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Gateway to Hope

By July 15, 2015No Comments


Soul Repair Center

On September 22, 2015, in Columbia, Missouri we will gather with special urgency to publicly recognize and address what has become a dramatic crisis for combat veterans who have returned from recent deployments and are presently experiencing more deaths off the battlefield than on it. Those deaths after deployment are often the result of suicide and other related self-destructive behaviors. They may have come back from the wars we have sent them to but they have not come all the way home. The loss of them to their families and our whole society is incalculable. In our Gateway to Hope daylong workshop, we will speak to this phenomenon and the reasons behind it, and suggest ways to move forward.

There are countless aspects that contribute to the problems of military personnel who have not returned all the way home. Neurological/psychological damage has occurred as the result of trauma, which has most recently been renamed as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A social disconnect has grown between military personnel and the society at large, a public with no real experience of war or its effects. Symptoms of that brokenness manifest in unemployment, familial dissolution, substance abuse, and homelessness.

Out of all this, one central aspect has been neglected and that is the inner wounding of the soul. This unattended wounding, one which includes what has been described as “moral injury,” has a pervasive and destructive effect on every aspect of the veteran’s life. Dr. Rita Brock from the Soul Repair Center of Brite Divinity School, author of the book by the same name, Soul Repair, will be our featured speaker and presenter.

Our Gateway to Hope workshop is intended for church communities and everyone concerned about these issues, and for military personnel, veterans, their families, and those who work with and on behalf of them. Participants will learn about moral injury and explore pathways through which we may create safe communities of healing support for returning military personnel who suffer with inner wounds. We will consider strategies to reintegrate them into the civilian world, never leaving them to suffer invisibly and in silence.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D. is Research Professor of Theology and Culture and Founding Director of The Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, which is dedicated to recovery from moral injury, especially for veterans of war. The daughter of a veteran of Korea and the stepdaughter of a veteran of World War II and Vietnam, Dr. Brock was raised in a military family. She was a professor for 18 years before becoming Director of a think tank for distinguished scholars at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. From 2001-2002, she was a fellow at the Harvard Divinity School Center for Values in Public Life. An internationally distinguished lecturer and award-winning author, her most recent books are Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire, co-authored with Rebecca Parker, and Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury After War, co-authored with Gabriella Lettini.


8:30 Registration
9:00 Welcome and Introductions
A Soldier’s Story – Robert Canine and David Hammer
9:30 Conscience and Moral Injury – Dr. Brock
10:45 Break
11:00 Conscience and Moral Injury , cont. – Dr. Brock

12:00 Lunch
12:20 Creating a Welcoming Community
– CH (Col) Gary Gilmore
1:00 Interactive Panel
Moderated by Rev. Tim Carson, Broadway Christian Church
David Hammer CH (COL) Gary Gilmore
Krystl Stroker Al Plapp
2:00 Break
2:15 Recovery from Moral Injury and the Importance of
Communities – Dr. Brock
3:15 Question and Answer
4:00 Closure


Online Registration:  click here

Printable Registration Form:  click here