“Each time I have to stand by the 'Chaplain Corps' table strewn with religious and spiritual information for the National Guard Soldiers I support, I find myself yearning deeply for material that is representative of the open, diverse, nurturing, affirming and accepting ideas of the UU [Unitarian Universalist] tradition.”
—Second Lieutenant Kelly Cummins, Chaplain Candidate
During World War II, Beacon Press published a pocket-size collection of poems, prayers and hymns reflecting the values of Unitarian Universalism for Armed Service men and women. This handbook was a vital spiritual guide for service members facing unimaginable challenges and choices during a time of great uncertainty.
Today, while our troops serving overseas may be facing very different challenges, they remain in need of comforting and inspiring words that reflect the openness and acceptance that Unitarian Universalist values represent.
First Lieutenant David Pyle, U.S. Army Reserve military chaplain and MOD Minister writes, “In our ministry with the Basic Trainees at the Great Lakes Naval Station, there is a hunger among our recruits for ways that they can identify as Unitarian Universalists (UUs)… If we had such a devotional collection of liberal faith, our recruits could claim UU identity, have the inspiration they need in the difficult time of Basic Training, and take that inspiration with them into the rest of their military career and life.”
In response to this overwhelming need, Skinner House Books has published Bless All Who Serve, a collection of materials that provide encouragement and comfort to Armed Service men and women in their times of need. Thanks to the generous support of donors, over 20,000 free copies of Bless All Who Serve have been distributed to service members including those in the National Guard and the Reserves, military chaplains and military chapels at home and aboard.
You, too, can help our service members with a generous donation to expand the reach of these cherished spiritual guides. A donation of just $12.50 will provide one of these guides for free to a member of our Armed Services.
Each copy can reach a service member in need. Here are just some examples of the impact Bless All Who Serve is already having in the military community:
"Bless All Who Serve serves as a constant reminder to me that there is a place for my faith in the work I do, and there are very sympathetic people all around. I don't feel so alone. Thank you so much for sending Bless All Who Serve, and being the religion that can give me the spiritual home I need, even while away".— Private First Class Nadya Hand
“Early in my career, there was nothing that I could immediately grab hold of that would give people an opportunity to see what my faith was all about. Here we have something for a body of people—not just UUs, but also many I have talked to in their service who are inquisitive about UUism—this guidebook [Bless All Who Serve] definitely fits that need. When you're looking for collective thoughts that take you on your own spiritual journey, or for others who have a defined faith but need a more open guide for spirituality...[Bless All Who Serve] fills those needs, and elevates our faith."—Retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vincent W. Patton III
You can help support this work by mailing a check, calling us, or making a gift of stock.
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This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.
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First Lieutenant Chris Antal, a chaplain candidate with the Army National Guard, shares a story about his work with veterans, servicemembers and military families.
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The Rev. Rebekah Montgomery (Photo: Staff Sgt. S. Patrick McCollum, National Guard Bureau)
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