August 20, 2018 Madisonville Tennessee. Pastor Dr. David Koopman celebrates the Church’s 150 anniversary and recognizing the church as the first Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation in Monroe County Tennessee. Vet to Vet Tennessee supported the special celebration by recognizing two Korean War Veterans with the Republic of South Korea’s Ambassador For Peace Medal. Continue reading “150 Anniversary for New Hope Cumberland Presbyterian Celebrates Veterans”
On August 20, 2018 Administrative Pastor Devin Lipsey & Celebrate Recovery’s Veteran Facilitator Tommy Keelble from Rio Revolution Church were trained and certified as Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructors. Rio Revolution is a new VMFC and hosted the event.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. In June 2018, Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) initiated a pilot program to help VMFCs Youth leaders teach QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeepers. The vision is to train and certify VMFC youth leaders who will train their youth 10 and above to become Suicide Prevention Gatekeepers. Once trained, the youth gatekeepers will have to knowledge how to ask the question and observe high risk suicidal behavior in the younger members.
VA Chaplain Ron Skaggs notified us of another good site to add to our resource for clergy helping Vets and educating churches. You can view the new site by clicking here and it is not added to the VA resource list in our main menu.
The information is provided by the National Center for PTSD and includes general information on Community Violence, Veterans with PTSD in the Justice System, Journalists and PTSD, Media Coverage of Traumatic Events: Research on Effects, and Spirituality and Trauma: Professionals Working Together.
The site also includes a Clergy Toolkit and a Police Officer Toolkit: PTSD and Military Veterans.
Please take advantage of these great resources and know that the VA loves, services and honor our Veterans. And don’t forget to thank them for their service and sacrifice.
Pastor Mitch Ingram enrolls his Lakeside Missionary Baptist Church into MCA’s VMFC network after being elected as Monroe County Tennessee Mayor. Before his election, Pastor Ingram was not aware of the VMFC program but enrolled as soon as he learned about it. Mayor/Pastor Ingram also supports Veterans Courts, Expungement Clinics, Celebrate Recovery and suicide prevention.
Lakeside Missionary Baptist Church has a very active youth group. Pastor Ingram has agreed to accept a QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper training scholarship from Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) to train his youth leaders and youth about suicide prevention. VTVT not only provides scholarships to VMFCs but also provides all of the suicide prevention material at no cost to the Church. To learn more about QPR Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper training please visit the QPR Institute here.
Mental Health and Chaplaincy is a national initiative that aims to achieve a more collaborative system of care for the benefit of Veterans, Service members, and their families. Emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual needs are interconnected – the professionals and communities that attend to these needs should be coordinated and integrated for optimal care. Mental Health and Chaplaincy seeks to foster this care through a range of educational, research, clinical training, and community outreach activities.
The brief video below highlights faith community and clergy outreach offerings, and we invite you to further explore the site to learn more about our other areas of programmatic engagement.
Click here to view more videos and training opportunities.
August 8, 2018
Executive Director Notes
It appears that August will be a month with a number of meetings with some at least three sets of our colleagues: First, the VA chaplains will be having a convocation from 14 thru 16 August in Arlington, and MCA plans to have a representative dropping by to provide our greetings and support for our colleagues in this remarkable chaplaincy.
That will be followed by meeting with Civil Air Patrol chaplains at the national CAP conference at the Marriott Anaheim Convention Center, which will be the first time that I’ll be attending the national conference of this distinguished group of colleagues. At the end of the month I’ll be meeting with the president of Vet to Vet Tennessee, Ed Junod, who is representing one of our strategic partners with the Veteran Military Friendly Congregations (VMFC).
Additionally, I’m going through a roster of our members in Western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee with the goal of having a gathering of members who are within about a 45 minute drive of Asheville this Fall. That said, I have heard from a number of your already, and feel free to email me to let me know if you are still in the area and we’ll start the process of pulling together an inaugural gathering of our membership in the metro Asheville area.
As always, if there is anything we can do for you to provide support for you do not hesitate to let me know by emailing me at RazzW@aol.com.
Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a new parenting course resource for Veterans and their families. This free online course provides parents with tools that strengthen parenting skills and helps them reconnect with their children. There are 6 modules within the course that focus on the following areas: Click here to Read More
• Back into the family
• Promoting positive parent-child communication
• Helping your child with difficult emotions and behaviors
• Positive approach to discipline
• Managing stress and emotions as a parent
• Parenting with emotional and physical challenges
The courses are intended to:
• Helps parents deal with both everyday problems and family issues that are unique to the military lifestyle.
