Christmas Book Sale: The CASE of a NATO CHAPLAINCY MODEL within the BULGARIAN ARMY

December 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Events, Featured, News, Publication, Research

In the past five years since 2011, we have authored over two dozen books related to our ministry and mission work in Eastern Europe. As several of the prints are now almost exhausted and second/third editions and several new titles are under way, we are releasing all currently available editions in a Christmas sale through the month of December. All titles are available at up to 30% off and Amazon offers free shipping and extra savings for bundle purchases.

Our book available on sale today is:

THE CASE OF A NATO CHAPLAINCY MODEL WITHIN THE BULGARIAN ARMY (Submitted to the Manfred Wörner Foundation)

chaplaincy-in-bulgariaIn April 2004, Bulgaria was officially accepted into the global structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The event followed a long series of historic developments that were accomplished despite the existence of highly antagonistic forces that opposed the very idea of Bulgaria’s membership in any Western alliance. Among these were internal and external political, economical and social factors that historically have forced the country to remain under the influence of the forces opposing the West.

As the country of Bulgaria is now a member of NATO and awaits acceptance into the European Union in 2007, international experts are working with various government institutions and consultant agencies to create an atmosphere in which the Bulgarian mindset can experience a new national revival in the 21st century. NATO’s involvement in this process serves as a catalyst both for reinforcing Bulgaria’s infrastructure and attracting international interest in the country’s affairs. Issues concerning national security, military involvement, international relations, economical development and ethnic diversity are continuously and carefully taken into consideration. However, one issue still remains untouched neither by NATO’s official position in Bulgaria, nor by the Bulgarian government. This is the issue of faith.

Three reasons make such topic of relevant importance. First, Bulgaria claims traditional and historical religious belongingness to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Furthermore, the centuries of religious wars on the Balkans have formed a complete dependency on ethnic religiosity, making faith the prime factor for animosity, hatred and genocide. Finally, the issue of morale and morality in the armed forces remains open for any military unit and will need to be addressed sooner or later in the context of NATO’s presence in Bulgaria.

This research will show how the above issues could be resolved by the presence of a NATO paradigm for chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The paper will explore the current developments of chaplaincy in Bulgaria on three levels: church, society and government. It will then present the case of “underground chaplaincy” in Bulgaria and provide an appropriate solution to be implemented through the newly established Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association. The conclusion will outline the benefits that can be achieved by a partnership between local NATO representatives and the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association who combine efforts to restore the spirituality within the Bulgarian Army through the legalization of chaplaincy ministry within its structures.

Also important [click to read]:

Chronology of our role and involvement in developing Church of God chaplaincy in Bulgaria since 2001

History of Events
05/12 Anticipated Date for Graduation of the First Cohort of Master’s Program of Chaplaincy Ministry in Bulgaria

2011
09/11 – Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program Module 3: Counceling Completed
07/11 – Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program Module 2: Theology Completed
03/11 – Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program approved by the Educational Committee of the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute
01/11 – Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program Continues

2010
10/10 – Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program Module 1: Chaplaincy Completed
09/10 Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program begins in Sofia, Bulgaria
06/10 Chaplaincy Conference and Master’s of Chaplaincy for Bulgaria
01/10 Proposal masters program finalized and submitted for approval to the Educational Committee of the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute

2009
10/09 Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association holds an introductory chaplaincy course in Yambol, Bulgaria

2008
12/08 Family Seminar for Military Men and Women held in Yambol
11/08 Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association Annual Meeting
09/08 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Associations noted in Church of God publications
06/08 – The Case of a NATO Chaplaincy Model within the Bulgarian Army released
06/08 – Celebrating 10 Years of Military Ministry in Bulgaria

2007
10/07 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Associations Recognized by U.S. Department of State
07/07 – National Chaplaincy Conference in Yambol, Bulgaria
03/07 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association was officially registered
02/07 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association gains legal status
01/07 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Assassination noted by international religious freedom watch dog Forum 18

