Hartford Seminary

Tending Moral Injury in Returning Veterans: A Pastoral Imperative

October 29th, 2014 @ 9:00am

Chris Antal photo

This one-day workshop (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) will engage teams of lay leaders and clergy from area faith communities in strategic thinking and strategic planning around our relationship with war, military service and the veteran community.

Two big questions will frame our collaborative inquiry:

What is the pastoral imperative for faith communities to tend to the moral, spiritual and emotional wounds of war and military service?

What is the prophetic imperative for faith communities to serve as a moral compass to the nation with regards to our use of military force?

Through guided facilitation teams will draw from the unique resources of their respective traditions as well as assets in their local communities in order to discern their role and responsibility in restoring soul and society from war, and build a foundation for a ministry responsive to the needs of war-torn America.

Topics for discussion include: moral values, the relationship between moral emotions and moral behavior, moral disengagement and moral injury, the difference between PTSD and moral injury, impact of killing on moral wellness and spiritual wholeness, spiritual disciplines to promote moral wellness and spiritual wholeness, the Christian tradition and military service, the social contract and civil-military relations.

Relevant reading material and several video clips will be provided prior to the workshop, which participants should read or watch prior to the workshop.

The Rev. Chris J. Antal is the Staff Chaplain at Soldier’s Heart, in Troy, New York. He leads workshops that build the capacity of faith communities to address moral injury, foster post-traumatic growth, and promote restorative justice. Prior to that he served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan. Rev. Antal is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, the Association of Professional Chaplains, and the National Association of Veteran’s Affairs Chaplains.

Cost: $100, which includes breakfast and lunch. Proceeds from the workshop will support the non-profit Soldier’s Heart organization, which does outreach to veterans and their families.

Note: This workshop will be held at the Budd Interfaith Building at 60 Lorraine Street, around the corner from the main Seminary building at 77 Sherman St.

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