by Scottie Lloyd, President, USACCRA
The USACCRA is looking at a new day in how it comes alongside those serving now in the Chaplain Corps and to support the past, present, and future of all who serve “God and Country”. As an associational family we need everyone participating in this continuing effort. Therefore, I am asking for your help in three ways that best assist our mutual ministry mission.
First, we need your dreams and ideas of how this group can best celebrate our heritage, support those who currently serve Active, Guard or Reserve, and develop a future path for the Corps family. One way the USACCRA may do this is by engaging the Chief of Chaplains “Chaplain For Life” Campaign. This effort is to fill the gap between Corps transition from the Army into continued ministry outside the military. It’s a piece that’s been missing and needs to be addressed. Retired Chaplain Tommy Vaughn, Jr. is the Chief’s lead on this initiative, and now the Chief is inviting the Association to join this project. Tommy will be presenting this campaign at our gathering in Tucson. When permission is received, we’ll post a slide brief on our website for those who can’t be with us in Tucson. More to follow on this exciting new opportunity.
The second way members can help is recruiting new members. Contact your faith group’s endorser and engage the currently serving chaplains, RASs, and DREs. Your witness is better than any brochure or website in letting people know about the Association and it’s potential for supporting the current and future Chaplain Corps generation. Please call, send a note, or visit someone who can be a part of our associational family. As a professional association, we need every voice to fully advance our mission-all component and every form of Chaplain Corps service.
Thirdly, your financial support and presence is needed in Tucson. Most of our current members are ‘lifers’. This means they paid one amount long ago and never had to pay annual dues. It’s a bargain many organizations offer, but it has a downside. While generating significant funds as Life Members pay in, the organization takes a risk if it doesn’t keep a continuing flow of new members. Without new members, eventually the finances run out. The USACCRA has not filled its ranks well. Long before COVID and the prevalence of digital meetings, your Board switched to electronic board gatherings to save thousands of dollars for the Association. This worked! Board members and chapter officers serve voluntary with rarely any reimbursement. Often expenses are out of volunteer pockets. To regain momentum in reaching out to the present generation of Chaplain Corps personnel we need a financial boost. If each Association member would donate a special gift of $25 to the Association in 2022 this would help tremendously in reaching the current Corps generation. This money can be used for awarding honor graduates at the schoolhouse, providing certificates of free first-year memberships to new folks and more. Our treasurer, Dennis Madtes, can receive your gifts sending a check directly to him at 4112 Goldmine Road, Goldvein, VA, 22720.
I mentioned being at Tucson for our next gathering. Note, I said “gathering” not “reunion”. A reunion denotes a retired group only. A “gathering” denotes both serving and retired Corps members. We are an inclusive family. We need to say so and be so. COVID has caused us to be separated for nearly four years. This hurts in many ways. We need to see each other and proclaim our support for “God and Country” by showing up for our October 25-28, 2022 gathering. Please register now. The Chief of Chaplains has committed himself to be with us despite his packed and convoluted schedule because he puts great importance on this gathering and our new future together. We need to show ourselves and make our voices heard.
Thank you for your ministry and service past and present. Let us join for a greater future together.