On Saturday 20 September I was honoured to speak at the Men’s Breakfast at St Andrew’s. St Andrews Presbyterian is a marvelous old sandstone church just next door to New Parliament House.
I was invited by the Senior Minister Reverend David Campbell to address one of the regular gatherings of the Church’s men’s fellowship group. Now, there were only a couple of veterans in the group but as always when I get the opportunity to speak at any gathering its not just veterans I am speaking to. Most events usually have three groups. The first are indeed the veterans themselves. Remember to us at Wounded Spirit a veteran is someone who has been member of the Australian Defence Force and served their country even if it is only for one day. The second group are those whose friends and family served and they want to understand more about how they can help them in any struggles they have. The final group have absolutely no experience with Defence but have a great willingness to try and help and are seeking knowledge.
What did I speak about? Well as always, I started with my story about the young soldier who asked the Padre “does God still love me?” Yes, I have told this story a number of times and will continue to use it as it goes right to the heart of the wound spirit challenge. I talked about what a wounded spirit was, why it is important that we help these members of our society and what we can do to help (we’re are all about the tactical and practice help thing as you know!)
I finished with a question. I asked the group to turn around and face the entrance to the church. I asked them what would they do if that young veteran walked through their door right now. What could their faith community to be ready to greet veterans and their families? How will St Andrew’s rise to their mission of providing an “effective witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Presbyterian and Reformed tradition within the ACT and beyond” to veterans?