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How the diocesan Military Ministry began in earnest in 2016

Read the letter to congregations from Bishop Reed, July 18, 2016

At the 112th Diocesan Council in February 2016, our then Bishop Coadjutor, the Rt. Rev. David Reed, announced that the Diocese of West Texas would explore the opportunities for a firm establishment and growth of a Military Ministry. “We’re privileged to serve those who have served so sacrificially on our behalf. But the needs are complex – not only for combat veterans, but for active duty personnel stationed among us and families left behind and waiting,” he said.

Bishop Reed asked Leslie Mixson, development assistant for the diocese; the Rev. Karen Brandon (US Army retired); and Chaplain Susan Douglas (USAF retired) to assist our churches in starting and/or maintaining a military ministry. He also asked our rectors to appoint someone in each congregation to serve as the local Military Ministry Contact Person.

Resources

beginning a Military Ministry in Your Church

Exploring Outreach Opportunities & Setting Goals Worksheets

Military Ministry Toolkit

The Diocese of West Texas Military Ministry Toolkit contains everything your congregation needs to begin or expand a Military Ministry. The ideas for ministry run from simple things like adding military members to your prayer list to more involved efforts. There is so much opportunity in the Military Ministry field that every church will find a place that is appropriate for them. The Toolkit also contains information on resources to assist active duty military members, veterans, and their families in your congregation and in your community.

View and/or print the Military Ministry Toolkit

Military Ministry Contact Person (MMCP)

The Military Ministry Contact Person (MMCP) serves as the local congregation’s “go to” person for military ministry information. The job description describes what this individual does within their congregation to promote military ministry. The list of Military Contacts for each of our churches who have identified someone to fulfill this important role is also below.

Job description for a MMCP
List of military contacts in our churches

Getting Started

Learn more about organizing a Military Ministry in your church.

Explore your church's call and opportunity for Military Ministry:

  1. Make an announcement to your congregation that the Diocese of West Texas has established a Military Ministry, asking each church to participate as they feel called and able to do so.
  2. Provide the Vestry and congregation with the link to the Military Ministry documents found on our main page.
  3. Consider adding the Armed Forces to the Prayers of the People said in your services, if you do not already do so.
  4. Appoint a Military Ministry Contact Person (MMCP) and let the diocese know who has been appointed by contacting Leslie Mixson at leslie.mixson@dwtx.org or 210-824-5387. Make sure this person has a badge so they are easily identifiable to visitors and new church members.
  5. Identify any parishioner who has a special call for Military Ministry and would like to be part of a Military Ministry Coordinating Committee for the diocese. It is envisioned that these individuals would support churches in their ministry and host one or two events a year specific to Military Ministry.
  6. Share the things you are doing for Military Ministry with the diocesan contacts, so we can share best practices and learn from each other.

Outreach Opportunities

Cooling Scarves for Troops

If you know how to sew and want to support our active duty troops, we need you! Military Ministry partners with Soldiers' Angels to provide deployed troops with Cooling Scarves.

Cooling Scarves are filled polacrylamide granules that turn to gel when soaked in water. The scarves help keep troops cool in scorching temperatures. Those interested in participating in this ministry need to have a sewing machine and very basic sewing skills. Read more about the Cooling Scarf outreach.

Sewing kits are available at no cost to those wanting to participate in this outreach. Each kit contains enough supplies to make 50 scarves and includes detailed instructions for sewing, assembling and delivering to troops.

If you would like to learn more about sewing scarves, or donating funds to support this ministry, please contact Leslie Mixson at 888/210-824-5387, or by email at leslie.mixson@dwtx.org

Project Mend

Thanks to everyone who  supported Project Mend through Council in Action this year. We donated 139 pieces of equipment to  Project Mend  and raised over $3700 for Project Mend.

Project Mend is a non-profit organization that provides people living with disability and illness with refurbished medical equipment and assistive technologies. Because Project Mend serves almost all of the counties in the Diocese of West Texas, they are a tremendous resource for our communities.  Project Mend is expanding their services to Veterans and their families in the Valley, and their hope is that our churches can help connect them with those in need.

Project Mend has been serving those in need for over 25 years. What they do is simple. They take in donations of gently used medical equipment, and they repair, refurbish, sanitize, and distribute it back to those in need.

They serve children and aging adults; veterans, their spouses and children; and the homeless- regardless of their situation. They serve those who are economically challenged, unemployed, uninsured, or experiencing gaps in their coverage. Not only do they change lives by providing much needed equipment, they keep valuable pieces of medical equipment out of local landfills.

Last year they served:

  • 1,500 clients
  • Distributed 3,000 pieces of equipment
  • For an average cost savings per person of $1200

The cost to ALL Project Mend clients is thirty-five dollars ($35), with the exception of Veterans and their families. There is NO COST to Veterans and their families.

Project Mend is currently in need of gently used medical equipment including: Shower chairs, tub transfer benches, bedside commodes, wheelchairs and other items listed on the CIA flyer.  You can drop off your donations to Project Mend's donation warehouse in San Antonio, or consider coordinating a community drive with Project Mend for with pick up in your community.  If you don’t have equipment donations, Project Mend also has a great need for Adult diapers/pull ups sizes large and extra large.

Project MEND Administrative Office
5727 IH-10 West
San Antonio, TX 78201
Phone: (210) 223-6363 (MEND)
Fax: (210) 223-6441 MEND

Project MEND Warehouse
1201 Austin Street
San Antonio, TX 78208
Phone: (210) 223-7283

Connect

For assistance with Military Ministry, please contact:
Leslie Mixson (diocesan contact), (210/888) 824-5387
The Rev. Karen Brandon, (915) 494-5508
The Rev. Dexter Lesieur, (210) 385-7668

Graphics

The following pictures are available for download. Click on each image to save it and/or print it. If you need assistance with downloading or using these graphics, contact Leslie Mixson in the diocesan office, 888/210-824-5387 or leslie.mixson@dwtx.org.

Airforce emblem
Air Force Emblem
Army emblem
Army Emblem
US Coast Guard emblem
Coast Guard Emblem
Marine corps emblem
Marine Corps Emblem
Seal navy emblem
Navy Emblem

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