rev. Lynn Ronaldi, Episcopal priest of the church said. "We were trying to think bigger than just law enforcement, we wanted to encompass all of our first responders."

Ronaldi said it was the idea of Michelle Easterling to honor the brave people who keep the community safe.
Kathy Dyess is coordinator with Easterling in bringing the breakfast together with the help of the congregation of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation.

"We are delighted to recognize our local heroes," Dyess said. "They keep us safe by putting themselves out there in harm's way every day."
She said it is the least the church members can do to to show appreciation for the dependable, well-trained, dedicated people who are a bulwark between the community and danger.

"A lot of the members of the 223rd Engineer Battalion are at Camp Shelby right now," Easterling said. "But the ones who are home, we want them to come. We want all of those being honored that they are in our prayers. We know their families fear for their safely and we pray for them to return home safely."

Easterling said as city and county attorney, she works closely with the police, sheriff's departments and the fire department, as well. She said Dwight Dyess suggested including the 223rd Engineer Battalion. Everyone in the church agreed it was a great idea.

"All the departments work so hard and care so much for this community," Easterling said. "I know they all like to eat, so this was a perfect way to let them all know how much we appreciate what they do."

Ronaldi said these groups are the living embodiment of John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

"First responders are the first ones to respond to God's will for us to serve others," Ronaldi said. "They show divine love in action. They often are put in harm's way for people they don't even know. What shows God's love for us more than that?"

Ronaldi said she believes Easterling especially appreciates the serving spirit of those who protect the citizens of the community. The congregation of the Episcopal Church does, as well.

"It began as just a small idea," Easterling said. "But as soon as some of the church members heard about it, they wanted to be included. This is a small way for the entire to church to say thank you, we appreciate everything you do."
Ronaldi said the congregation will be there to serve the first responders with the same spirit of serving others that they bring to the community every day.

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