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The role of a DAV chaplain.

ADAV chaplain provides for the nurture and practice of religious beliefs, traditions and customs in a pluralistic environment to accommodate the religious lives of our veterans and their families--regardless of whether you agree with a said belief. Also, a DAV chaplain will serve on a department or chapter executive committee, advising the commander and personal staff on matters of religion, morals and morale.

If you are a DAV chaplain, you are part of a nonsectarian organization that accepts all faiths. You do not just represent your faith at the department or chapter levels. You represent all faiths as the organization's spiritual leader. It is important that you respect others' beliefs as you would have them respect yours. Not everyone removes their headgear when praying. Hats are worn in many religions (for example, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism) as a demonstration of respect to God, as well as to showcase believers' commitment to their faith and cultural identity.

It is not necessary to know all of the different religious entities within the organization. What is important is knowing whom to contact in the event veterans or their families reach out to you for guidance or direction.

When the title "chaplain" is given you, many members assume you're a spiritual leader of sorts. You do not have to be ordained or certified, and you don't have to be a religious expert; you just have to care. It is also important that individuals who are considered for such a position are well versed with the DAV mission and understand their role as such.

The DAV chaplain position is not a springboard to share your faith. However, by caring, there may arise an opportunity where you are asked to do so. Members and their families respond to your caring attitude, not to your theological expertise.

Religious belief has been linked to a variety of positive mental and physical health outcomes, and private religious practice is a constitutional right for all in our country. As a DAV chaplain, it is important you balance your abilities in caring, sharing knowledge and wisdom, and giving direction or guidance when asked to do so. A DAV chaplain's responsibility is to help the DAV family continue to grow and be strong.

In His Service to You.



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Title Annotation:REFLECTIONS
Author:Dover, Michael P.
Publication:DAV Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2019
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