Operation One Nation – Veteran’s Ministry


The Health and Wellness Cabinet would like to announce the formation of the Military Member and Family Support Program here at Bethany under the charter provided by the Synod Assembly gathering in Chicago 2007.  The mission of  Operation One Nation is to support all returning military personnel and their families.

2013 OperationOneNation

The Bethany Church Council and the membership-at-large approved the establishment of the Health and Wellness Cabinet and funding for a Parish Nurse position to respond to the general health and welfare needs of Bethany congregation parishioners to include support for those deployed overseas and loved ones who are transitioning back into the family setting at home and in the metro-Denver community.

Our major partner in this effort is Project Sanctuary, a group that provides therapeutic retreats for military members and their families. Watch more by clicking HERE.

Questions?  Please contact Warren Miller, Bethany Member and Veteran – augerdogger@aol.com

More information about these important ministries:

2015 Volunteer

Operation One Nation 2015 Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Daniel Grace

We are certainly not going to lose sight of Ephesians 2:8-9 for this piece about grace/Grace. In fact, we acknowledge here how grace is foundational to our faith: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” We can also acknowledge here that Matthew 5:16 gives us license to speak about good works – all in a grace/ Grace-filled context along with the aforementioned passage, “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”

Over the course of 2015 Dr. Dan Grace has lived his life acknowledging the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9 and the beauty of service inherent in Matthew as a way to glorify God while in service to others. For his meaningful work and many contributions of time, talent and treasure to Operation One Nation (OON), Dr. Dan Grace has rightly and unanimously been elected to be our Volunteer of the Year for 2015.

You all know if you have been around Bethany for a few years that Dan is a man of many gifts, including his extraordinary musical talents which we enjoyed during his 18 years as Chancel Choir Director. What is lesser known to our church community is the fact that Dan is also a retired Navy man – one who served on active duty for five years and who served another 15 years as a Navy Reservist – fully engaged there, too, as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Nuclear Weapons Disposal expert. If only we could see him in training as that certified scuba diver he was in yesteryear!

2016 Grace DanDan came to OON because of his ties to the Navy but also because of the receipt of daily mailings and statements of need for veterans and military members and families. The myriad numbers of mailings gave him pause and occasion to consider how he might be of help in ways other than monetarily. The mailings were his impetus to “do something” and we are delighted he chose to do something among those he knew best – the members of Bethany and our Operation One Nation Team.

Today we appreciate the fact that Dan’s head is now well above water in his Navy retirement and also in the right place – doing good so others might be well. You see, for the course of an entire year, Dan has been using his creative and musical talents to build a “spiritual healing” music album for our veterans and military members and their families who suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. And, wouldn’t you know that in his search he was drawn to the best of who we Lutherans are in content and quality of musical expression around healing of the mind, body and soul? He brilliantly chose to go to those who deliver this music as he states from “the best of the best – our Lutheran College and University choirs like St. Olaf, Concordia-Moorhead, Luther, Wartburg and our wonderful, but little-known National Lutheran Chorale. He also called upon the many expressions of spiritual healing music by Bethany’s own Chancel Choir, its Four Praise Group, and selections from Darla Reeves and organists Rick Seaton and Kathy Eggleston, among others. The result has been gratifying, purposeful and beautifully engineered by Dan’s expert hand.

The CD is in final preparations. It’s been mastered by 2-time Grammy Award winner, Mr. William Hare from the Bay Area and the album cover was designed by local Denver artist, Helen Marie Hall. Our Bethany community has helped Operation One Nation name it with the selection of “Keeper of All Stars” – words from Darla Reeves tune, Lord of Eternity. To add to the album, Dan has asked Dr. David Brock, retired Army Chaplain and member of the Operation One Nation Team to add a devotional CD to the total package. Dave’s devotionals are nearly completed and will be recorded soon for mastering and production. That devotional CD will bear the title: “Lord Be Our Guide.”

The album will be offered at no cost to the receiver. What a way to offer God’s healing power! What a way to express God’s tender mercy, grace and love to those who have served in uniform and have paid a price in lost wellness and wholeness through service to country! It is Dan’s hope that wellness and wholeness will be restored, reborn or perhaps discovered for the first time in those who hear the music and the Word. “Perhaps,” Dan says, “for a person with no faith, this album may open the door to the faith experience.”

We all know the power of God’s love for us; how it may be best expressed by us and to have it work in and through our military members is found in this work. Dan expresses his hope that the music and words within the album will offer hope, comfort, companionship and connection to church communities for those who hear.

We owe Dr. Dan Grace a huge measure of gratitude for all his good works in advancing this project to its current state. I think we can “modestly boast” of Dr. Daniel Grace’s good works and agree that he has lived out the words of Matthew just as our Creator – the fountain of all grace, mercy and healing – would have us all do.

We thank God for these good works of Dr. Dan Grace and for the giving spirits of both Dan and his bride, Billie, through all their years of service among us!


2014 Volunteer

BLC SwansonRonald Swanson:  2014 Operation One Nation Volunteer of the Year

When you work with a volunteer group you never know what you’re going to get in terms of a response.   Will the person attend meetings?   Will the person contribute to ideas and work set forth by the group in order for it to accomplish goals and objectives?   Does the person see relevance to those meetings and the ministry set forth in them to stay the course and offer up their time, talents and even treasure? With all those questions the response when it comes to Ronald Swanson’s actions, both in words and deeds, is a resounding “Yes”!

Ronald is the Operation One Nation Volunteer of the Year for 2014.   The Operation One Nation Team selects that volunteer by secret ballot because so many of the group is deserving of recognition for individual contributions toward its mission and ministry.   This year the secret ballots were not even cast. One of our Team put forward Ronald’s name in nomination and everyone agreed Ronald stood out as the person to be named Volunteer of the Year for 2014.