• Features stories from actual Veteran/military families, interactive activities, and practical parenting tips.
• Is anonymous and registration is not required. No personal information is ever requested or stored by the website
Please visit https://www.veterantraining.va.gov/parenting/ to get started.
Don’t have time to review the entire course?
• Quick links are available for each module of the course that allows you to review the information that is most relevant to you.
• A Parenting2Go mobile app is available to users of iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).
• The app is free and can be downloaded here.
As the time to head back to school approaches Rio Revolution Church in Maryville Tennessee is giving away free shoes and school supplies to thousands of kids in need; actual attendance was over 8,250 with 670 volunteers. The Rio Revolution Church is a proud member of the Military Chaplains Association of America’s /Military Friendly Congregation and conducted their 14th annual “Helping Hands” program.
“One gentleman who is a grandfather, was leaving the group after I spoke and he turned around and he looked at me and said ‘if it wasn’t for this event these grandchildren would not have shoes because my daughter is in prison’,” said Pastor Pacer Hepperly Rio Revolution. “He said thank you so much for just doing this.” Click here to Read More
“A minimum of $50 dollars a piece,” said Susan Spalding, who came with her eight children. “That’s $400, so, it’s a huge savings for us and a great help.”
Rio Revolution is also ministering to those who want to hear God’s word.
“We have our pastor and Nick to talk to them,” said Charlie Ewing with the event. “Talk to them about Jesus and give them an opportunity to accept Christ which to us is very exciting. This is what we live for. We want to minister to the kids of Blount County. It is awesome.”
Not every congregation can support such a large program but every congregation can make a difference in our Veteran/Military communities. Consider enrolling in the VMFC network.
Monroe County Veterans Court, Madisonville, Tennessee
A high risk suicidal justice involved veteran graduate gives thanks to God, Monroe County Veterans Court Judge Thomas, Helen Ross McNabb Military Services Center Clinical Therapist Tony Weaver, VA Knoxville Outpatient Clinic Debbie Cohan & Christy Cook, Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) mentors and Pastor Chris Moore, First Baptist Church of Madisonville for saving his life.
Robert retired from the US Air Force after 20 years and 9 months of honorable service and is a past VFW Post Commander. Robert entered the program on January 25, 2018 and needed much more than legal help.Click here to Read More
McNabb’s Clinical Therapist Tony Weaver summed up Robert’s status in a email he sent to VTVT.
“I am very excited to inform you that R.B. has completed the goals of his treatment plan at Helen Ross McNabb Military Services. Since admittance into this program the transformation R.B. has undergone has been incredibly awe-inspiring if not, nothing short of a miraculous turn around.
During his intake, I heart-wrenchingly listened to R.B.’s words as they reflected absolute and utter hopelessness and dejection. Hearing him talk, his future outlook was one of the bleakest I had ever heard. His final words to me that day before slowly exiting my office captured the very essence of his mind as he reported, “I’m tired of hurting. This is something nobody can fix; I’m stuck with it.” R.B. added, “I don’t think this (treatment) will work . . . but I am willing to try.” I am so very glad he tried.
After much effort, time, and extremely painful processing, R.B. now reports that he has found “genuine happiness” and that, “Everything is so joyful.” I attribute this dramatic transformation to his new-found faith in God, the patient yet persistent work of Veteran’s Affair’s therapist Christy Cook, and the work R.B. has completed in this program. His travels have just begun down this new pathway but I am nonetheless, convinced his best days are yet ahead of him.”
During the ceremony, Robert thanked everyone especially God for saving his life. He said his life dramatically changed when he volunteered at VTVT’s Expungement Clinic hosted Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation First Baptist Church of Madisonville as he worked alongside of Pastor Moore.
God bless you Robert! Thanks for the hard work and for living.
Click here to view more graduation photos.
VMFCs make a difference. We encourage you to enroll in the Military Chaplains Association VMFC network. Click here to enroll.
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
I know of at least two congregations who would be great additions to this list, one in northern Virginia, and one in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and those are ones that immediately jump to mind. If you have any suggestions for congregations that would be a good fit, please contact Ron at 1stSgtSkaggs@gmail.com, Everett Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ed Junod at email@example.com .
I will next be attending the joint annual meeting the end of this week of The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) in Anaheim,. Representing MCA beside myself will be our President, Chaplain Mike Langston, and Chaplain Jan McCormack. I will report back next week on what is happening with the advanced certification for profession military chaplains, and some of what Jan, Mike and I have done on behalf of MCA while we are there.
Click here to view the entire newsgram.
Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC