In the 2019 Synod Bishop Elect Russell Hale, Chaplaincy Endorsing Officer for the CEEC reported on CEEC military and professional chaplaincy activities around the world for the period of October 2018-September 2019. CEEC military chaplains are endorsed presbyters stationed or working within a branch of the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Veterans Affairs, or are assigned temporary duty to other federal departments or state agencies. To receive CEEC endorsement, these chaplains have completed accredited educational and ministry requirements, and have answered the call to extend the gospel ministry to persons in institutional and specialized settings; places where the church often has little or no access.
Currently the CEEC endorses 11 military chaplains stationed throughout the United States and overseas. Our chaplains are serving on active duty in all three military service branches, reserve military components, and at the state level. Additionally, there are 17 professional civilian chaplains currently serving the CEEC (these chaplains also require ecclesiastical endorsement and specialized accredited education beyond a professional degree, i.e. Master of Divinity degree, and are required to complete 2-4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education, and in some cases attain board certification). These presbyters work in healthcare, hospice, or other specialized settings. Often, the data concerning the ministry activities of our healthcare chaplains is protected information by federal law and not available for public disclosure.
Last year, our chaplains conducted more than 766 sacramental acts with more than 15,000 individuals participating; in conducting worship, i.e. ministry of the Word (evangelistic outreach) our chaplains led more than 493 services with more than 24,000 individuals participating.
Here are two notable examples of the work of a CEEC Chaplain:
- Rev. John Kenny (Lieutenant, USN) has conducted more than 400 funerals and burials at Arlington National Cemetery for active duty service members and veterans from all military service branches.
- The Rev. Jeremy Anderson (Captain, ARNG) completed a fifteen-month active duty assignment at Ft. Jackson, SC where he conducted more than 200 worship services for more than 20,000 soldiers arriving for Basic Combat Training with more than 3,000 professions of faith; he had 248 soldiers come forward in one service alone.
Please keep our chaplains in your prayers. The Chaplains Commission currently consists of Bishop Michael Warnke (Chair), Bishop Thom Cory, Rev. Randy Mostellar, U.S. Army (Ret), and Bishop-Elect Russell Hale, U.S. Navy (Ret) (Endorser).