NCVNVM Annual Convocation 1998, Albuquerque, New Mexico
As in prior years, we gathered to provide a spiritual welcome home to veterans who are also clergy or full time religious workers. The meeting provided opportunities for "sharing our stories" and provided powerful support to the healing nature of doing so in a community of trust. The ability to accomplish this in the context of scripture, prayer, and liturgy from our respective traditions made this experience both unique and powerful as a setting for healing.
Events of the Albuquerque meeeting included :
Angelfire Monument Trip
The Convocation included a one-day retreat of reflection and reconciliation to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire, where Alan Cutter led a very moving memorial service.
In the Angelfire Visitor Center.. Back: Fran Irvin, Paul Sanborn, Linda McClenahan, John Brock, Alan Cutter, Russel Carver;
Front: Jack Day, Neil Allen, Chuck Dean, Phil Salois
In the Angelfire Visitor Center with Dr. Westphal.
Back: Paul Sanborn, Linda McClenahan, John Brock, Alan Cutter, Russel Carver;
Front: Jack Day, Neil Allen, Phil Salois, Dr. Victor Westphal, Chuck Dean.
Sitting in the home of Dr. Victor Westphal, whose son Dave is memorialized at Angelfire.
Dr. David Westphal with photo of son Dave in background.
Flags outside the Angelfire Monument. In the photo are Neil Allen, Alan Cutter, Linda McClenahan, Paul Sanborn, Russel Carver, John Brock, Chuck Dean, Phil Salois, Jack Day
NCVNVM group with Angelfire Monument in background. In the photo are Russel Carver, Phil Salois, John Brock, Alan Cutter, Paul Sanborn, Jack Day, Linda McClenahan, Neil Allen, Chuck Dean
The Angel Fire's own site has some excellent photos of this beautiful location.
Special Guest: Col. David Grossman
Col. David Grossman, author of On Killing: Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society , addressed the group. Members of the civilian clergy community in Albuquerque were invited to attend. Patience Mason has written an excellent synopsis of some points Col. Grossman made.
Col. Dave Grossman giving lecture.
Discussion of Issues
Discussion of issues of special importance to members including what type of "safe place" for spiritual healing we can offer gay, lesbian, and bisexual vetearns. See Open Letter. The result was to add appropriate comments under the name of each member on our geographical directory.
In addition, as in previous years, several peace and justice resolutions were considered and approved. This year's resolutions addressed Human Rights Abuses by U. S. Trained Forces; Steadily Increasing Violence; and Jubilee 2000.
Spiritual Healing Retreat
Finally, following the conclusion of the convocation, an opportunity was provided for participants to participate in a Spiritual Healing Workshop at the same location.
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