NEC Fall 2012 Meeting


November 2012 Meeting

Members of the National Executive Committee held their fall meeting in Pentagon City, VA in mid-November.  Among our official actions we approved the budget for 2013 (see p. __), and some minor changes to our Constitution to rename the “trustees” as “Finance Committee”.  The Constitutional changes will be presented to the National Institute in April for ratification.

Most of our energy was on more exciting subjects.  Chaplain Art Pace suggested a simple three-part statement of purpose that would be easy to remember and simple to explain.  He suggested the initials of our Association were ready-made for such a statement: Mentor – Connect – Advocate.  Once that idea had been planted, it rapidly grew as we began to think of ways we could move forward with new energy and purpose.

Why MCA Chapters? Executive Director Certain stated several purposes based on our MCA themes of Mentor – Connect – Advocate.  As Advocates, we work with our own faith communities to understand, appreciate, welcome, and care for military members, veterans, and their families; we  advocate for chaplaincy in the VA and components of the DOD in States and with the Congress; and we serve as speakers at congregational and community events about the importance of chaplaincy.  As Mentors we serve as counselors to those who have borne the battle and suffered moral injury; we are available for military and veteran funerals; and we care for deployed Guard and Reserve chaplains as they return to their civilian communities of faith to reintegrate and heal from their own wounds of war. We Connect as we share our experiences and strength with each other over occasional meals, and strive to bring all of our members, in uniform and out, together in a common bond of service.

The NEC set goals to establish Chapters of chaplains and our supporters in communities with high populations of veterans and at least ten chaplains (active and former) near military installations, VA Centers, and/or state capitals.  We are particularly interested in having a presence in northern California, Tidewater Virginia, Nashville Tennessee, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth Texas, San Diego California and Atlanta Georgia – and anywhere else our members want to be of continuing service to our military and veteran family.

We approved nominations for our National Citizenship Award, the David E. White Leadership Award, and the Bill Dando Award for Volunteerism.  The chiefs of chaplain services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Air Patrol, and Veterans Affairs) are being asked for their nominees for our Distinguished Service Awards.  We also agreed to award four chaplain candidate scholarships of $1,000 each in 2013.

We were thrilled that Chaplain Brian Bohlman had picked up the eBook project from former Executive Director Gary Pollitt and would be releasing Voices of Chaplaincy in time for the winter gift-giving season.  He also proposed to make this the first of a series to be published in print and electronically.  See the call for submissions elsewhere in this Magazine.  Future issues of Voices of Chaplaincy will focus on the themes of nurturing the living, caring for the wounded and honoring the dead.

As we discussed our membership in the Military Coalition, our conversation naturally turned toward establishing active partnerships with other veteran service organizations and those that share our purposes and goals in order to maximize our impact.  Together, we can do much more than any of us can do alone.

We are very grateful for a donation from a veteran in Georgia to underwrite the Executive Director’s expenses as he seeks to develop our membership, make our name known, and support the establishment of new chapters around the country.