The US Coast Guard Auxiliary Clergy Support (ACS) volunteer program provides sanctioned ministry by endorsed local pastors to our Nation’s Coast Guard personnel at stations and bases along the coasts and navigable US inland waterways (Great Lakes & major riverways).
One of the pioneers of this recently formalized ministry, Pastor Michael Barnard, of North Bend, Oregon, was recently recognized for his faithful and effective ministry. The citation reads:
“Flotilla 51, member, Mike Barnard, is recognized for his Auxiliary Clergy Support (AUXCS) activities in Coast Guard Sector North Bend. In support of two District 13 active duty chaplains, he regularly visits most of the Sector’s 10 Coast Guard stations along 217 miles of the Southern Oregon coast to serve Coast Guard personnel and their families. Most recently, Mike participated in the change of command ceremony for the Sector North Bend Commander where he gave both the Invocation and Benediction. In addition to his Auxiliary duties, Mike is a full-time pastor for a church in North Bend. Despite his busy schedule, he plans to continue his duties in service to the Sector’s Coast Guard personnel and their families for the foreseeable future.”
Mike is a US Army Veteran. He and his young wife, Cheryl, experienced the loneliness and isolation young military couples often feel. A local pastor reached out and brought them into his “flock,” showing the love of Christ. Decades later, they recall the impact of that local pastor, and now reach out to the Coast Guard men and women of the Southern Oregon Coast. It may have seemed like their untold miles and hours of volunteer ministry went unnoticed, but such was not the case.
Hesitant to share this accolade, he forwarded this experience in hopes that other pastors with churches near Coast Guard installations might consider joining their local USCG Auxiliary and apply for the ACS program.
Join me in snapping a “Salute” to Mike and Cheryl for their dedicated efforts in support of America’s “Lifesavers!”
The Coast Guard is seeking ordained pastors with undergraduate and seminary training to serve as volunteer auxiliary clergy support (ACS) “chaplains.” Prior military experience is helpful, but not required. Churches near Coast Guard installations along both coasts, the Great Lakes, and major inland waterways, make good church homes for Guardsmen and their families.
Like other federal chaplaincies, endorsement by an ecclesiastical agency is required. CBAmerica Chaplaincy is authorized to endorse pastors for the US Coast Guard. Contact Chaplain Andy Meverden at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy for more stories by and about chaplaincy ministries.