Tomorrow will be the last Sunday the congregations of two central Iowa churches will hear a sermon from their regular pastor for a while. Reverend Mike Willer is the minister to both Faith United Methodist Church in Webster City and the Kamrar United Methodist Church, but he’s also in the Iowa National Guard.
Willer says he’ll be spending a couple of months at his battalion headquarters in Waterloo for the 133rd Infantry. They’re preparing for a possible deployment and he’s going to be assembling the unit’s ministry team. Willer says the future is still a bit uncertain.
The unit’s members have been told they may deploy in late summer or early fall. The destination is likely Afghanistan and it would be for a full year. Willer says his job, when and if he goes overseas, will be much the same, just in a dramatically different location.
“It’s a congregation in of itself,” he says. “My battalion is made up of about 750 soldiers and during the deployment, my job is to be the pastor to them and take care of their spiritual needs.” That would include everything from offering the troops counseling to officiating weekly worship services.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City