MCA’s Weekly Newsgram – July 11th 2018

Executive Director Notes

 

This week’s column focuses on the Veteran Military Friendly Congregation Ministry of the MCA (VMFC). This ministry we inherited nearly two years ago has shown some remarkable growth in the last two months, thanks to the great teamwork of CH Ron Skaggs, working with Everett Price of the Episcopal Church’s Brotherhood of St Andrew, Ed Junod, the President of Vet to Vet Tennessee and Jack Figel, the MCA Deputy Executive Director.

More congregations are stepping up to the plate to join in this effort, and you can go directly to their website, www.vmfc-usa.org, to see the current updates of who the new congregations are, which will also soon be available as a  link directly from the MCA website. Click here to Read More

NC Lay Leader Honors Vietnam War Veteran Surviving Spouse in Ohio

Ray Wease, Lay Leader of Crossroads United Methodist Church of Concord North Carolina, travels to Manchester Ohio to present the Vietnam War Commemoration Certificate of Honor to Ms. Pat Sullivan.

“Here is a pic of me presenting the Vietnam surviving spouse award to Ms. Pat Sullivan (Larry Sullivan was the Vietnam vet who served in Vietnam in 1967-68). This presentation happened on Saturday, July 7, 2018 in Manchester Ohio. It was an honor for me to do this for my friends of over 50 years.”  Ray Wease Click here to Read More

Network Establishing Reunions

Welcome Home Mr. Henry Hunter Jr. from Fountain City, TN!   On July 7, 2017 Vet to Vet Tennessee received an emailed from Agostino Alberti, a Lombardy Italian teacher and a member of the archaeological group Air Crash Po, about a WWII American Airman dog tag found in wooded, Apennines mountains area  of Italy.

According to Ago, his “friend Tommaso Teora was investigating a wooded area “between Lucca and Pistoia”, looking for the crash-point of a B-17F bomber which was shot down during a bombing mission over the Bologna main M/Y on October 3, 1943 and he and another researcher named Francesco Pioli have found the dog tag.”  According to Mr. Hunter’s family, Mr. Hunter and his crew made a raft using the wing of the craft, and they floated down the river until they met up with Italian partisans who assisted them in returning to American forces.

Through our partnerships with the Knox County Mayor’s Office and one of our Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations Fountain City United Methodist Church, and a local mortician and military history enthusiast, Mr. Hunter’s family was found.

Such an honor to assist in bringing an artifact home from our soldiers and inform his family.  We are grateful and honored to Agostino Alberti, Tommaso Teora, Francesco Pioli, Luca Merli, Jeff Berry, Buzz Buswell, Fountain City United Methodist Pastor John Gargis and www.tnvhc.org for bringing all of this together.  We are truly blessed.

Third VMFC to enroll in Texas

June 26, 2018  DeSoto, Texas

MCA received an online enrollment request from Saint Anne Episcopal from DeSoto Texas.  Reverend  Dr. James Harris is the Church Rector and Charla Truesdale is their Lay Leader.

Let us welcome and pray for our second Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation.  If you wish to welcome Saint Anne Episcopal Church please contact Charla at charla@warriorspiritproject.org

If you would like to enroll your church or ministry, please click here.

New VMFC Host Suicide Prevention Instructor Course

Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee awarded a 2018 Phase I grant  to Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) for their initiative “Veteran/First Responder QPR Suicide Prevention on June 6, 2018 at the Cherokee Country Club.

Trinity Health Foundation of East Tennessee extends the healing ministry of Jesus by improving the physical, emotional and spiritual health of our community.  Each grantee is assigned a Trinity Health Foundation Liaison; VTVT was assigned – The Very Reverend John Ross and Joe Johnson.

