Commisioning full-time chaplain
by Chuck Cooley
Penticton, B.C. – Rev. Capt. Vic Morris, Pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Penticton, B.C. was Commissioned as a Missionary Chaplain of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) for the Canadian Armed Forces in a Farewell and Godspeed Service June 24. Padre Morris accepted an appointment to the Regular Forces after eight years service as a Reserve Chaplain. He reported for duty at CFB Wainwright (Alberta) the beginning of July. His wife, Tara, and their children Georgia, Sawyer, and Gabriel join him there.
President Don Schiemann of the ABC District officiated at the Commissioning Service. Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, LCC Missions Executive, preached on Luke 1:68-79. He reminded Padre Morris and the congregation of the Christian’s responsibility to faithfully pass on the torch of the Gospel which we have received from the Prophets, from the Reformers, and from faithful people of God of every age who point to “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). It would now be Padre Morris’ privilege, Dr. Neitzel explained, to share the Gospel of Christ with the men and women of the Canadian Forces and their families.
Rev. Morris is one of two Lutherans selected by the Chaplain Branch this year. Earlier, Rev. David Gallas, St.Peter’s Lutheran (New Hamburg, Ontario) was also selected to serve as a Reserve Chaplain for the 4th Royal Canadian Regiment in London, Ontario.
Each year the Chaplain Branch seeks pastors from a variety of faiths to serve as Chaplains. LCC pastors who have a missionary heart, the recommendation of their District President, and the endorsement of the Committee for Missions and Social Ministry Services, are nominated by LCC to the Chaplain Branch. The Chaplain Branch makes its selection based on how well the candidates represent their faith, their ability to work in an ecumenical team environment, and their physical fitness.
Capt. Morris joins our other Regular Force LCC Chaplains: Capt. Gerson Flor, Capt. Jason Kouri and Capt. Harold Ristau.
Current LCC reserve chaplains also include: Capt. Ken Edel, Capt. DJ Kim, Capt. Tom Korcok, Capt. Greg Lutz, Capt Sye VanMaanen, Capt. Neil Otke, and Capt. Paul Williams.
While Canada’s military commitment in Afghanistan is winding down, our Chaplains remain committed to providing Gospel care to the men and women who serve on our behalf both at home and abroad.
Rev. Maj. (rtd) Chuck Cooley is LCC’s Military Liaison and a member of the Committee for Missions and Social Ministry Services.