2006
12/06 – Registration Rejected Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association by Bulgarian court
11/06 – A master program in chaplaincy ministry has been proposed for the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute in Sofia
10/06 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association Founder’s Meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria
10/06 – A contextualized course for chaplaincy ministry is offered at the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute in Sofia
08/06 – Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association’s Resolution No. 1 sets course toward chaplaincy in churches, education and government institutions
07/06 – National Chaplaincy Meeting in Yambol, Bulgaria
06/06 – Meeting with NATO Chaplains
05/06 – Cup & Cross Ministries submitted a research paper to NATO’s Manfred Wörner Foundation dealing with the case of underground chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Armed Forces
03/06 – A contextualized course for chaplaincy ministry was offered in Veliko Turnovo
02/06 – www.kapelanstvo.com was released to serve as the official website of the chaplaincy movement in Bulgaria

2005
10/05 – A national training seminar held in Veliko Turnovo
10/05 – The Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association was presented before the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance
09/05 – Regional meeting in Nova Zagora which addressed the current issues
08/05 – A regional chaplaincy meeting in Sliven
07/05 – Publication of camouflage New Testaments and Bibles, some of which we distributed to Bulgarian army personal including the divisions currently serving in Iraq

2004-2001

Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association: Integration Proposal with Local NATO Programs

June 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News, Publication, Research

NATO chaplaincy

chaplaincy-in-bulgariaBulgarian Chaplaincy Association: Celebrating a Decade of Ministry

We are proud to announce that the Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program, we designed and launched in Bulgaria in 2006, has been selected to be part of the Social Service Program of New Bulgarian University. After being for years a valuable part of the regular curriculum of the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute and the St. Trivelius Institute in the capital Sofia, the chaplaincy program has received the highest level of recognition as successful graduates will be finally able to receive government recognized degrees and apply their knowledge and training in chaplaincy on a professional level. The chaplaincy program can also serve within the Integration Proposal of local NATO programs and be instrumental in dealing with the enormous wave of Middle East migrants crossing through Bulgaria today.

Although the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association emerges from and ministers within the Bulgarian cultural context, it is designed for integral cooperation with organizations of various origins. This advantage comes from the experience of previous working relationships that the organizations represented within the Association have had with other non-Bulgarian organizations. The vision, structure and operation of the Association incorporate and comply with western styles of chaplaincy work on three levels (1) cultural, (2) educational and (3) governmental.

The cultural heritage of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association represents a valuable environment for integration of NATO forces within the local cultural setting. On a cultural level, various events and activities such as English speaking church services, fellowship of soldiers with local communities, hospitals, orphanages and other cultural experiences are available. Humanitarian aid projects are among the most efficient manner for integration within the local community.

On an educational level, there are possibilities on both sides. For example, Bulgarian language courses for the soldiers and English language courses for the local community could be implemented. The most important element within the education strategy perhaps may be education of chaplaincy workers, especially in the current context when Bulgaria is in a need of trained crisis counselors for cases of floods and other natural disasters. Finally, local and national government relations will assist in the change of the status of chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Army. Such an approach will have positive political implications, as chaplaincy becomes a mediator between the army, church and government.

The presented proposal integrates religious moral issues along with socio-political principles in the idea for chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Army. The implications of these principles project involvement of local NATO units in partnership with local Bulgarian organizations. In the case of chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Army, the proposed organization is the newly established Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association. Although political, social and economical issues remain in the scope of its work, the Association’s main priority is the renewal of spirituality within the army structure through cutting-edge chaplaincy ministry beyond the ecclesial gates into a world of war and insecurity. The Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association acts as an agent of spiritual restoration targeting morality within the Bulgarian Army with the Bulgarian chaplain as the key element in this process. For an army without spirituality is no army at all.

