The opening Meditation for this year was led by Ted Bleck-Doran, Laurie O’Reilly and John L. Prater, all three representatives from the National Association of Veterans Affairs Chaplains (NAVAC). “Three voices asking for peace” would be my description.

After all attendees introduced themselves there was time for “celebration reports.” I thought this was a pleasant moment; it provided members the opportunity to share and celebrate what they had achieved in the past year.

The second day there was another “celebrations report” for those who had not had a chance the first day. It is here that our very own Rev. David Oringderff, PhD took the stand and shared that, in spite of a turbulent year, our Congregation had much to celebrate with our colleagues at the Forum. We moved the headquarters from Texas to Missouri; changed the name of the church from Sacred Well Congregation of Texas to Sacred Well Congregation International; and that we continue to serve and grow. Examples included that we now have an average weekly attendance of over 300 trainees at our weekly BMT Wicca Faith Group services at Lackland AFB, and that total attendance at Sacred Well Congregation services, events and activities was over 32,000 for 2012. 2013 is shaping up to be another wonderful year for the Congregation. We have a lot to celebrate!

Rev. Dr. John Oliver was this year’s special guest. He gave a great lecture, broken down in 4 chapters, about “Moral Injury as a Soul Killer”. The chapters were:

  • “Moral development and Moral Injury”
  • “Traumatic Injury”
  • “Spiritual Reactions to Injury”
  • and “Theological Responses to Moral Injury”

The second day there was a lecture on Chaplaincy Research by Russell Davis from CSC (compiled by George Handzo). This was basically a survey that was done to collect all the publications written in the last year about scientific research in the field of chaplaincy. Turned out that there were more publications than could be analyzed in the studie but we did get a reference list with 45 publications. I’m requesting a digital copy of that list to be posted for you all.

In between the lectures there were breaks that were heavily used for networking, as it was intended.

The last thing that needed to be done was the installation of the New Leadership, followed by the Closing Prayer.