Christmas Message

We wish you all have a joyous and happy Christmas , particularly remembering the reason for the season – that God became one of us in the person of Jesus.

The work of VCA in raising the health of the Veteran community is a compassionate ministry of love that is grounded in the love of God that inspires us to love our neighbours in distress.

Yesterday Caitlin Proctor and I visited an exservice family that has been experiencing the violence of a veteran father to his former veteran wife , and young children aged 14,12 and 10. They were facing an anxious Christmas as they contest a DVO opposed by the father . I had already had several interactions with them , and Caitlin will now take on ministry to the children who have multiple anxieties.

The mother sent me the following message last night : ….
“We really appreciated you taking the time to come to see us today , and introducing Caitlin to us. Knowing I have your support and pastoral guidance is comforting …I really would appreciate you attending the court hearing with me… “

We offered them assurance and prayed with them and blessed them. We left with smiles all round ! Your support enables us to engage in this ministry of love.

I am so grateful for Caitlin’s agreement to become our VCA Pastoral Care Coordinator. She is gifted as a counselor and therapist and we will be remunerating her for the challenging work she takes on. It will greatly unburden me and provide a complimentary feminine touch in our support to families.

We have had many positive pastoral interactions in recent weeks, mostly involving holistic health advice. We have also participated in a major gathering of all ex service organisations where RSL Qld has offered to be a coordinating body for information sharing and maintenance of an ESO register. I have had an exclusive time of sharing with the DVA commissioner for Qld, and she undertook to immediately change the way veterans get bad news from DVA. They will now ring and explain a situation before sending a letter which in the past came as a shock and triggered distress reactions!

We have been offered use of Retreat facilities at Natural Bridge and if we wanted it, a takeover of the Veterans Centre at Nerang! We have also been invited to provide pastoral support to a RSL-funded Timor rehabilitation treks in 2016.

A number of people who had indicated they wanted to participate in pastoral care, gathered at our Clagiraba home on 19 Dec and we shared ideas and discussed contributions.

Developing a professional Pastoral Care team is my personal priority for 2016. We are making a significant impact in the lives of Veterans and their families – thanks for your support and thanks be to God.

Next General meeting is on Sunday 14 Feb at 26 Yallamurra St, The Gap

Peace be with you

Gary.

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