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FON (214) 331-4373 FAX (214) 333-4401 E-mail: FON (214) 331-4373 FAX (214) 333-4401 Web Page: E-mail: 2715 Whitewood Drive Dallas, TX 75233-2713

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VOL. 25



Number 10

As we call out to God for newness of LIFE, we are reminded that He is the One to bring increase, to shine His light upon darkness, to bring freedom where there has been bondage, to usher in hope where there has been despair, and to offer encouragement in the face of challenge. We worship a Living God who lives and moves amongst us, despite the sometimes unpredictability of circumstances. In the midst of stories, reflections and updates, may we hear a resounding declaration, “Our God Reigns!� God s Provision in Civilian Chaplaincy God has definitely granted us favor over this previous year. I must admit, that this all began with taking a tremendous step of faith. After having interviewed for the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, FL, in March 2008, I received an invitation to attend in May 2008. At the time, I was preparing to graduate from Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando and, we had not even thought about selling our home of nearly five years. Yet, we accepted the offer and trusted God to sell our home in a rapidly declining housing market. Within 75 days, we received our only offer and closed on the Friday prior to starting the CPE residency. My wife, (Martha) and our then two-year-old son (Theo) moved to Tampa to answer God's call. One year later, my residency is complete. God has shown me the tremendous ministry that takes place in the busiest VA hospital in the country. As a veteran, I was able to develop quick rapport with staff and patients. I've been blessed by the veterans and soldiers that I've met throughout this year. In addition, my personal life has been rewarding. God blessed our family with a baby girl (Shamaya) in April and the help of my in-laws from Sierra Leone, Africa. Prior to wrapping up CPE, God has blessed me with a job at the same hospital, serving as a medical support assistant. In addition, God has called me to serve as a PRN chaplain at Moffitt Cancer Center. We are also moving into a larger place and faithfully waiting for God to open the door to a full-time chaplain position. We believe that God has a ministry for us with the VA. Chaplain Geddes and the Continued on Page 2


CFGC team have been extremely supportive to me and my family. I believe in the power of intercessory prayer and, I know when it came to my concerns about family, career, and life in general, God had Spirit-filled people praying for me. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to live my "life verse"- "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." (Matt. 6:33) – CH Roosevelt Hanna. Healthcare Chaplain and VA Prospect God s Faithfulness in Military Chaplaincy I am certain that most if not all are familiar with the passage in which Jesus instructs us to go the extra mile for our brethren (Matthew 5:41). Throughout life, and especially the past fourteen months, I have come to truly appreciate this instruction and the magnificent words and faithfulness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As a testimony to His unfathomed fidelity, I state the following: “In August 2008, I set out on a unique mission that would ultimately change my life forever. For many years, and as a prior serviceman, my dream had been to return to the ranks and fulfill my duty to God, His people, and country, as an Army Chaplain. I had been told upon inquiry and at several subsequent in-processing junctures, that there was not an avenue available to me to fulfill my dream of becoming an Army Chaplain, but I was advised that once I had earned my Army commission and completed (OBC) Officer Basic Course, I would have gotten my foot in the door, and that from that point, there would be many opportunities available to me. Knowing this, I continued to do what I could to become a commissioned officer in a field of interest within the ranks of the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. My primary interest in the Army Chaplaincy remained steadfast in my heart. For the next several months, I reported to recruitment offices throughout the northern United States on several occasions (keeping the ball rolling, as it were), in order to fulfill my obligations towards eventual inprocessing. Upon successful completion of all prerequisites to unit assessment such as: testing, officer commissioning and over forty physicals, physical fitness tests, and passing the field grade commissioning board, I was ready to in-process and consequently booked my 5th flight north in order to take and affirm my Oath of Office. Due to simultaneous illnesses my parents unexpectedly encountered, I cancelled my flight after deciding that it was far better to again lay down my life and career, (John 15:13), in order to care for family. With one confined to a wheel chair with low blood oxygen and alone in Texas, and one in an out-of-the-state hospital with severe complications, I was committed to never abandon them in order to gain my commissioning. Before long, I again found myself placing my lifelong dream and Army career in the hands of God our Savior (where they are most secure), knowing that someday He alone would bring it all to pass. After several weeks, both parents were stabilized, my son left for college (out of state), and I again sought an answer to my dream. After several weeks of prayer and adamant research, and surmounting feelings of hopelessness, at approximately 0200 in the morning, Jesus, as always, guided me to the solution (Isaiah 58:11). I came across the Army Chaplain Candidate Program. The following morning I immediately phoned my local Chaplain recruiting office and submitted all pertinent documentation. Through the fast intervention of my recruiting Staff Sergeant, I would soon come to realize that I had already completed the majority of the paperwork for submission to the Board, and that I still met Army requirements necessary to enter the Chaplain Candidate Program. Once all required signatures were obtained, my packet was submitted to the Board for approval which came after weeks of prayer on my part and on my behalf, through my family at the Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches. As many of you can attest, God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called by Him in accordance with His divine purpose (Romans 8:28). Unbeknownst to me, as it so often is, God was preparing me through past years, especially the past fourteen months, to receive His promise to me made more than fifteen years prior when I became a single father. And, despite a weave of apparent obstacles, near and afar, He is faithful to perform His Word. On September 21st, 2009, I reached a pinnacle in my life, the fulfillment of a fifteen-year dream and calling – a pinnacle that makes all past and present efforts make sense and be worth the wait. Through God s never-

