Author Archive for Daniel DeBlock – Page 18

National Institute

Military Chaplains Association

National Institute

8-11 April 2013

Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center
Gettysburg, PA

Registration & Travel


Meeting Location and Accommodations

Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center
2634 Emmitsburg Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Hotel Phone: (717) 334-8121 (800) 776-8349

Webpage: 2013_01_12_1257

National Institute Read Ahead Information (PDF)

Completion of the registration form below does NOT reserve your hotel room.

For hotel reservations, please directly call the hotel at 1-800-776-8349 or 1-717-334-8121. The group booking name is “Military Chaplains.” Online booking is NOT available. Room rate is $89.00 (double or single occupancy) plus 11% tax. Free self-parking for vehicles. Check-In is 3:00pm. Check-Out is 11:00am.

The hotel will honor our MCA room rate for three days prior and three days following the meeting dates.

Special MCA Room Rate Guarantee Deadline is Friday, 1 March 2013

Point of Contact

For registration verifications, event policy and programming, contact the MCA National Office: by email: by phone: (703) 533-5890

Air Travel & Ground Transportation

Closest Airports to Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center

  • · Gettysburg Regional: GTY – 6 miles
  • · Harrisburg International: MDT – 52 miles
  • · Baltimore/Washington: BWI – 63 miles
  • · Dulles International: IAD – 78 miles
  • · Reagan National: DCA – 88 miles

If traveling by air, we recommend a rental vehicle to complete your journey to the hotel and Gettysburg area.

Driving to Gettysburg

We recommend using “Google,” “Bing” or similar Maps for directions.

Arrivals and Meeting Times

Monday, 8 April.

Members of the MCA National Executive Committee (NEC) should arrive by 8 April. 2:00pm:

NEC session will begin

Tuesday, 9 April.

  • 9:00am-5:00pm: NEC Meeting
  • (with a lunch break at noon)
  • 5:00pm: Attendees should arrive
  • (Registration will begin at 2:00pm)
  • 6:00pm: Hospitality Hour
  • 7:00pm: Buffet Supper at

Dress: Casual

Wednesday, 10 April

  • 7:30-8:30am: Continental breakfast
  • (included in your registration fee)
  • 9:00am: MCA Annual Business
  • 10:00-10:30am: “General Meade at Gettysburg”, a presentation by historian Colonel Kavin Coughenour, USA Retired.
  • 12:00pm: “Deli Buffet”
  • 1:30pm: Colonel Coughenour will
  • continue at with a presentation on “Assessing General Meade at the Gettysburg Campaign.”
  • 3:00pm: Break
  • 3:15pm: “Chaplains Ministry at Gettysburg” presented by CH, COL John Brinsfield, USA Retired (former Army Chaplain Historian)
  • 6:00pm: Hospitality Hour
  • 7:00pm: Banquet awards, recognitions, and installation of officers
  • (Dress is Informal)

Thursday, 11 April.

  • Breakfast on your own.
  • 8:30am: Memorial Observance
  • 9:00am: Leave for Gettysburg Visitors
  • Center; meet Licensed Guides for Tour of Battlefield.
  • (There will NOT be a bus)
  • 12:00am: Return to hotel.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • Participants may use leisure time for
  • additional touring.
  • 2:00pm: NEC Meeting wrap-up,
  • (if necessary)

Please Note: Spouses and guests are invited register and to attend all events except the Annual Meeting on Wednesday morning which is for MCA Members only. Other personal or professional guests are welcome to attend our special meal events even if unable to attend other plenary sessions. For participants unable to attend less than half of the total plenary sessions because of official duty requirements, a pro-rated registration fee is available. Please contact the MCA National Office at (703) 533-5890 with that request.

Registration and Payment Online. We recommend that you print out the full registration form above for reference. To register online and make payment via PayPal, continue with the form below. You will receive a copy of your entries via email. So will the MCA. However, your registration process is not finished until the MCA receives a copy of your PayPal payment notification. This means that there will be two separate emails for your online registration. Both are necessary in order to complete the process.

Completion of the registration form does NOT reserve your hotel room

Pay online (click here).


On-line Registration Form - National Institute 8 - 11 April 2013

  • Please indicate your first name preference:
  • Important Payment Details
  • Clicking on the submit button will send in your form to MCA and take you to the On-Line Payment section using PayPal.

Sudden Death

This past week has not been a good one for us as a people.  Over twenty lives were taken suddenly and unprepared at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut – most of them small children – by a man on a murderous rampage.  We all want to ask “why”; we all wonder what anyone could have done to stop it; we all wonder where God was in those moments of terror and death.

  We are not the first to wrestle with such questions: Job comes to mind; Mary and the Apostles come to mind; Harold Kushner (When Bad Things Happen to Good People) and John Claypool (Tracks of a Fellow Struggler) and William Young (The Shack) come to mind; military chaplains serving with young combat troops come to mind.  The bigger question is what can and will we do to ease the pain, to embrace the grieving, to share the loss.

  As men and women of faith, we will never have answers in this life to the imponderable questions; but we will have loving arms to hold, kind words to speak, tears to shed and to mingle, and prayers to lift to God.  As Rabbi Kushner suggested in his book, when God breathed life into humans on the sixth day of creation, He had to make a choice – to be all-powerful or to be all-loving.  God chose the latter.  Had He chosen the former, we would all be animals of instinct and not the free agents, the partners in creation, that He wants us to be.  By choosing the latter, God bids us to respond to Him and to each other in love, even in the face of unmitigated evil.

  Let us double our efforts to show God’s love to the people we serve and to teach our children to reach out in love to the world God created.



The MCA connects chaplains, military members, veterans, their families, and faith communities

  • Through annual conferences, quarterly magazine, weekly e-mail and local chapters
  • Respond to inquiries regarding chaplaincies, chaplains, and religious expression in the Armed Services and Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Assist persons outside the government or the military system in order to help them gain appropriate access for information and issue resolution.
  • Maintain a database of over 8,600 chaplains–active, Guard, Reserve, retired, or deceased–and those who work with us and our supporters.
  • We connect retired and former chaplains to National Guard, Reserve, Active Duty, and Department of Veterans Affairs chaplains to assist with funerals, counseling, suicide prevention, and other concerns affecting military families
  • Through our speakers bureau we address faith communities, civic organizations, community meetings, and others about chaplaincy, faith development in the armed forces, and the value of veterans and their families to worshiping congregations
  • We maintain communications and liaison with the Chiefs of Chaplains, the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, the Department of Veterans Affairs and, through the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces and Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy, with the faith groups endorsing chaplains for the military and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Every one of us can add to this list and think of ways to continue our work in uniform and out of uniform.  We can also share our experience as we tell others of the work we do in our Chapter meetings and by posting it in a ministry report on the MCA web page.  Your ideas may open up new ministry for the rest of us.

As you do the work of the Lord in your own setting, may the Lord bless you as richly as you bless others.