So, what makes Ronald such a valuable member of the Team?   First, he is faithful! He never misses a meeting unless health or work demands draw him away.   Ronald sees the practical aspects of performing our ministry and he knows where he fits in to be “at the ready” to do his part. Moreover, Ronald is not ashamed to remind us all of his source of strength and value system when it comes to his health and the health and well-being of our veterans, military members and their families.   He gives all glory to God for his recovery from health trials and he demonstrates that same faith in what Operation One Nation is trying to do to relieve the pain and pangs of war that threaten the health and welfare of so many brave warriors. Ronald is compelled to be in solidarity with those who serve to do whatever he is able to make their road easier and their burdens lighter.

Ronald enjoys working behind the scenes, yet, when it comes to doing important work that takes time, energy and talent, he is always available to help.   His contributions to advancing the Operation One Nation cause at Rocky Mountain Synod Assemblies is but one example.   His recent work with the Pikes Peak Support Group of over 40 helping agencies up and down the Front Range corridor is another.   His lead in managing details for our Veterans’ Appreciation Dinner last November is but another example where Ronald’s light shined before us all. His advocacy of Healing Touch at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Greeley took the whole Team aback with his eloquent witness and heartfelt belief about what a Healing Touch ministry at Bethany and other ELCA Churches might do to bring relief to others, just as he experienced relief from a Healing Touch therapy session at Bethany.

Ronald extends his volunteer time to so many other aspects in the life of Bethany congregation.   He has been a sacristan for over 22 years.   He has been a lector for many years. He minds the Bethany Hospitality and Welcome Desk.   He has been a Boy Scout leader for decades. He is an active member of the Men of Bethany Group and has participated in many Bible Study groups, retreat opportunities and other gatherings where hospitality is offered. He is usually in the middle, always offering a hand.

All of these activities and more come from his upbringing in Rockford, IL at the hands and guidance of his parents.   It comes from an ever-growing and abiding faith in God and it comes from his individual contributions to the defense of our nation over more than 21 years of honorable service to country — as a Security Service noncommissioned officer and as a Chaplain’s Assistant. Ronald experienced first-hand how the forces that work against our nation’s desire for peace in the world can be thwarted by opposing forces who do not place that same premium on peace and freedom. He experienced first-hand why deployments to posts overseas are necessary and what cooperation among peace-loving nations can do to further the common goal of peace on earth.

So, when you see Ronald in action around Bethany Church, thank him for all he has done to add to the richness of our hospitality, healing and overall worship experience.   Thank him for the volunteer example he has set and for the belief system he shares such that we all can find that same abiding faith he has in our Creator.

Ronald has found his place in our church community and in our world.   Much of that place and space involves his personal desire to bring faith, hope and joy to others. We view his contributions to Operation One Nation to be noteworthy and as a Team, we are delighted to recognize Ronald Swanson as our Volunteer of the Year.

Congratulations, and thank you Ronald for all you do!

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Annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner and Concert

November 14, 2015

2013 OperationOneNationAnnual Veterans Appreciation Dinner and Concert: Operation One Nation will host its Annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner and Concert on the evening of November 14 at Bethany. The dinner and concert are a way to honor our veterans and active duty military and their families, and to provide a way to fund support to carry on the important work of the Operation One Nation Team as well as its partnership with Project Sanctuary, Centus Counseling and This Able Vet.

2015 SonsBrothersThe Bethany Operation One Nation Team is pleased that Romano’s will once again cater its ”Best of Littleton” pasta dinner in the Fellowship Hall. Dinner will be served that evening from 5:30 -6:45pm with the concert starting in the Sanctuary at 7:00pm. Entertainment for the evening will be Colorado’s own Sons and Brothers, a family group with a blend of voice and instrumentation that makes for a truly unique sound. Sons and Brothers offers a program mix of Gospel, bluegrass and country music with colorful and humorous stories added in to provide a most entertaining experience. We hope you will join us and accompany those whose service to country we honor for an evening of fellowship with a purpose.

There will be a freewill offering gathered at the event. Please RSVP for the dinner to Janet Mortinsen by November 7th at 303-300-3317 or janet@bethany-denver.org.

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May, 2011The 2011 Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly took place May 12-14, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Colorado Springs. The theme was “Give us Today Our Daily Bread“.  Three resolutions were passed during the gathering, including one authored by the Veteran’s Ministry here at Bethany, Operation One Nation, and supported and endorsed by the Bethany Lutheran Church Council.

March, 2011:  During the Church Council meeting on February 22, Bethany Lutheran Church voted to send a proposal to the Rocky Mountain Synod calling on the Rocky Mountain Synod churches to support military personnel and their families.

By doing so Bethany is taking the lead in an effort to implement the 2007 ELCA Churchwide Assembly’s memorial that our church support military personnel in healing of body, mind, and spirit.

“…Therefore, Be It Resolved, that all congregations of the Rocky Mountain Synod will support active and retired military personnel and their families as the Spirit gives to them to understand their own mission in this ministry. In particular, our congregations will seek to provide a welcoming and supportive environment for those military members who are returning from combat areas, and their families who served at home.”

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad.  Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations, give them courage to face the perils that surround them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Become Part of the Team!

We are looking for AAA Adults who want to be an active part of Operation One Nation! This could be anything from offering counseling to attending meetings to writing cards from your kitchen table.  Please click on the link below to submit your contact information and ways you’d be willing to help!  Click here to  become a part of Operation One Nation.

Submit an Address

We are looking for the names and addresses of current/past Veterans. Please submit their contact information by clicking the link below!  Click here to submit information.  

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