With the new year, Unitarian Universalist Military Ministries has seen some wonderful movement in bringing Military Ministry and the issues of military life to light within our liberal religious faith.
Article in UU World!
UU World, our denominational magazine, has published an online article on CH (CPT) George Tyger, our only active duty U.S. Army Chaplain. George is preparing for a deployemnt sometime later this year. See this wonderful article at: http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/61395.shtml
New Chaplain Candidates!
Recently several UU Seminarians have been accepted to the U.S. Army Chaplain Candidate Program. 2LT James White is a student at the Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, and is a former NCO with service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. 2LT Luke Leonard is a student at the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, MN, and is also a former NCO with service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as service in Seoul, South Korea. Learn more about them at http://uumm.blogspot.com/2008/01/uumm-welcomes-two-new-chaplain.html. Congratulations to both of them, and welcome to the largest young adult ministry in the UUA!
We also know that there are several other students who are at different phases in the process of becoming Chaplain Candidates, and we look forward to their commissioning! (Kelly, if you've been selected, please let us know!)
New UUA Policies on Military Chaplaincy
Last year, a working group put together a new set of policies for how the UUA will endorse and support Military Chaplains and Chaplain Candidates. The policies were approved at the most recent General Assembly, and they can be found online at: http://www.uua.org/aboutus/professionalstaff/staff-appointedcommittees/militaryministry/index.shtml
The UUMM article on the new policies is at: http://uumm.blogspot.com/2007/12/uua-announces-policy-on-military.html
Thanks to Rev. Beth Miller, Rev. Lisa Presley, Rev. David Pettee, CH Cynthia Kane, CH Vernon Chandler, and all of the others who particpated in the development of these policies.
Workshop at General Assembly 2008
CH Cynthia Kane and ET1 Lou Portella (Ret) will be leading a workshop at the UUA General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on how congregations can better minister to the servicemembers and veterans in their congregations and communities. The program will highlight the UUniforms program at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Norfolk, Virginia. There will also be a breakfast meeting for Chaplains, Chaplain Candidates, and those interested or pursuing military chaplaincy. Dates and times are still fluid, but will be announced before GA. Stay tuned to http://www.uumm.blogspot.com/ for more information.
Remember UUMM Gear!
You can show your support for UU Military Ministry by sporting some of the gear that is avalilable. Coffee cups, shirts, hats, and even a UUMM clock are available at cost (UUMM does not make any profit on these items... they are offered only to raise awareness.) See all the UUMM Gear at http://www.cafepress.com/uumm .
Thank you all for your support, and for your service and connections both to Unitarian Universalism and to our nation's military.
Yours in Faith,
2LT, USAR Chaplain Candidate