Also important [click to read]:

THE CASE OF A NATO CHAPLAINCY MODEL WITHIN THE BULGARIAN ARMY (Submitted to the Manfred Wörner Foundation)

June 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Books, Featured, News, Publication

special force chaplain

chaplaincy-in-bulgariaWe are proud to announce that the Master’s of Chaplaincy Ministry Program, we designed and launched in Bulgaria in 2006, has been selected to be part of the Social Service Program of New Bulgarian University. After being for years a valuable part of the regular curriculum of the Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute and the St. Trivelius Institute in the capital Sofia, the chaplaincy program has received the highest level of recognition as successful graduates will be finally able to receive government recognized degrees and apply their knowledge and training in chaplaincy on a professional level. The chaplaincy program can also serve within the Integration Proposal of local NATO programs and be instrumental in dealing with the enormous wave of Middle East migrants crossing through Bulgaria today.

In April 2004, Bulgaria was officially accepted into the global structure of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The event followed a long series of historic developments that were accomplished despite the existence of highly antagonistic forces that opposed the very idea of Bulgaria’s membership in any Western alliance. Among these were internal and external political, economical and social factors that historically have forced the country to remain under the influence of the forces opposing the West.

As the country of Bulgaria is now a member of NATO and awaits acceptance into the European Union in 2007, international experts are working with various government institutions and consultant agencies to create an atmosphere in which the Bulgarian mindset can experience a new national revival in the 21st century. NATO’s involvement in this process serves as a catalyst both for reinforcing Bulgaria’s infrastructure and attracting international interest in the country’s affairs. Issues concerning national security, military involvement, international relations, economical development and ethnic diversity are continuously and carefully taken into consideration. However, one issue still remains untouched neither by NATO’s official position in Bulgaria, nor by the Bulgarian government. This is the issue of faith.

Three reasons make such topic of relevant importance. First, Bulgaria claims traditional and historical religious belongingness to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Furthermore, the centuries of religious wars on the Balkans have formed a complete dependency on ethnic religiosity, making faith the prime factor for animosity, hatred and genocide. Finally, the issue of morale and morality in the armed forces remains open for any military unit and will need to be addressed sooner or later in the context of NATO’s presence in Bulgaria.

This research will show how the above issues could be resolved by the presence of a NATO paradigm for chaplaincy within the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The paper will explore the current developments of chaplaincy in Bulgaria on three levels: church, society and government. It will then present the case of “underground chaplaincy” in Bulgaria and provide an appropriate solution to be implemented through the newly established Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association. The conclusion will outline the benefits that can be achieved by a partnership between local NATO representatives and the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association who combine efforts to restore the spirituality within the Bulgarian Army through the legalization of chaplaincy ministry within its structures.

Also important [click to read]:

NATO begins largest airborne training exercise since Cold War in Bulgaria

August 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

nato-swift-response-2015-exercise-photo-us-army-europeNato begins an airborne training exercise on August 24 in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy and Romania, the largest such combined airborne training on the continent since the end of the Cold War.

As part of Exercise Swift Response 2015, which is being held from August 20 to September 13, Bulgaria is hosting a simulation of an airborne assault with paratroopers and landing of equipment. This is to take place around the Tenevo and Balchik airfields and at the Novo Selo training ground in Bulgaria. About 400 military personnel from the US, Italy and Bulgaria will be involved, using 12 C-130 aircraft, and 12 helicopters.

Bulgaria’s Defence Ministry said that south of Yambol, near the villages of Tenevo and Karavelovo and near Balchik municipality, there would be night flights at various heights. It was possible that residents would be bothered by the noise of the aircraft, the ministry said.

The US Army Europe said that Swift Response 2015 was designed to integrate multiple Allied nations’ high-readiness forces to operate as a cohesive team and demonstrate the Alliance’s capacity to rapidly deploy and operate in support of maintaining a strong and secure Europe.

The exercise is taking place in Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Italy; and includes more than 4800 Soldiers from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Swift Response 15 will include simultaneous airborne joint forced entries in to Germany’s Hohenfels Training Area and Bulgaria’s Novo Selo Training Area with follow-on training at both locations. The exercise will conclude in early September with multinational platoon and company live fire at the Grafenwöhr Training Area.

