Dear EVF Friends,
Yesterday I went to jail. I accompanied Hospitaller Brother Jim Cochrun to the County Jail to visit with the veterans who live in the Veterans Dormitory. It was a blessed time, hearing some of their stories and hearing Jim share about meaning and hope in recovery. I hope we can be a regular part of Jim’s ministry there.
I’m really excited about some of the things that are happening in this new year. I have been working hard to strategize about how to effectively reach out to veterans and those who love them, while doing all the other stuff life brings my way. So, here’s what’s happening:
1. New Logo! DeSha Thomas, our Administrator, worked hard to produce this unique creation that witnesses to our Joint Forces focus (veterans from ALL branches) and the spirituality of our Episcopal Church.
2. For Immediate Release from Kevin Ross:
Elizabeth Decker will be leading the inaugural session of our joint Georgetown-Round Rock EVF Art Workshop this Thursday, January 12, at the Grace Episcopal Church west campus from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The address for your GPS or smartphone is 4402 Williams Dr., Suite 150, Georgetown, TX 78628 (right behind the Whataburger and CVS, and across DB Wood Rd from the HEB). We will continue to meet on the following three Thursday afternoons (Jan 19, Jan 26, and Feb 2), same place and time.
As you can see by the number of people on the To… line, it promises to be a big crowd. I would very much appreciate an RSVP, so I can make sure we have table space and chairs for everyone and Elizabeth can bring enough supplies.
The Austin group’s work was featured at our Veterans Conference and it was amazing. (See photos here.) I can’t wait to see what they create! Contact me or Kevin Ross for more info or to RSVP.
3. Bicycling Veterans in West Virginia: Fr. Chip Graves, Rector of Trinity Church in Huntington, WV shared a story about a parishioner, Jeff Collins, who is rebuilding bicycles for veterans in his community. If you would like to send a financial gift his way, please mail it to Fr. Chip Graves, Trinity Episcopal Church 520 11th St Huntington, WV 25701. Please mark on the check that it is for Jeff’s Bicycle Ministry. You can also send $ to me via Paypal (see website) or give me the check and I’ll mail all of them to Fr. Chip.
4. Every Thursday I’m up at 0500 to run at 0600 with Team RWB. If you would like to be part of this run, come on out. Contact me for more details about where we meet. Team Red White and Blue is my favorite veterans community.
5. On Feb 1st, we will hold a Commemoration for the Four Chaplains at St. Mark’s Church in Austin. We will be honoring these four chaplains who gave their lives for their Soldiers during the early days of WWII. If you are coming, please drop me a short note so I can plan accordingly. (or just drop in at the last minute!)
6. In the coming days we will be doing a Story Exchange with Narrative 4, similar to the one I participated in during November in NYC. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/gun-violence-radical-empathy.html We won’t be tackling the Gun issue, but hoping to bridge some of the gaps between veterans and the civilian community that sent us to war. Please contact me if you’re interested in being part of this. This is always a very fruitful exercise and I encourage you to give it a try.
7. Our next Austin EVF meeting will be on January 24th, Tuesday night, 1800. We will pray and serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Come and give the gift of love.
8. Please send email addresses to me to add to this newsletter. We need to get the word out about what is happening!