MCA’s Executive Director’s Notes – Women Veterans Summit

MCA Fr. Razz Waff’s Executive Director’s Notes

This past Thursday I was fortunate to be able to attend the Women Veterans’ Summit in Knoxville, supported by Vet to Vet Tennessee. VTVT is one of MCA’s strategic partners with the Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC) ministry. They along with along with the Episcopal Church’s lay men’s organization, The Brotherhood of St. Andrew (BSA) work together to help congregations across our land to be more military friendly. Continue reading “MCA’s Executive Director’s Notes – Women Veterans Summit”

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.

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Ev serves as the Vice President, Military Affairs, for the Brotherhood of St. Andrew and after the call MCA President, Chaplain Mike Langston appointed Chaplains Matt Woodbery, Ron Skaggs, Donnie Hays, Clifton Montgomery, and Phil Clark to explore how we might go about furthering this partnership and advancing this needed ministry in our nations congregations. As it turned out, it also included partnering with Ed Junod, the President of Vet to Vet Tennessee, which has also been attempting to do the same thing. After a flurry of emails between Ev, Ron and Ed, along with some excellent suggestions from Jack Figel, the MCA office administrator, the VMFC ministry is advancing at a rapid pace.

As noted earlier, we are currently in the process of re-designing the website and looking at additional social media ways to connect with chaplains, and also with those who might want to keep initiatives such as these in front of chaplains. Having a network of congregations across the country who understand the challenges facing those who serve, or have served, in the military has been a goal of MCA that has had some starts and stops over the years. It now appears that using a “team of teams” approach between MCA, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, and Vet to Vet Tennessee is paying dividends. We look forward to adding to the team as we go forward.

One of the things I learned very quickly as a General Officer is that there is remarkable wealth in the people and organizations who want to help and support the military. Getting them all talking with each other, however, is indeed a challenge. The recent events in the VMFC ministry are certainly steps in the right direction. If any of you are aware of any congregations who want to step up to the plate and are supportive of military families, veterans and their families, please let Matt Woodbery, Ron Skaggs and Ev Price know at, respectively, mwoodbery@hotmail.com, 1stSgtSkaggs@gmail.com or evpricega@gmail.com.

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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. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

Vet to Vet Tennessee has partnered with the Rio Church beginning with the 49th Blount County Veterans Day on November 11, 2017.  The guest speaker at the event was VTVT President Freddie J. Owens, who passed away on Good Friday 2018.  His message included asking everyone to help find our veterans and their families and support improving the mind, body and spirit.  Pastor Pacer realized that our community needs to do more with the mind and body and an instant partnership was formed.

On May 8th, Rio Revolution Church Executive Pastor of Administration Devin Lipsey and VTVT President Ed Junod discussed VTVT’s Expungement Clinic program.  According to Pastor Devin, this type of program is exactly the mission of Rio and would love to participate in a clinic in Blount County.  Pastor Devin and Ed agreed to pray on the opportunity.

Two days after the conversation, Rio Revolution enrolled as a VMFC.

Please welcome Rio Revolution Church as our newest member.

Executive Pastor of Administration Devin Lipsey, 865-984-9200 Ext. 1005, devin.lipsey@riorevolution.com [/read]

 

 

MCA’s New VMFC program

Our Story

Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC) was conceived to promote a sense of community, acceptance and support for Veterans and their families.  Launched by Faith-Based Communities, it has beome an integral part of the Faith Based Initiative.   The mission is to mobilize an army of Veterans through diverse congregational groups who will support and assist those attending Veterans with special needs relative to their service. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] A key aspect of our Veteran Friendly  program is building a support structure for military members, veterans, and their family members in each and every community.  Congregations and congregation based programs are essential to getting this accomplished.  Building Military Ministries in each Congregation is our goal.  Please help us reach our brothers and sisters around the country by joining the program.  No cost to enroll.  No annual fees.  Just caring and sharing.

Please leave of us a message below to learn more or to join the program.

Your Congregation

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This form is to certify that the Congregation listed below will complete the following

1. We agree to adopt or implement one or more Military Ministry Programs

2. We agree to advertise the existence of the Military Ministry Program(s) in one or more of our congregation publications (service bulletins, newsletters, etc.) so that their existence is easily visible to visitors, members, and leadership of the congregation

3. We provide permission to the Military Chaplains Association and their affiliates to list our congregation information on their web site

Optional. We would also like to be a Lead Congregation and help establish Veteran/Military Ministries in parishes and congregations in our vicinity
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I consent to conditions 1, 2, and 3 above.

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