SPRING-NEW BEGINNINGS AND GROWTH

Spring and growth go together. As the season arrives, new life begins to appear. On my one acre in California my 40 fruit trees are blooming, and my four gardens are giving harvests. (Where I am in Southern California, I can grow all year round.) It’s a beautiful life cycle that never ends. Although I am learning to shift and change how I grow things, God blesses the process with what is needed yielding abundantly.

The same is true with the USACCRA-The Association. We can grow in many ways yielding abundant support to members and the Army Chaplain Corps Family because we shift and change blessed by God. This is the God we bring to people and people to God via the chaplaincy, actively
serving and veterans alike.

The Association continues to steadily grow in membership, finances, and activity. We are not a large rich association compared to others like the Infantry, the AG, and the artillery, but we are growing. The last three years we have been transforming and shifting how we do things as God blesses us. God is using every one of you to see success in supporting the Army Chaplaincy and each other. You have my sincere gratitude and praise.

One area of rich potential growth is our chapters. The experimental chapter arrangement with the Military Chaplain Association (MCA) in South Carolina takes a stride forward this month. The San Antonio, Texas chapter is renewing its ranks and excited about future possibilities. Chaplain-Ret Karen Diefendorf, our 3 rd VP for chapters, is scheduled to follow up on an invitation form Ft. Cavazos (formerly Ft. Hood) to perhaps develop a presence there. Currently folks near Ft. Campbell and across Tennessee are trying to get together. I even received word from a group of primarily Guard, Reserve and Veteran UMTs in Minnesota. A new active-duty chaplain at Ft. Liberty (formerly Ft. Bragg) says she’s ready to help if we want to establish a chapter there. Frankly, the sky is the limit. But in every case, we need UMTs, active and veteran, on the ground to step up and take the initiative. One or two board members cannot create chapters. It’s a complete team effort of members-at-large, board officers, and interested Corps family for success.

Here’s how you can be a part of this growth. You know where more UMTs are in a 25-mile radius about you than anyone else. Contact and invite them to an informal, pay-as-you-go meal at a local restaurant or a potluck at someone’s home or to a picnic at a local park. Share your story of service to God and soldiers. Provide the opportunity for them to share their stories. Then inform them about the USACCRA. Our recent revision of the by-laws allows for greater options and an easier approach to accomplishing this activity. There’s no longer a requirement to be a mini-me
of the national board demanding several formal officers and keeping a treasury. You can meet monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. Decide what format works for you.

But what about our Navy and Air Force UMT friends? Invite them to gather with you. We are Army and remain so. We are paid members of the Association. We encourage fellowship. Invite them in. If they want more offer to them membership in the MCA. We have a joint membership with MCA offer for the first year and a lifetime membership for both organizations if purchased during that first year. It’s available for both actively serving and veterans. Chapters started by USACCRA will take the lead with that group, but we can work both agendas without competing between the USACCRA and the MCA. The goal is to support the Army UMT, not force people to choose between the two. There is a both-and solution.

Contact either 3 rd VP CH Karen Diefendorf (kdiefendor@hotmail.com) or myself (srlloyd@msn.com) for more information. There’s growth where the Army Corps UMT family is willing to share its story.

Finally, an update about our Gathering in Columbia, SC, 22-25 Oct 2024. The registration and agenda are posted on our website, chaplainregiment.org. Early commitment is important. The more people who sign up early, the more leverage the Association has with arrangements. Sign up now. We want the maximum benefit gathering possible for you.

At this moment the Chief of Chaplains and the SGM of the Corps will be present for a state-of-the Corps presentation. General-Ret. Daniel Allyn, former Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, will be our Tuesday evening guest speaker. Our present and past historians of the Corps, Daniel Fitzpatrick and John Brinsfield, will present. The Commandant and SGM of the Institute of Religious Leadership will visit. More folks are being signed up. I will keep you informed.

This is a special Gathering. This is the kickoff event for our Corps 250th anniversary. We are planning many special moments. This is for the entire US. Army Chaplain Corps Family to come together. Let’s do it!

Pro Deo et Patria
Scottie Lloyd
USACCRA President