ending power and grace, the continual prayers of CFGC Founder, Rev. Jim Ammerman, his administrative chaplaincy staff, my dear CFGC family in its entirety, and those of my loved ones worldwide, a lifelong dream had come to fruition. The culmination of which I speak is the day that I affirmed my Oath of Office and was sworn into the ranks of the United States Army Reserve as 2LT Andrew M. Guarriello Jr., Chaplain Candidate. To those who went the extra mile with me, thank you and may God continue to richly bless you and your ministries. … Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. (Hebrews 10:23)” Our Commitment to Church and State Editorial by J. Geddes As the Deputy Director of Chaplaincy of Full Gospel Churches (CFGC), I am pleased with the opportunity to dispel some current misunderstandings and make a case for a historical view of Church and State relationships which has served America well since its founding. Presently, Dr. Jim Ammerman is recovering from a minor medical procedure at the publication date of this invitation to write an editorial for the first issue of Curtana: Sword of Mercy. As the Founder and Endorser for the CFGC, he has received some unusual criticism through some published articles in recent months. While he has purposely limited his responses with a desire to maintain certain principles, there are a few considerations meriting mention. Beyond the basic process of getting accurate facts and the courtesy, or not, of confirming those facts directly, it is important to uphold relevant and current information when evaluating a particular perspective. The value of honest debate between different viewpoints has its place as a preferred standard when discussing those views, as opposed to the temptation of pursuing what may be called by some as “got-cha” journalism or the elevation of distorted or imbalanced elements. Before looking at the broader “Church and State” issues that have long been discussed in our country, let me first make it clear about the chaplains with CFGC whom Chaplain (COL) Jim Ammerman, US Army, Retired has faithfully served for over twenty-five years. He believes they are some of the finest in the nation who have distinguished themselves, as is demonstrated by the many superior evaluations received from their commanders which highlights issues of character and excellence in ministry. While no human is perfect in all aspects, every effort is made to call upon Almighty God and to integrate lessons learned throughout different stages of life. This is true of many people of faith. All people of faith recognize they are on a journey, and none of us has fully arrived. Instead of fueling debate simply for the sake of controversy, or some particular end result or effect, it is important to point out the evident clash in worldviews, spiritual orientations, cultural viewpoints and differing opinions. When examining the overall issue of chaplains serving in the military, for instance, it can be said that there is a unique paradox with Church and State considerations. On the one hand, there is a viable need for separation in order to uphold their unique distinctions, contributions and boundaries. On the other hand, the two governing influences must learn how to effectively work together—both for the wellbeing of our military members and for the vitality of our nation. On a different scale, there is the example of chaplains who learn how to walk out their role as clergy and their role as staff officers. As representatives of both Church and State, chaplains are given the distinct privilege of serving both in credible and constructive ways that allow for the greater benefit for the people and the nation they serve. While not everyone is called to ministry within the confines of an institution, it can become an incredibly meaningful and noble form of service. More than a contracted minister in a particular field who is brought into a military community for services rendered, a military chaplain is unique in becoming part of that very culture, allowing for greater effectiveness. Continued on Page 4

