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Warrior & Rescuer Spirituality

First responders are initiated into the suffering of others on a daily basis, while encountering dangerous situations that often require risking their lives for others. It is not typical for their agencies, or our faith traditions, to provide adequate training or resources that support their spirituality, wellness and resiliency throughout a career. Unfortunately, burnout, depression, PTSD, divorce, substance abuse, stress related health issues and even suicide is all too common. 


Funding this project will enable first responders and veterans to get free training in various activities that can improve their wellness and resiliency, as well as provide small group fellowship, and then socializing with some steaks in a sacred community of others who understand their unique job experiences. These activities may include martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts. Fitness activities may include Crossfit workouts, powerlifting, or Olympic lifting workshops. Or opportunities to try different styles of yoga and meditation, along with art, writing practices, and other outlets that can also become spiritual practices and forms of prayer. This ministry will facilitate experiential learning of positive coping skills that allow first responders to grow and deepen their lives through the adversity they face rather, than experience breakdown. 


This project will also support a contemplative prayer group for first responders and veterans, including spiritual practices from the contemplative Christian tradition, along with way of council sharing in a confidential setting. These practices may include centering prayer, Lectio Divina, different Christian meditation practices, the Ignatian Examen, and others. Spiritual direction will also be available to all first responders and veterans who participate.


Finally, this project will help provide for further growth in areas related to serving our first responders and veterans more effectively. This may include attending training, seminars, retreats, or conferences related to the needs of first responders, chaplaincy, peer support, spiritual direction, or other wellness and resiliency related activities mentioned above. 


Exercise and other physical activities are attractive to these professions with a plethora of benefits that will help them on and off the job, in addition to creating a sweat bond that can lay the foundation for sharing afterwards. Community, sharing one’s story, engaging one’s faith and contemplative spiritual practices are all known to foster healing as well as build resiliency. I feel like this kind of ministry to support our first responders is long overdue.


To contact Matt about his ministry, email

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