Centurion Connection-Care for Military Members, Veterans and Their Families
The congregational Liaison Working Group is continuing to grow a connection for all 65 synods and nearly 10,000 ELCA congregations with an effort called Centurion Connection. In each synod is one or more volunteer representatives, often a retired Federal Chaplain, who are resources for the congregations and the Synod Bishop Staff for active member and veteran support.
Programs like the VA Rural Clergy Outreach Program, intentional outreach by ELCA congregations near military bases, contacts with local VA medical centers all signal the creative and caring ministry among our neighbors. Right now, twenty-eight synods have a Centurion Contact (Mark 15:39, Matthew 8:8, Acts 10:1-8) who is a communicator and link to support the bishop, pastors, and congregations interested in military and veterans’ ministries. Of course, the website, https://elcachaps.com/ gives great examples and ideas for such ministries. Retired Air Force Chaplain Paul Cannon and Retired Air Force Line Officer Laura Olsen are working this effort. More synods are being added as Bishops sign up for this addition to ministry in their areas. A list of the twenty-eight synods and representatives with contact information is on the website.
Centurion Contact: the identified contact persons within each synod who fosters connections between Lutheran veteran/military personnel/families with congregations, synods, and ELCA churchwide colleagues, agencies and institutions. Encourages prayer, networking and fosters support by highlighting and advancing creative ministries taking place within the synod.
- Fosters support for the ELCA Prayer Book for Armed Services.
- Highlights the ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Ministries Scholarship Fund for Leaders Endowment.
- Directs synod members to the “ https://elcachaps.com/ ” web site
- Links, as available, with other outreach initiatives, such as the Veterans Administration Rural Clergy Outreach Training project or the VA chaplains Veterans Clergy Outreach Initiative.
In our Synod at the Assembly last year we focused on Federal Chaplaincies which includes the work of Centurion Connection. We advocate for veterans and active duty military and their families and inform congregations of their needs and important events. If you have questions or concerns about any military or veteran issues, please contact one of our Centurion Connection representatives below.