About the Soul Care Initiative
Journeying Together with Our Returning Veterans and Their Families
Why soul care? Maintaining health and wholeness includes a spiritual dimension. Soul care addresses the aspect of well-being that captures a person’s overall spiritual health. The battlefield became a test of the soul as the warrior confronted the horrors of war. Often traumatic experiences, like those experienced in combat, affect the mind, body and soul.
The reality is that there are systems in place to help people with psychological, social, and physical needs. Healing the wounded soul is an underserved component of veteran well-being. JustPeace has launched the Soul Care Initiative in order to journey with veterans and their families by promoting an understanding of spirituality within the context of trauma, moral injury, and ways to speak to a hurting soul.
The mission of the JustPeace Soul Care Initiative is to enable faith-based organizations to receive returning veterans and re-integrate them and their families into the community. Soul Care provides resources and collaborates on the cultivation of spiritual care and resiliency.
- to explore the specific needs of returning veterans and their families, especially the impact of trauma
- to provide awareness and education for communities of faith and faith partners on the challenges returning veterans and their families experience
- to assist faith communities to design ministries and resources to welcome the veteran and family
- to cultivate networks of spiritual care and resiliency among faith communities and faith partners
Chaplain David E. Smith
David is the Soul Care Initiative Coordinator of JustPeace. Before joining the JustPeace staff team, David served as a senior leader in the United States Army Chaplaincy with over 30 years of multi-faceted experience in training, group facilitation, coaching, leadership development, program design and execution. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Divinity Degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, a Master of Science in Television Radio and Film from Syracuse University, and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church. Click here to read more.
The mission of JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation is to prepare and assist United Methodists to engage conflict constructively in ways that strive for justice, reconciliation, resource preservation and restoration of community in the Church and in the world. Click here to visit the JustPeace website.