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Begins: Monday, May 6th, 2019 Ends: Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

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Daily: 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

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Cranaleith Spiritual Center, 13475 Proctor Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116

The Community Healing Ceremony is a service of reconciliation for Veterans and non-Veterans led by VA chaplains, community clergy, and Veterans. The Ceremony provides a space to celebrate Veterans' moral sensitivity and moral seriousness, share the truth of their military experience, and initiate them in a process of transformation we call "patient to prophet." During the Ceremony, Veterans bear witness to the human cost of war and military service while the community listens to, and wrestles with, moral responsibility and civic duty. Sharing painful truths is difficult but necessary to authentically honor Veterans, relieve them of the moral burden many too often carry in isolation and reconcile Veterans both with the society, on whose behalf they were willing to kill and die and with the people who died in war. The Ceremony shifts the focus of the work away from individual therapy or treatment of the Veteran and gives the work of deep remembering and moral reckoning back to the community. The presence of non-Veterans and Veterans together is necessary to advance the work of reconciliation. 

Caution: Veterans will testify at this event to the realities of warfare and military service. Some may be disturbed, unsettled, or even overwhelmed by what they hear. Still, we encourage everyone to attend and stay for the entire Ceremony. VA chaplains and mental health providers are available for support during and after the Ceremony to assist anyone who may need additional care and support. 

About the Moral Injury Group

The Moral Injury Group (MIG) meets for 90 minutes for twelve consecutive weeks. During this time, the chaplain and psychologist who facilitate the MIG educate Veterans with wisdom from psychology (moral emotions, moral disengagement/engagement, post-traumatic growth) as well as spirituality and religion (spiritual disciplines, moral values, community, social ethics). In the process, Veterans explore the moral and spiritual dimension of their military experience and rebuild the moral identity. After the tenth meeting Veterans hold a Community Healing Ceremony in the VA chapel. The intended short-term outcome is better whole health care for Veterans, including moral repair and spiritual development, indicated by greater moral engagement, awareness, compassion, trust, and commitment to live in service to values. The intended long-term outcome is moral and spiritual development of the whole community, including, perhaps, greater integration of Veterans into society, responsible use of the US military, and greater reverence for all life on this fragile earth.