The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - July 11th 2018

 The centennial close of World War I marks a century of great change within modern warfare that includes tactical, operational, and strategic transformations that continue to mark the profession of arms, particularly the discipline of military ethics.  The International Military Ethics Symposium '18 affords us an opportunity to reflect upon these changes, commemorate this momentous conflict, and elucidate lessons learned that will shape warfare for the coming decades.  

Jointly sponsored by an international coalition of military practitioners, chaplains, and academic ethicists, the symposium will increase interoperability and readiness across joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational forces by strengthening moral reasoning and ethical decision-making amongst emerging strategic leaders.
  Furthermore, the symposium will codify these topics through a strategic military ethics primer to be published by National Defense University Press.

All attendees will have opportunity to participate in the Breakout Sessions (BSS) that will begin each afternoon after the plenary speakers in the morning. Each BSS will be chaired by designated senior facilitators and assisted by deputy facilitators based on the number of attendees. BSS will actively discuss ethical 
challenges from the First World War and their continued effect on the contemporary professions of arms.

Registration remains open on line. There is a $30.00 nonrefundable registration fee. The registration is broken up into 3 categories; Active Army, DOD others, (USAR, ARNG, USAF, USN, USMC and civilians) and Foreign Military Personnel. The $30.00 registration fee will cover the cost of welcome packets during the 3 symposium days. Everyone will pay separately for their box lunches, costing $17.00 per day, $51.00 over the symposium.

Plenary speakers include many notables. Information on the plenary speakers is available here. Of note, Chaplain (Colonel) Tim Mallard, a primary organizer of the event is also a featured speaker. 

For a full agenda click here

To register go here

The Army MOI is available here

A unique and rich opportunity for all involved and concerned with chaplaincy and our role in being ethical advisers in our ministry. And a great opportunity to connect with others who share your passion for ministry.  


Executive Director  Notes

  This week's column focuses on the Veteran Military Friendly Congregation Ministry of the MCA (VMFC). This ministry we inherited nearly two years ago has shown some remarkable growth in the last two months, thanks to the great teamwork of CH Ron Skaggs, working with Everett Price of the Episcopal Church's Brotherhood of St Andrew, Ed Junod, the Acting President of Vet to Vet Tennessee and Jack Figel, the MCA Deputy Executive Director.
   More congregations are stepping up to the plate to join in this effort, and you can go directly to their website,, to see the current updates of who the new congregations are, which will also soon be available as a  link directly from the MCA website.
   I know of at least two congregations who would be great additions to this list, one in northern Virginia, and one in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and those are ones that immediately jump to mind. If you have any suggestions for congregations that would be a good fit, please contact Ron at, Everett Price at or Ed Junod at
  I will next be attending the joint annual meeting the end of this week of The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) in Anaheim,. Representing MCA beside myself will be our President, Chaplain Mike Langston, and Chaplain Jan McCormack. I will report back next week on what is happening with the advanced certification for profession military chaplains, and some of what Jan, Mike and I have done on behalf of MCA while we are there.

Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC

Medal of Honor Grove Honors Chaplains as Well

by Elizabeth Eisenstadt-Evans

Ever-bustling Route 23 goes past the Freedoms Foundation and takes you right into  Valley Forge National Historical Park.  

Intent on arriving at the monuments, trails and re-created Revolutionary War barracks, many tourists probably drive past the turnoff for an organization that promotes constitutional literacy and civic engagement in a way that appeals to a nation vastly more diverse, but just as contentious, as that of the 18th-century founders.

The first thing you notice as you walk past the red-brick dormitories and offices into the trees of the  Medal of Honor Grove is the silence.  Divided by fundamental cultural and political disagreements, America is a cacophonous, often angry place right now.

In a time of civil strife, the mission of the Foundation may seem quaint, even anachronistic. But the citizenship and educational programs offered to students, teachers and others at the Freedoms Foundation are a robust rejoinder to shortcuts and cheap shots - and a reminder that the ideals that animated the founders still hold true.

The grove itself offers a mute testimony to bravery and heroism and an American faith that goodness has the last word, even in death.

More than 3,500 men (only one recipient thus far is a woman, Civil War surgeon  Mary Walker)  are commemorated with markers in the foundation's 42-acre grove.  Marked by 52 obelisks, a segment of the glade is allotted to each state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. 

Located near the entrance to the grove, the Chaplain's Memorial honors the five Catholic and four Protestant men who received the Medal of Honor, serving in conflicts that spanned the Civil War to Vietnam. (There also is a nondenominational chapel on the grounds.)
Two chaplains,  Emil Kapaun, who served in Korea,  and   Vincent R. Capodanno, a Navy officer killed in Vietnam, are being considered by the Vatican for sainthood.

One memorial is dedicated to the more than 160 Medal of Honor recipients who were not U.S. citizens - a concrete reminder that you don't have to be born here to fight and die for America.
Standing on hallowed ground, it is easy to glimpse the unity beneath our strife and to see our national determination so vividly expressed. Standing there, it is easy to believe that the flames of democracy fanned by so many generations will not go out.

For those who want to remember that we are more than our deepest divisions, the foundation and the grove remain, inspiring us and inviting us once again into conversation with the hope that we can find a way to transcend our differences and embrace the divine spark that inhabits each of us - and makes us one.

Chapter Update

Susquehanna Chapter
Military Chaplains Association of the United States


 We'll be discussing the future of our chapter. Our president has resigned due to medical conditions. We have no vice president. Just Dale Williams as treasurer & Bill McEllroy as secretary. Plus, we have a number of aged members who don't get out like they used to. Other members are scattered over several states that compose the Susquehanna Chapter. BUT - we still have many who are capable of participating - including in leadership

Where: Carlisle Barracks Chapel Picnic Pavilion
452 Mara Circle, Carlisle Barracks, PA
(Chaplain phone: 717-245-3318)

When: FRIDAY, 20 JULY 1130
1130 - Informal Gathering & Fellowship
1200 - Picnic Lunch - Burgers, Dogs, buns/rolls, & condiments provided
Please feel free to bring a picnic dish to share: potato salad, fruit,
baked beans, a dessert, cold drinks, etc.
1300 -Program Part 1: What's happening at Carlisle Barracks

Reservations: Call or mail reservations before or by 16 JULY
Chaplain Bill McEllroy
524 Mill Street
Lebanon, PA 17042
(717-228-2071) or email: 

Flyer available  here
The Military Chaplains Magazine
2018 Themes and Submission Deadlines
Fall Issue - Religious Accommodation in 2018
Articles to be submitted by September 30
Publication September 24
Winter Issue - Chaplaincy and Religion in a Post-Truth World
Articles to be submitted by November 30
Publication December 21

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If you missed the July 4th  edition of the Newsgram  click here
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The Military Chaplains Association of the USA
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