Metropolitan Tikhon attends Endorsers’ Conference for Military, VA chaplains

Military Endorsers

The annual National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces [NCMAF], the Endorsers’ Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy [ECVAC] and the Armed Forces Chaplains Board was held January 13-16, 2014 at the Adams Mark Hilton Hotel here.  Archpriests Theodore Boback and Joseph Gallick attended the three meetings.

For the second year, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon was able to attend and to participate.  His attendance was appreciated and well received by all who were present, many of whom were able to engage in conversation with him.

Metropolitan Tikhon is the Ecclesiastical Endorser of the Orthodox Church in America’s military and VA chaplains.

This year the NCMAF had as its theme “Moving Forward: Practicing Spiritual Care – Caring for Others and Caring for the Caregivers.”  The program included an evening viewing of the acclaimed documentary, High Ground: 11 Wounded Warriors Climbing back from War.  The film’s producer, Don Hahn, was present.  The son of a Lutheran minister, Hahn is widely known as a two-time Golden Globe Awards winner for his Beauty and the Beast and Lion King movies.  A discussion with Michael Brown and Matt Murray – Director and Associate Producer of the film—and a panel of chaplains focused on spiritual care for military members.  Chaplain (Colonel) Ken Stice, USA, offered a presentation titled “Care to Caregivers,” while the NCMAF Executive Committee offered a presentation on the theme.

A number of other presentations were offered by various speakers, including Daniel Bloomberg, K. Hollyn Hollman, Dr. Ed Tick, and Chaplain Pollitt, National VA Chaplain Center Director.  NCMAF and ECVAC business sessions rounded out the program.

The Armed Forces Chaplains Board hosted presentations by the three branch Chiefs of Chaplains:  Rear Admiral Mark Tidd, CHC, US Navy; CH (Major General) Donald Rutherford, US Army; and Ch, Major General, Howard Stendahl, US Air Force.  Presentations also were offered by the personnel directors, Ch, Colonel Mark Barnes, USAF; CH (Colonel) Bryan Walker, US Army; and Captain Jack Lea, CHC, US Navy.  Metropolitan Tikhon was able to meet with the Chiefs and other staff personnel.

“The event was a great opportunity for Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA Office of Military and VA Chaplaincies,” said Father Boback.  “We thank him for including this important aspect of his office as Metropolitan and Endorser in his calendar and for his active participation.”