The US contingent will be led by headquarters elements from the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps and the 4th Infantry Division Mission Command Element, and will include the Europe-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, and the US-based 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.

Swift Response 15 marks the first time the 82nd Airborne Division has operated in Europe since supporting NATO operations in Kosovo in 1999. The 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne will assume responsibilities as the Army’s Global Response Force (GRF) from the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne at the end of the year, with the mission of being able to deploy anywhere in the world within 96 hours of notification.

The Guardian: US to deploy marine unit in Bulgaria

July 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, News

1000Troops with tanks, armored vehicles and artillery to be in place by September to help counter European concerns about Russia’s involvement in Ukraine

A Marine Corps unit equipped with tanks, light armored vehicles and artillery will be sent to Bulgaria in September as part of US efforts to reassure Nato allies worried by Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Brig Gen Norman Cooling, the deputy commander of the US marines in Europe and Africa, said on Thursday that 155 troops equipped with four Abrams battle tanks, six light armored vehicles and three howitzers were scheduled to be deployed at the Novo Selo training area by early September. He spoke as NATO defense ministers met in Brussels.

“It’s certainly our intent to convince the Russians and Mr Putin to refrain from aggression and return to the community of peaceful nations,” Cooling said.

The US defense secretary, Ash Carter, said this week that more US military equipment would be positioned in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Germany as NATO seeks to bolster its forces in eastern Europe. Cooling said that in addition to being a deterrent, the unit would train with Bulgarian, Romanian and other troops over the next 18 months to improve US forces’ ability to operate with counterparts using different equipment and methods. “Ideally this culminates with integrated exercises, with units from more and more allied nations that are able to call for fire from one another’s artillery, our tanks maneuver in support of their infantry units, and vice versa,” he said.

Read more about Chaplaincy in Bulgaria and the proposal of the Bulgarian Chaplaincy Association to reestablish chaplaincy in the Bulgarian as submitted to NATO’s Manfred Wörner Foundation in 2006

NATO Top General “Pleased” with Bulgarian Military Bases

January 30, 2005 by  
Filed under News

nato20summit1NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and commander of American troops in Europe General James Jones has been impressed by the qualities of the Bulgarian bases and infrastructure offered to the US troops, reads a letter, addressed to the Bulgarian Chief of Army Staff General Nikola Kolev.

General Jones also says he is ready to present and to uphold the US’ use of the bases before the competent authorities in Washington, the Bulgarian Defense Ministry press center informed Tuesday. On Friday the Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov has announced that the US troops are to deploy to three new bases in Bulgaria. Negotiations are nearing the finish line and are expected to be wrapped up in March, Minister Svinarov has said.

Last month NATO’s General James Jones made a trip to Bulgaria and Romania, where the US were to choose from four of five locations for the prospective military sites in each country. The facilities are to be used by Army, Air Force, Navy or Marine units.

NATO Top Commander Eyes Bulgarian Contenders US Bases

January 10, 2005 by  
Filed under News

photo_verybig_1020931US Airbase to be Built in the Village of Bezmer in the Yambol Region

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and commander of American troops in Europe, General James Jones, arrived in Bulgaria for a two-day visit to Bulgaria. at the invitation of the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Nikola Kolev. The future stationing of US bases in the Balkan country toped the agenda of General Jones, who visit ed eligible units and sites on the territory of the country, including the firing field at Novo Selo and the air base at Bezmer in the Yambol region.

Bulgaria, Romania and Poland are favorite destinations for hosting US bases. At the end of 2003 Bulgaria’s Parliament expressed support for the future stationing of US bases in the Balkan country. The Black Sea port of Bulgaria, which became a full-fledged NATO member in April last year, has already been used by the US army during the Iraq war.
General Jones last visited Bulgaria a year ago when he highly assessed the reforms in Bulgaria’s army as well as the work of the Balkan country’s military forces participating in NATO peacekeeping missions.