August 30, 2010

Women Military Chaplains Convocation

I was privileged to spend last weekend helping with the Convocation for Women Military Chaplains. These women are the creme of the crop, and I was proud to have an opportunity to minister to them. The speaker was Chaplain (Major General) Lorraine Potter, a UM. She was the first (and only) woman to become the Chief of Chaplains. A Chief of Chaplains has all other military chaplains of all branches of service under her.

But I also thought you might be interested to learn a few other things.

First, United Methodist chaplains have the reputation of being well prepared and equipped to serve, perhaps the best prepared.

Second, United Methodist chaplains are well supported by their denomination, by us. Some of this support comes from the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, which is part of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The convocation was also some well-deserved R&R and sponsored by the UMEA. Next time you hear the our general boards and agencies don't do anything, I'm here to tell you that they are vital.

Third, Chaplains are missionaries to the unchurched. They represent us in ways and places that other missionaries cannot. And when other missionaries go into what was a war zone, the chaplains, our chaplains, were already there. (A chaplain friend who serves on an aircraft carrier told me that he has the world's largest youth group.)

Fourth, Chaplains, like all service personnel, have been wounded in the line of duty and can return home with PTSD. Yet, they do not carry weapons.

Fifth, These women proudly serve the church (us) and we are fortunate to have them defending our religious freedom.

Please pray for these women and all our chaplains.

Grace, Kathy

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