Rio Revolution Church,  a VMFC in Maryville Tennessee, has agreed to host the training on August 20, 2018.   Two (2) members of Rio have already enrolled in QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor Course including Pastor Devan Lipsey and their Lay Leader.  Click here to Read More

Executive Director Notes Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations

Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations (VMFCs) are worshipping congregations and communities which consciously and visibly seek to be friendly to veterans, military members, and their families. This is a ministry of the MCA which we received from Care for the Troops in 2016 and which has shown great promise as we make it known around the nation. The VMFC ministry got a shot in the arm with a phone conference on May 2nd at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting when Everett Price called in to see what could be done by us partnering with another the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, which is an Episcopalian organization established for lay men in the Episcopal Church.

Click here to Read More

Rio Revolution Celebrate Recovery Enrolls as a VMFM

On May 8, 2018 Rio Revolution Celebrate Recovery  began a “Welcome Home” share group led by Celebrate Recovery (CR) National Welcome Home Director Al North.

CR has been a successful Christ Centered 12 step program for over 25 years in over 29,000 congregations worldwide. Welcome Home is a new initiative by CR to identify veterans, military and their families and create Welcome Home share groups in existing CRs.

On May 10, 2018, Rio CR enrolled in the Veteran/Military Friendly Ministry program and becomes the sixth CR ministry in Eastern Tennessee.

Vet to Vet Tennessee President and Director North agreed to expand the Welcome Home program and encourage existing and new CRs to enroll in the Military Chaplain Association VMFC program.

Rio Revolution Church Enrolls in VMFC

Rio Revolution Church, Blount CountyTennessee

God gave Pastor Pacer Hepperly a dream of planting a church with a simple goal: to help people connect with God in order to reach their full potential.  39 people committed to help Pastor Pacer fulfill his dream and make it a reality. The first service was held at a local high school on January 7, 2007, with over 200 people in attendance.  Since then, God has blessed his church with steady incredible growth.

Rio’s mission statement is “Our vision is to see every man, woman, boy and girl that is a part of this ministry, develop to their full potential, and serve with excellence in the area of their giftedness, creating an atmosphere of unity, where lost people are drawn to Christ.”

On May 10, 2018 joined the Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation and has agreed to be a lead ministry since their mission includes citizens of Blount County. Click here to Read More

 

 

Repairs for Heroes – Helping Vets with the Mind, Body, Spirit & Home

On October 12, 2017 Vet to Vet Tennessee announced their new collaborative veterans housing program with Blount County Habitat for Humanity (BHfH) and Maryville AMVETS Post 22 (Post).  “Repairs for Heroes”; repairs veterans/military mind, body, spirit and home.  Vet to Vet Tennessee trains mentors to interview veterans who need support including health & medical support, VA claims, suicide prevention and spiritual help.  The spiritual help is provided by VA Chaplain Services, Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations, Blount County Habitat for Humanity and Vet to Vet Tennessee.

April 21, 28, 2018.  Blount County, Tennessee.  The last two Saturdays were very busy for the partners of the Repairs for Heroes (RFH) program.  Partners Blount County Habitat for Humanity and Maryville Amvets Post 22 completed 2 wheel chair ramps for one disabled veterans and one disabled Vietnam War Veteran widow.  Click here to Read More

New VMFC Host Expungement Clinic in Rural TN

April 21st Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) partnered with the University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Joy Radice, 10th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Sandra Donaghy, Monroe County General Sessions/Veterans Court Judge Dwaine B. Thomas and Monroe County Court Clerk Marty Cook.  We are also grateful volunteers and support from the Knoxville Bar Association, TN Faith & Justice Alliance and the local pro-bono attorneys assisted by UT Law students,  This was the second expungement clinic co-hosted by UT College of Law and VTVT.

The clinic was held at Vet to Vet Tennessee’s Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation First Baptist Church of Madisonville, Tennessee.  Thanks to First Baptist Church Pastor Chris Moore and his church members, this venue provided the clinic members and clients with a great environment to conduct court.  Not only did they provide the facility, but they also provided 11 volunteers and breakfast for everyone.

In two weeks, 280 individuals registered and approximately 200 attended the clinic.  First expungement clinic to include a Circuit, Criminal, General Sessions and Veterans Court Judges.  We had over 60 volunteers.  Program was scheduled from 9:00am until Noon but but did not end until the last case was processed which occurred at 6:00PM.

Click here to Read More