I have been the Consulting Minister at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Watertown NY which is very close to Fort Drum, for the past two years. I see an opportumity for lots of ministry with the soldiers and families at Fort Drum. We have had several soldiers and a couple of families associated with the congregation over the years. I like to have posted materials that help folks connect with uumil etc. The head Chaplain at Fort Drum welcomed the local clergy to a conference at the base chapel last winter and he seemed open and encouraging of local congregation's serving Ft.Drum people and even holding some events on base (subject to conditions. Drum is home to some 1900 troops and population is growing ... My instinct says there is much ministry to do---but resources from here are "otherwise" being used....Bottom line....I'm wondering if there is a brochure like the one for General Assembly for example, that could be used here at the church or even sent to the Base chapel for display/distribution??? (on a larger scale is there any movement afoot to serve the UUmils in some other way --by grant or financial campaign among the congregations, etc..?...)I'm sure there is work like this going on throughout our congregations - especially in areas near large military bases - but how can it be coordinated? What kind of support is available?I think we need a UUA affiliated organization for military UUs - a clearing house for resources and a body to sponsor ongoing GA programming. There is an organization for military UUs - UU Military Ministries - but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. How do we revitalize it? Who's in charge of it? I think awareness of military UU issues is high in some congregations, but lacking in most. My dream is to raise the level of awareness in ALL our congregations, so those of us in uniform are understood and accepted as people, not questioned because of what we do for a paycheck.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Military Ministry in New York
I recently received the following e-mail from Rev Betsy Spaulding: