This free service is available for former defence force men and women and their families in the hope of enhancing their personal healing, health and spiritual wellbeing. This ministry is open to all who have experienced military life, whether engaged in active service or not. We can provide hospitality, home visiting, counselling, contemplative quiet days, de-stressing techniques, retreats, contemplative worship, creative arts and other activities that may emerge from this experience. More about the Veterans Chaplaincy Service.
Where did this ministry begin?
Our Veterans Well-being & Support Ministry at CMN has its genesis in the St. George’s East St. Kilda Annual Memorial Service that has been conducted in memory of Chaplain Andrew Gillison for over 85 years. Andrew died from wounds received on the battlefield at Gallipoli in 1915. This moving service has had much to teach us, however, I wish to highlight just two critical matters.
First, when war is declared ended by our governing powers, it is often just beginning for returning soldiers and their families. The trauma of war is the pain that stays and may even be passed on to future generations. Secondly, physical wounds tend to heal fairly well given time, allowing of course for some ongoing discomfort and adjustment. Wounds of the soul, however, are a much more complex matter. It has taken a long time for us to acknowledge this reality. From terms like ‘shell-shock’ or even simply ‘bad nerves’ we are now able to speak of the unseen wounds of war as a ‘spiritual emergency’. The soul is our inner life, the engine room that drives us, the essence of who we really are in the creator. The dehumanising and abnormal environment of war is highly toxic to the soul of many. When the sensitivities of the soul are battered, bruised, and de-stabilised by horror, as with the physical body, functioning normally can be most difficult and anxiety ridden when returning to a society that does not understand this.
So, in our ministry to veterans and their families, we extend the hand of faith, hope, and love believing in God’s healing power. The word ‘psychotherapy’ is made up of the two Greek words ‘psyche’ and ‘therapy’ and their literal meaning is ‘soul healing’. As we rekindle this great tradition we pray that our various offerings to veterans and their loved ones will help restore whatever was taken from them in their service on our behalf.
Songs for Remembrance and Peace Download here
Here are songs from a Veterans and families story and song writing project, written by singer and songwriter Fay White. These songs are suitable for remembrance services, Veterans get-togethers and reunions, and other occasions for reflection on war service and peace.
The words to these songs may be reproduced in any media, with an acknowledgement of the song-writer’s name and the Creative Ministries Network.
The Barry Pearce Peace Memorial Lecture
The Barry Pearce Memorial Lecture has been established by the Creative Ministries Network Board to remember, honour and contribute to Barry’s legacy to Veterans Faith and Wellbeing Support, to the CMN Board and to the wider veterans’ community and their families.
Annual Remembrance Eve Dinner for Veterans
The annual 2013 remembrance dinner for veterans, spouses and supporters, will be on Sunday November 10th. More details to follow.
Resources for Anzac and Other Remembrance Services
Annual “Healing the Wounds of War” service at St. George’s East St. Kilda Uniting Church.