Research consistently shows that clergy and congregation leaders – not psychologists or other mental health experts – are where people first seek help in times of psychological distress; eventually they then seek therapy from professional clinicians. The most recent study we know of where this was cited was done by Baylor University, October 2008.
Where does the Congregation Leadership Team fit into the CareForTheTroops plan?
You can choose to implement Programs that will qualify you as a Veteran Friendly Congregation. The purpose of these programs are to keep your congregation members AWARE of the military and their needs, and you use these programs to create an atmosphere of ACCEPTANCE throughout your congregation. Someone connected with the military needing help might visit your congregation? Who is there already? Are they going to feel welcome and accepted and see you congregation as a sanctuary?
In addition to choosing to begin a “Military Ministry” within your congregation, you may also choose to become a Lead Congregation, and in doing so, begin to encourage other congregations in your geographic area of all faiths to implement these programs. We need Lead Congregations to make this program successful as they become the hubs of the information network that will spread the availability of support to those that need the help.
One last request…
please speak with your nearby congregation leaders and tell them about CareForTheTroops and our initiative. Encourage them to start a Military Ministry and adopt one or more of the Congregation Programs outlined on this web site. Lastly, encourage them to visit this web site and gather more information. It’s the support to the military and their family members that will receive the most benefit from your action.
Thanks in advance for doing this and helping to spread the word!