CFGC Staff Schedule Nov

Dec Feb

01 Daylight Savings time ends 05-07 Navy Graduation and visitation, Ft. Jackson, SC 11 Veterans Day 26 Thanksgiving Day 01-04 Int l Coalition of Apostles, Orlando, FL 17-21 CFGC ANNUAL CONFERNCE

A military chaplain can stand apart as a welcomed member of any staff or team, a unique counselor who requires trust while offering compassion and confidentiality, a provider of sage advice to the command and a spiritual leader who provides faith specific services and facilitates genuine care for all religious needs, without spiritual compromise. A military chaplain s integration into the fabric of the military community they serve can be likened to a marriage where the two (Church and State) are admonished to become one yet remain distinctive. Both can work together with a common purpose in terms of serving the people, the institution and our nation. Justification for chaplains (as representatives of both Church and State) has a long history that dates back to the founding days of America as instituted by President George Washington in 1775 and is confirmed through Title X which highlights the Constitutional role of chaplains in helping to provide the free exercise of religion. While history, tradition and law provide credible reasons for the chaplaincy s existence, there are other elements to consider as well. It has long been recognized that military chaplains bring an expertise and leadership, as any professional or staff officer would be expected to bring to a commander. It is therefore incumbent upon the commander to rightly utilize a military chaplain as an asset to his or her command with issues regarding people and religious matters and beyond. To serve as clergy in the military also demands a commitment to uphold the United States Constitution and the laws enacted by our nation. It is like a doctor who has made a professional vow and been trained to “do no harm,” yet is also governed by laws, instructions and training that acknowledge his role as a potential combatant who is able to use firearms. Although a military chaplain holds a non-combatant status, the chaplain is not only governed by military laws and rules, but is also governed by his or her own conscience and by the policies of his or her ordaining body and/or endorsing agency. Conscientiously protecting the First Amendment rights of all military members does not require that the chaplain forego the expression of their own

religious convictions. On the contrary, it can be argued that chaplains with the strongest of convictions are actually the best equipped to recognize that to many citizens nothing else matters nearly as much as their freedom to worship in accordance with their own beliefs. Just as our nation s founders wisely protected us from the dangers of an “established” or official national religion, so too they permanently shielded the God-given right of all citizens to choose their own faith or governing worldview and philosophy. There is a long held understanding that a military chaplain learns to “walk” in two worlds–both Church and State—at the same time, while ministering in the culture of an institution. As many know, great sacrifices have been made to not only have a “level-playing field” with issues of faith, but the right to disagree in appropriate or protected settings with differing viewpoints. While people of faith or no faith honestly differ in matters of faith, outlook and approach, it is important to do justice on behalf of a long-standing chaplains organization and its founder. I am trusting that any further discussion will establish a higher bar of integrity for all, a more balanced perspective toward the broader issues related to Church and State, and motives that are inspired out of purity and justice for all. I invite your support and prayers as we all try to bring clarity when navigating the greater issues at hand in our nation! – Reprint of editorial appearing in “Curtana: Sword of Mercy” Upholding a New Vision As we look to discern the times and seasons that we live in, it is important to rightly engage the issues and people at hand while upholding a new vision for prosperity and strength. We encourage your ongoing prayers for: - Wisdom, discernment, timing for CFGC upgrades - A stronger hedge of protection for CFGC Chaplains and families - Increased favor, unity, blessing, and vision - Creative and supernatural ways of intervention by chaplains in providing solutions to problems - A stronger sense of identity, calling and foundation for each chaplain - Unique opportunities for outreach and alignment ** CORRECTION ** Please note: The website for CH (LTC) Ed Ahl, US Army, is for Wake up and Smell the Coffee, his newly published book. Look under “Products.”


CHAPLAINCY of FULL GOSPEL CHURCHES FON (214) 331-4373 FAX (214) 333-4401 E-mail: Web Page: 2715...