The Veteran Friendly Congregation Program’s purpose is twofold. First, to provide a visible sign to those that visit the congregation that this congregation has demonstrated through their actions that they are sympathetic to the needs of veterans and their families. Second, provide acknowledgement to the congregation and their leaders for their sincere and earnest efforts to support veterans and their families.
Here is a set of documents that together form a “packet” of information useful when discussing the VFC initiative. Please use these when speaking with clergy or groups of people interested is understanding the VFC initiative.
- VFC SHORT Presentation in Powerpoint – use and modify as needed
- Causes of Concern Extra Charts – use to explain why the VFC initiative is so needed
- The VFC Letter – this is the letter that the Clergy leader needs to send in
- VFC Reasons – a pocket size 2-sided handout anwering why some VFC FAQs
- The Lastest VFC List including address and contact info
- A list of VFC Congregation names sequenced by Faith
The program requirements are simple and straightforward. Any congregation that meets the following criteria qualifies on an annual basis. Once qualified, a certificate will be sent to the Congregation Leader (or other person designated by the Congregation) which is suitable for framing and should be displayed in a prominent location such that it can be seen by visitors, members, and leaders of the congregation alike.
- Agree to adopt one or more of the Military Ministry Programs suggested by CareForTheTroops or approved and agreed to in discussions with the CareForTheTroops organization. Both CFTT VFC Board and Committee Members and Lead Congregations can provide this approval.
- Agree to advertise the existence of the Military Ministry Program(s) in one or more of your congregation publications (service bulletins, newsletters, etc) at least twice a month, all year long so that their existence is easily visible to visitors, members, and leadership of the congregation.
- Annually, renew your agreement with the provisions above by sending a letter to the CareForTheTroops office address shown at the bottom of this web page, ATTN: Veteran Friendly Congregation Program
- Renewal letters should be sent by November 15th so that we have time to receive them and send out certificates before the end of the year. If you sign up during the middle of the year, then the certificate will be issued as soon as possible for the remainder of that year.
Congregation Support Reading Material for VFCs
This book is one we have researched and what we at CareForTheTroops have decided to mail one free copy to each congregation that signs up as a Veteran Friendly Congregation (VFC). The congregations can then decide if they want to order more…for their military ministry members…for use by congregation members attending an adult education class using this book…whatever the reason.
There are 4 authors including a former military chaplain now Lutheran Pastor, a Social Worker, and 2 PhD’s in Counselor Ed and Nursing. What we liked about the book is the following:
- It is layed out such that it could fit into a multi-week adult education format for Sunday or Wednesday education
- The information evolves in a manner similar to how CareForTheTroops has arranged it’s workshops for therapists; starting with the basics and background of what military families are dealing with, discussing the transition issues they face, and then raising possible roles that church’s can play
- It is ecumenical
- It also has appendices that are useful assessment and screening tools should the congregation want to adopt them.
- It is not too long, 112 pages of which under a hundred are the primary content. We think this will add to the acceptance of the material by more readers in a congregation.
- Cost is reasonable…in the under $12 range