Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 6:40 pm
Choice Christian greetings!
One of our newest ministries is that of disaster and compassionate response ministries, headed by Reverend Tom Offutt. Tom and Elaine Offutt came into the Pentecostal faith and this ministry after Elaine experienced a miraculous healing. That healing, and other spiritual encounters, motivated them to seek a deeper walk with the Lord. After a long and successful career in the civilian business world, Tom became a member of our Chaplains Commission Board. He is now a full-time member of the Commission staff. He and Elaine are fully committed to “ministry beyond the gates.” On May 31, 2008, Tom will receive his Master of Divinity Degree from our Seminary.
The significance of our disaster response ministry was felt this week in the Suffolk, Virginia area. Our many thanks go to State Administrative Bishop Michael Baker, who caught the vision to get his churches and workers ready for “such a time as this.” More than 150 pastors and key lay persons have taken the 27-hour Community Service Chaplains Course. This course has provided workers with training in grief/trauma, death notification, guidance for working with federal and community disaster response agencies and a number of other vital resources. When the tornadoes hit the Suffolk area, trained teams of chaplains were on site within hours. These teams, headed by long-term Chaplain Jack Smith, were the result of a State Administrative Bishop and state that took advantage of our CSC Courses and ministries. The Community Service Chaplains Course has now been offered to more than 6,000 pastors and key laypersons; not only in the United States, but many other countries. I know you will be praying for the victims of these recent tornados. If you would like further information concerning this special ministry, call Tom Offutt at 423-478-7218 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMINARY HOSTS COMMUNITY SERVICE CHAPLAINS COURSE:
The one week (40-hour) Community Service Chaplains Basic Course, offered at our Seminary June 2-6, 2008, will provide you the opportunity to experience a dynamic course and tour our Seminary, Lee University and International Headquarters. I am asking all our chaplains to encourage candidates for chaplaincy to take this one-week course. It can be taken either for undergraduate or graduate credit. Completing this course, you receive a certificate of certification of training and other vital information that will qualify you to apply for chaplaincy opportunities in law enforcement, hospitals, prisons, industries and many other community areas. For more information concerning this course, contact Dr. Doc Williams at email@example.com or Wayne Roberson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER CHAPLAINCY NEWS:
1. Jail and Prison Chaplain Dale Lawley, Cordova, Alabama, reports: “The past few days, 11 inmates have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I had the honor to sign one of these inmates out of our city jail to visit with his family. While there, his wife, an addict, was saved; along with their 16-year-old and 11-year-old sons. They are now in church together!”
2. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Steve Cantrell, Fort Benning, Georgia, believes chaplaincy ministries should be well centered in local churches. Chaplain Cantrell, who made the only combat jump in Iraq with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, (my old unit from Vietnam), after being assigned to Fort Benning, connected his ministries closely with one of our best churches, the Cornerstone Church of God in Columbus, Georgia. Chaplain Cantrell notes: “The Cornerstone Church of God, under the leadership of Pastor Dan McEachin, sponsored a military family appreciation night. Military couples were brought to the church for a world class Italian cuisine candlelight dinner and entertainment. The church took care of their children so that the couple could have time together to renew their commitment to each other and to the Lord. My many thanks to pastor McEachin and the Church for loving military personnel and their families.”
3. Correctional Chaplain Chauncey Biby, El Dorado, Kansas, sent this note: “I presented a prison ministries workshop at the 5th Annual Spiritual Rally for the Kansas/Missouri United Methodist Men’s Conference. The purpose of this conference, as stated, is to declare the centrality of Christ in every man’s life, to promote spiritual growth of men through effective discipleship and to model the servant leadership of Christ in our daily lives.”
4. Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor Jose Cedillo, Houston, Texas, recently accepted a position as manager of chaplaincy community programs at the University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
5. Pastoral Counselor/Chaplain Mary Withers, Clermont, Florida, requests prayer for her family in England who are grieving the death of her son-in-law’s brother by a hit-and-run incident. On another note, Chaplain Withers was recently honored at one of her area nursing homes for her outstanding ministry to residents and staff.
6. Fire Department Chaplain Michael White, Fruitland, Maryland, was awarded lifetime membership with the Fruitland Fire Department for his 25 years of ministry to the department.
7. Army Chaplain (MAJ-P) Joseph Melvin, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was “officially” promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on May 2, 2008. Send notes of congratulations to the Melvins at: email@example.com.
8. Army Chaplain (LTC) Ray Williams, Glen Burnie, Maryland, who recently returned from a deployment to Iraq, was awarded the Combat Action Badge and the Bronze Star Medal. Send congratulations to the Williams at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Navy Chaplain (CPT) Jessie Tate, Norfolk, Virginia, sent this note: “The tornado that struck Suffolk damaged/destroyed houses across the street from our home. Leah, my wife, was home at this critical time. Many military families lost their homes and are sifting through the rubble for personal affects. Keep these families in your prayers.”
LET’S NOT FORGET OUR DEPLOYED MILITARY CHAPLAINS:
We are preparing a mail out to all our churches for a “God and Country” celebration for Sunday, July 6, 2008. As you know, this will be the July 4th weekend. We are asking our chaplains and supporters to be on the lookout for this packet of material which will include a letter from the General Overseer, a CD PowerPoint with patriotic background music and other resources for this “God and Country” celebration. How can you help? Every one of you should make sure your pastor has this service on July 6, 2008. From this national special day, offerings will be received to assist us in providing to our servicemen and women, through our chaplains, the following: 1) new convert packets; 2) devotional material; 3) Psalm 91 bandanas; 4) telephone cards for Soldiers confined to hospitals; 5) packets of goodies for troops during holidays; and many other resources. We need YOUR help. Advertise this celebration; call pastors and help them make this a very special day in supporting our chaplains and the military personnel they serve.
COMING EVENTS TO UNDERSCORE:
1. May, 2008 – Community Service Chaplains Course in Chile (Lead Instructor, Chaplain Paul Stockard)
2. June 2-6, 2008 – Our Community Service Chaplains Basic Course, Cleveland, Tennessee.
3. July 11, 2008 – The Retirement of Navy Chaplain (CDR) Ralph Douglas, Yorktown, Virginia.
4. August 2-4, 2008 – Pre-General Assembly Chaplains/Family Conference, San Antonio, Texas.
Our heroes of the week are our military chaplains’ wives. When the chaplain is deployed to a place like Iraq, the wife is left home…not just to take care of her own family, but the families of other deployed Soldiers. Almost without exception, these military chaplains’ wives are the first at the front door of a family who has been notified that fathers/husbands have been killed in a combat area. They provide counseling, food, assist with funeral arrangements and, in a few cases, accompany the grieving family to their home state. As one of these wives noted, “I do not have time to grieve for myself. There is too much other, more significant, grief to take care of.” Many of these wives, in addition to taking care of their kids and caring for deployed families, are employed with full-time jobs. Keep these wives and families in your prayers. They may not receive military awards for their sacrificial services, but in my book, they are some of the most important “heroes” in our chaplaincy family.
Dr. Robert Crick
Director, Chaplains Commission
Director’s e-mail: email@example.com
Office e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Site/Page: www.cogchaplains.com
Categories: Weekly Update