Embracing our Veterans this Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

April 6, 2013 in Uncategorized by crystalblanton

This coming Tuesday, April 9th, 2013, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County will be presenting a half day conference in support of veterans. Embracing our Veterans; Helping Congregations and Spiritual Communities Respond to Their Needs is the name of the conference that will be happening in Walnut Creek from 8am to 2pm.

Local activist, author and teacher, M. Macha Nightmare, will be giving a 60 minute talk on ritualizing the return home for veterans. Her talk will be from 12:30 to 1:30.  More details on the location and pre-registration can be found on the flyer below.

Sponsored by The San Francisco Foundation FAITHS Program

The Interfaith Center at the Presidio
in Partnership with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

Embracing Our Veterans

Helping Congregations and Spiritual Communities Respond to Their Needs

Beyond Memorial DayDate: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: Mt. Diablo
Unitarian Universalist Church
55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA

Cost: $20, includes lunch and refreshments. Veterans free;
nobody will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Wounds to the spirit are difficult to express, and difficult to recognize.  Veterans come home with wisdom and skills which may not be easily applied in civilian life.  At the same time, even those who have not served in the military or experienced the trauma of war firsthand still feel the effects of war in other ways. Different sets of experiences and perspectives of war can act as barriers between veterans and their civilian and spiritual communities.  A veteran’s sense of separation and isolation can impede his or her ability to heal and move forward with their lives.  Congregations and spiritual communities may feel unable to reach out to veterans due to the lack of understanding of the issues veterans face as they return home.

To address these needs, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has partnered with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County to presentEmbracing Our Veterans: Helping Congregations and Spiritual Communities Respond to Their Needs on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.  8:00 am- 2:00 pm.

The half-day conference will focus on helping clergy, spiritual leaders and members of congregations and spiritual communities in Contra Costa County respond to the spiritual needs of veterans as these men and women return from war. Location is the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, at 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA. Cost is $20.00, including lunch. Veterans register free, and nobody will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Beyond Veterans DayThe goal is to assist congregations and spiritual communities in becoming healing, welcoming, and empowering places for veterans on a long term basis.  Individuals are welcome, though we encourage small groups of 3 or 4 members from each community to attend together in order to develop on going efforts to serve veterans in their midst.

The Rev. Charlotte Bear, Regional Trainer and Educator for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care for veterans will be the keynote speaker.  She herself is is a veteran, an ordained interfaith minister, television journalist, and currently works with veterans in many capacities.  In addition, panelists and workshop facilitators with a great deal of experience with veterans in many contexts will addess how civilians can engage in spiritual conversations with veterans, understanding ptsd and spiritual wounds of  war, helping veterans share their gifts, and rituals and ceremonies for veterans.

The day is aimed at people in Contra Costa congregations and spiritual communities.  If you are not a resident or a part of a community in the area, but are interested in the issues, please contact the Interfaith Center at the Presidio directly. We plan to offer other conferences in other locations in the future.  Knowing of your interest will help us determine which counties we should visit in the future.  Email Fred Fielding, Interim Board President atfredfielding3@yahoo.com.

Space is limited, so you must register online or by phone prior to the event.  You may pay in person at the conference by check or cash if you are not comfortable paying by credit card the during registration process.  We will not be able to accept credit cards the day of the event.

Registration links can be found at http://www.interfaith-presidio.org/events/veterans-contra-costa-2013.htm


Crystal Blanton reporting, Pagan Newswire Collective