Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 47
November 22, 2021
Fire House Generations
During this past week I had the solemn duty to conduct two funeral services. The two gentlemen who died were from the same family. They were in-laws. A married couple from the church had each experienced the death of a father and a father-in-law on the same day. This was certainly unique, but I’m sure it was not unprecedented. But that is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to highlight that one death was that of a former fire chief from town. He was certainly remembered well and received full honors from members of Volunteer Fire Company #2 in Bergenfield.
The point of this blog is not the two deaths or the involvement of the firefighters. The point of this is to admire the generations of faithful service that the Hoyt Family has shown our community. Former Chief Norman Hoyt Sr. was buried with full honors but his funeral was organized by another firefighter, Norman Hoyt Jr. Norman Jr’s children, Ryan and Elizabeth are also part of Fire Company #2. They were among the firefighters standing guard at Norman’s funeral service.
I am certainly in awe of the courage and sacrifice of our firefighters. Few people that I know would be willing to run into burning buildings on behalf of strangers and give up long hours to train for preparedness. Yet, these people do that. Former Chief Norman Hoyt Sr. was especially adept at doing that. He is someone who should be honored.
What intrigues me even more is the multi-generational membership of firehouses. Firehouse memberships can become family legacies. I wish that we in the church did so well. Many congregations have members without the zeal that firefighters show. Many of our congregations lose the next generation due to lack of interest. Firehouses seem to do better than we do at keeping the descendants of fire fighters.
I honor the service of the late former chief Norman Hoyt Senior as I do all volunteer firefighters. I admire the courage that these firefighters show and their ability to recruit subsequent generations. Please, firefighters, tell me how I can do the same in our churches. I would love our members to show the same zeal and to keep the next generation interest.
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