Military Chaplains: Giving Those Who Serve in the Military a Reaffirmation of Hope
Unless we have friends or family in the military, I suspect that few of us give much thought to the people who are serving or have served in Canada’s Armed Forces, or the members of their families.
However, when there is a military crisis to which they must respond, such as assisting refugees because of the war in Ukraine or a domestic need like providing vital assistance during natural disasters, we do appreciate having them around.
Perhaps our pastor serves as a chaplain at the local legion and one or two of us may sometimes tag along. Many of us wear a poppy around Remembrance Day and may even take part in a Remembrance Day event.
We might briefly take notice when there is a scandal or reports of neglected veterans or the lack of adequate care for those living with post-traumatic stress disorder, hoping that our country will do better for them than we have. And then we move on to other things.
There are a special few among us for whom this is not the case. They are the people from our church who serve as military chaplains in Canada’s Armed forces. Our feature article offers us an opportunity to deepen our appreciation for their ministry.
One of our chaplains, Capt Mark Kalvaitis, explains their role this way, “We support the moral and spiritual well-being of military members and their families here and abroad.”
That requires a special sense of dedication and courage as they serve people between 20 and 40 years old, one demographic that is the least represented in churches across Canada. They do their best to give their soldiers a reaffirmation of hope, that somehow good can come from sadness or evil.
Coverage of our first ever online convention reports the necessary business that was legally required and helps us to prepare for the 2023 ELCIC Special Convention when we can meet in person (p. 8).
Rev. Nathan Fong reminds us that in our most trying times, God can be found (p. 7).
There is some helpful advice about talking with children about such things as climate change, war and school shootings (p. 15).
We have an opportunity to be inspired by Phoebe, a woman who appears in one line of scripture (p. 31).
As usual, there is a lot of interesting and inspiring reading to be found in our synod sections.