Thursday, July 24, 2014
Thousands of packages of Oreo surround the altar during Patriotic Sunday worship services on June 29, 2014.
Alpharetta Methodist sends 3.7 tons of Oreos to troops in Afghanistan
In June 2014, Alpharetta Methodist set a goal of two tons for our annual Operation Oreo cookie drive. Thanks to support from the community and our generous congregation, we nearly doubled that goal, collecting 3.7 tons of Oreos. The cookies were sent to military chaplains in Afghanistan who are helping to distribute them to service members stationed at Forward Operating Bases Fentry and Gamberi, as well as Shindand, Kandahar and Bagram Air Bases. The cookies provide a little taste of home and say thank you to those who stand in harm’s way to protect our freedoms.
The church family and patriotic citizens in the community dropped off Oreos at the church throughout June. Operation Oreo culminated with a standing-room-only patriotic worship service on Sunday, June 29. Stacks of Oreo packages surrounded the altar, while the choir and orchestra played patriotic music and military veterans were recognized.
The annual cookie drive began with a 2009 chance encounter between Senior Pastor Dr. Don Martin and a young soldier aboard a plane. The soldier was returning from duty in Iraq. When Dr. Martin asked him what he missed most while away, the young man replied, without hesitation, “Oreos, Double Stuf!” Every summer since then, AFUMC has collected and shipped packages of Oreos to service men and women in combat zones overseas.
Operation Oreo always concludes on Patriotic Sunday, the Sunday immediately prior to the July 4 holiday. Both our traditional and contemporary worship services are rich with patriotic music, as we thank God for the blessings he's bestowed on our country. We offer a salute military veterans, and our orchestra plays the service song from each branch of the military. Patriotic Sunday in 2015 will be in June 28. Come join us in celebrating God and county!