Veteran Friendly Congregation Initiative

Did you know that people are more likely to turn to their clergy and congregation leaders when faced with mental health challenges? Did you know veterans are five times more likely to seek help from their clergy than from psychologists, mental health experts or every VA service combined? Watch as Department of Veterans Affairs Chief of Chaplain Services Reverend John Oliver discusses the role clergy can play in ensuring the welfare of our nation’s veterans. The Veteran Friendly Congregation hotline is 865-336-2624.

Congregation-based Military Ministry Programs are a step toward supporting active military and veterans of the current and past conflicts. These programs are fundamental to the success of the Veteran Friendly Congregation Initiative (VFCI) effort as they represent the primary participation vehicle for Congregations to participate in the VFCI and also an important element in qualifying as a Veteran Friendly Congregation (VFC).  It is a key way for spreading the word and connecting with military family members in need on a local level.

The Initiative is intended to address the entire extended family members associated with the person that is or has been in the military. The VFCI has the following goals:

  • Help the congregation members maintain an awareness of the existence and needs of those sacrificing their time and effort to support our country

  • Create an environment of acceptance within the congregation for any extended family member who worships or visits the congregation; acceptance of their needs (physical, material, and spiritual), and a willingness to join in their struggles, whatever they might be.

NOTE: No faith has to act in any way like another faith ... no congregation has to act or have a Ministry like any other congregation ... it is completely customizable to each congregation's desire to act ... but being part of a larger networks helps build the network and allows us to share information among the active congregation that can help others learn what others are doing.

Your congregation can be an environment of acceptance for veterans and their families.  Your congregation could help promote awareness of the needs of those sacrificing their time and effort to support our country.

On December 29, 2015 the Military Chaplains Association (MCA)  took over the VFCI for CareForTheTroops and partnered with the Knoxville Regional Veterans Mental Health Council (Council) and Vet to Vet Tennessee (V2VT).  During December 2015 and December 2016 the three organization developed a new program called Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC).  The plan is to establish a VMFC Regional Coach (RC) in all 50 states.  The Council is proud to be one of the first RCs in the national.  MCA has already established an RC in North Carolina. The VMFC RC is open not only to Military Chaplain but also clergy members and certified lay leaders.

                                        Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation Initiative Hotline at 865-336-2624!

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