It’s always great to write these monthly epistles when the news is so good. Thanks be to God. Allow me to share the latest and greatest news of what is happening in USACCRA.
Membership is up. Our humble finances continue to increase. The $5,000 matching fund challenge is at the halfway point. Another $2,500 and the Association will net $10,000 of badly needed funds. If you haven’t enjoyed giving to match, try it. There’s a genuine joy in being able to give.
The Association is the whole U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Family. Recently, we made major contact with the National Guard UMT leadership. I have been invited to address their UMT leadership gathering in May 2024 in Arkansas. There is a possibility of the same thing happening with the Reserve UMTs also. Let the flood gates of Chaplain Corps family members continue.
CH(COL)-R Yvonne Hudson is working hard on a study and way ahead for reviving the UMT merchandise opportunity we once had years ago run by deceased member Father Utley. The Office of the Chief of Chaplains (OCCH) and the Institute of Religious Leadership (IRL) are both supportive of this effort while actively serving UMTs are especially excited.
The relationship between the Association and both OCCH and the IRL continues to grow closer and more effective. There is now a POC at both places for the Association so that daily communication and business can flow.
Karen Diefendorf is working diligently on the new experimental joint MCA/USACCRA chapter in Columbia, SC. This could become a model for the future expanding contact with many more Army UMTs.
The death notice service continues to flow gracefully under board member John Brinsfield’s astute watch. He has processed over 50 notifications so far this year. Nearly every week we receive news of a fallen comrade. It is a privilege to honor those who go before us. Thanks John. Please contact John Brinsfield at email@example.com if you are aware of a death in the Corps Family. Do not send the info to other board members or me. John has direct access to the Chief’s office. John is the official POC for this important benefit.
The 2024 Gathering is taking form. Gary Dahl needs volunteers to help with planning and later conducting certain tasks for this event. People who live in South Carolina have the advantage, but all who volunteer can have a worthy role. Please contact Gary soon with your intent to serve. He’ll get you started. This is critical. No Gathering is accomplished based on board members alone. It takes a local and extended group of help to make it happen. It’s exciting. You get a 50 yard-line seat to what’s happening. And while we’re talking about this event, if you have any recommendations for guest speakers on Tuesday evening in the schedule, please contact either Gary Dahl or myself soon. Your input matters.
Lastly, our Army Chaplain Corps Museum Director is always looking for a few special artifacts to better tell the UMT story. She is looking for WWI and earlier chaplain kits and other accoutrements. Especially exciting to find is anything relating to the Buffalo Soldier Chaplains (all Black units serving on the western frontier). You can contact me if you find an item in these categories to enhance our Corps Museum.
Have a blessed October and remember, our support to the Corps helps bring “God to people and people to God.” This is who we are. Thanks be to God.
Pro Deo et Patria,