Harbor District’s Military Community Outreach Advisory Team (MCOAT) works under the direction of the District Mission Strategy Team. MCOAT’s mission is to equip and inspire churches in the Harbor District to share the love of Christ with military veterans and members through outreach, prayer, relationship building and acts of kindness and gratitude.
Home to multiple major military installations, North Carolina has one of the highest concentrations of military veterans and active duty personnel in the United States. Harbor District’s Mission Strategy Team has identified “Care and Support to Military Veterans and Active Duty’ as one of the district’s 12 most critical missional needs.
Aug 5, 2017 – United Methodist clergy and laity representing 18 different churches from Harbor District in the NC Conference of The UMC attended the SOUL CARE Day of Learning on August 5th at Harbor UMC in Wilmington, NC. Facilitator and retired U.S. Army Chaplain (Col.) David Smith led the training which was focused on equipping churches to start or expand ministries which reach out to those in the military community (active duty and vets).
The August 5th Day of Learning included training from Chaplain Smith on topics such as:
· Understanding military culture
· Challenges that military members and their families face
· Reaching out/building relationships with vets/active duty
· Spiritual care needs of vets/active duty
· The role that churches can play related to spiritual recovery
A working lunch round table session was also conducted which featured a panel of representatives from multiple local organizations which serve the military community in the Harbor District. Attendees were able to receive helpful information from these organizations including the volunteer opportunities with which their church members can plug into/connect. Panel members also answered questions regarding their organization’s specific mission focus and services.
Following lunch Chaplain Smith highlighted a number of best practices including a SOUL CARE ministry at one of Harbor District’s churches – Faith Harbor United Methodist Church. Arness Krause, Faith Harbor UMC’s Soul Care ministry coordinator, was on hand to share how the church got started with their SOUL CARE ministry and what it looks like today. She also shared some tips/lessons learned with the group.
Based on post event comments from attendees, they left the training inspired and equipped with helpful information and resources. Follow on work in the district will be led by Harbor District’s Military Community Outreach Advisory Team (MCOAT).
If you are interested in serving on the MCOAT, email Pat Litzinger @ firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about SOUL CARE Initiative visit: www.soulcareinitiative.org