Author Archive for Daniel DeBlock – Page 15

Special Event “Healing Moral Injury and PTSD: Ministry to Veterans, their Families and Communities” on April 2

Special Event “Healing Moral Injury and PTSD: Ministry to Veterans, their Families and Communities” on April 2

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 @ 7 p.m.
University Hall 1000
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045

This forum will also be broadcast live online (see below).

The reality of moral injury and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), with which many of our Veterans struggle, affects all Americans. How can we best serve these men and women, their families, their communities? How can we contribute to the process of healing?

At this public forum, an interreligious panel of military chaplains and ministers will lead a discussion on the realities of moral injury and PTSD, best practices for ministry to veterans, and the role of spirituality in healing from the respective perspectives of different faith traditions. Active military, veterans, ministers, mental health professionals, and anyone simply interested in learning about this important issue are encouraged to attend and participate. A reception will follow. Click here to learn more.

To Attend
This forum is free and open to the public; online preregistration is requested to participate in the forum on campus. Campus parking fees will apply. This forum will also be broadcast live via Webcast on the Center’s home page (no RSVP or login required to watch online).

This forum is generously sponsored by the Martin Gang Institute for Intergroup Relations, a joint venture of AJC Los Angeles and LMU Extension dedicated to the promotion of understanding between religious and ethnic communities in Southern California.

About the Speakers
Mark Mitchell, M.F.T. (moderator) is a licensed marriage and family therapist, LMU Extension Instructor, and a member of the Behavioral Health Team of the Los Angeles Collaborative that examines veteran services, best practices and evidence-based information.

Anne Svenson is the founder and director of Active Duty Families at Saddleback Church, Lake Forest. Active Duty Families is a support group that serves the needs of the families of active duty military.

Nathan Graeser, M.Div. is Battalion Chaplain at the 1-144th Field Artillery battalion in Burbank and works as a Project Specialist at the USC Center for Innovation and Research for Veteran and Military Families.

Amir Hussain, Ph.D. is a professor of Theological Studies at LMU and is on the board of directors of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, where he brings his experiences in ABI to work on PTSD and Moral Injury.

Rabbi Kevin S. Bemel is a navy chaplain, writer, and cofounder of A Higher Calling: Chaplains for Veterans, which provides no-cost, round-the-clock pastoral counseling to veterans and their family members.

Rev. John W. Love, D.Min. is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and an Air National Guard chaplain (Lt. Col.) at the 146th Air Wing in Channel Islands.

Please contact the LMU Center for Religion and Spirituality at (310) 338-2799 or e-mail



Easter Day

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4

As Jesus goes to the cross, He takes all of our anger, all of our sin, all of our wickedness, all of grudges, all of our mocking and denial and betrayal, and He turns it into nothing.  In the next thirty-six hours, he destroys it all. He breaks it in half; He makes it useless and garbage.

On Easter Day, He is risen, on Easter Day our Lord has broken the bonds of death. On Easter Day, He has bridged the gulf between all of us and the Father. On Easter Day, the true son of the true Father takes our worst and returns to us His best. Just imagine how much more he would give us if we gave our best, how much more He would give us if we gave Him our all. On this Easter Day, give Jesus what you have, give Jesus what you are – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent. Give Him your joys and your pains, your disappointments and your relief. If you are ashamed of it, give it to Jesus. If you are proud of it, give it to Jesus.

Because you have read the story, you know the outcome. Whatever any of the characters in this story said or thought, it was returned to them in a different form, it was returned to them in the form of forgiveness, reconciliation and new life. Believe the story. Trust the outcome. On this Easter Day, receive what Jesus has for you. Receive forgiveness, receive His reconciliation, and receive new life, the gifts of God for the people of God. On this Easter Day, share those gifts, share them with those around you; and as freely you have received so freely give. The Lord is Risen. He is risen indeed.

Spring Celebrations

Today is the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, one of two days in the year when day and night are of equal length, and the first day of spring.  In Western Christianity, it is also a day for calculating the date for Easter … the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox.  The next full moon will be a week from today, setting Easter on the 31st.  The earliest possible date for Easter (in Western Christianity) is March 22. In recent history, Easter was March 23, 2008 and won’t be that early again until sometime after 2089.

In Orthodox Christianity, Easter 2013 is on May 5 (using the Julian, rather than the Gregorian, calendar).  For Jews, Passover begins on the March 26.  During the next few weeks, Christians, Jews, Baha’i, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, and Hindus will be observing and celebrating holy days.  While each of us have different liturgies, rituals, and traditions, we all live in a country where it is possible to have our celebrations without fear.

Chaplains are charged with insuring the First Amendment rights of all sorts of religious people, providing time and space for military members and their families to hold onto their faith and to worship as they choose.  At times, we have personal concerns about other faiths.  At time, we may even have personal concerns about our own faith community.  Even so, we must continue to work for the opportunity of all citizens to enjoy freedom of religion – or none of us will have that freedom.

Personally, I thank God that men and women are called to exercise their ministry in the Armed Forces and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Working with those who have and who continue to defend the Constitution of the United States is a high privilege.

However you plan to observe the Holy Days ahead, may you find blessing for yourself and those you love, and may you be a blessing to those you serve.