My summer travels have taken me to California, Arizona, D.C., Maryland, Washington and Oregon to visit chaplains, attend the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Academy and attend Regional Network meetings. At the Network meetings I presented updates on chaplaincy to assembled pastors, elders and lay men and women. I also visited with area chaplains and candidates, and met with others considering chaplaincy as a career or volunteer path.
In August I attended the Navy Senior Leader Symposium (SLC) Endorser’s Day in the DC area. Along with other endorsers, I received updates on Navy chaplaincy issues, and had opportunity to meet with Navy Chief of Chaplains, Rear Admiral Maggie Kibben, and her deputies for Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard chaplaincies. I found it helpful to have shared presenter duties with the Navy Chief in years past. We both did “exciting” tours in Afghanistan. Relationships matter.
In September, I flew to Seattle, for a NW visit. I met with Navy chaplains working with CREDO and at an Air Wing, at Oak Harbor and Whidbey Island, respectively. Both ministries are strategic and fruitful, and exciting to follow. Lunch with an Army Chaplain stationed at JBLM was an encouragement, as was an evening visit with an Oregon Guard/Hospice chaplain’s family in the Vancouver, WA area. It seemed like I spent my time driving and eating.
11-13 September was invested in spending time and ministry with seven other CB chaplains at the NWCB Men’s Roundup in Central Oregon and a gathering of 1500 men! For a second year, we “camped” in a Yurt near the Meadow Ridge Pavilion – a great facility with shower and toilet facilities. Not only did we benefit from the food, fellowship, worship and teaching times, but our chaplains led two workshops of chaplain ministries, and one on “PTSD and Moral Injury and Healing,” with testimony from a Vietnam Vet ministered to by Chaplain Gary Cowden, Chief of Chaplain Services at the Puget Sound VA Medical Center. Over 100 men, mostly vets, attended our sessions and “Walks with a Chaplain,” throughout the weekend. My hat’s off to Chaplains Dave Lundell, Gordon Ruddick, Adam Kawaguchi, Paul Castillo, Brad West, and Gary Cowden for sharing their ministries and taking time to interact with a number of inquisitive and hurting men. For those interested in attending the Men’s Roundup, check out http://mensroundup.com/ for more information on next year’s event.
Please accept my special thanks for your cooperation and assistance during these first nine months of my tenure as director of chaplaincy. I will need even more grace as I transfer data from my old laptop to this new one I’m using right now. My old laptop picked up a bad virus and I decided it was time to replace it. My cloud backup seems to be working, but I am struggling to find a few files…they’re probably in there somewhere.
Latest word from Chaplain Al Russell is that a recent cardiac scan went well, and he’s hitting on all cylinders. He and Carol are enjoying traveling and are having fun with their new Smart Car. They send their greetings to all. My wife, Myra and I plan to visit them mid-October, pick up some remaining files and visit an area supporting church.
I had the honor of laying to rest two Korean War veterans this past quarter; one an Army ordinance officer, the other a Navy diesel boat submariner. On the way back from Ft. Logan National Cemetery, I stopped by the Colorado National Guard Headquarters to get my final retirement photo taken. My goal is to stay physically fit enough to wear my uniform for such duties so that I might be a “chaplain for life,” and a “player-coach!”
Be aware of our continued prayers for you, your family and your ministry. Knowing how to pray really helps keep us “on target.”
In your corner, on my knees!
Director of Chaplaincy