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We have a transition to announce here at the Office of the Bishop. Deacon Brian Wright will be resigning as Missioner for Veterans’ Ministry in the Diocese of Olympia, effective immediately. We are all incredibly grateful to Deacon Wright for his years of service and ministry to veterans and to the Diocese.

Brian served as the Missioner for Veterans’ Ministry for the past six and a half years, receiving requests for financial assistance from a few veterans each year who were in financial need and discovered the Veterans Ministry through our diocesan website. While he initially attempted to assist churches in engaging with veterans, during his time as missioner, he found that there were organizations better suited to serving veterans – specifically the American Legion, the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), and Disabled American Vets.

After meeting with the Senior Chaplain at the Puget Sound VA Hospital, Brian learned that roughly 70% of those who had served in the military and declared themselves to be Christian when they entered would lose their faith as a result of what they witnessed and vowed to never again to enter a Christian church. Those who did retain their faith would leave the military and pick up where they left off by joining a church and being fully active in its ministries. In his opinion, should the Episcopal church want to actively minister to those who are presently “unchurched,” it would need to provide them with a safe space to gather, relax, and share their stories, creating an open space like a retreat center or a bar or a café that they could drop into whenever they needed it.

Since this is an expense that most churches can’t afford, Brian suggested that the most affordable way for a congregation to engage with those in the military or veterans would be to partner with military chaplains (for example, Joint Base Lewis-McChord or Naval Air Station Whidbey Island) to find ways to assist them and potentially minister to those who leave as vets.

Please join us in wishing all the best to Brian in his retirement.

Staff Transitions

2 thoughts on “Staff Transitions

  • August 11, 2023 at 10:41 pm

    Dear Brian, I appreciated your presence among us at St. Hilda St. Patrick. It was my first experience of being in a congregation with a deacon. You modeled well the professional teamwork and incorporated the people into that team. When you left us, I assumed it was to an already well-established ministry. It seems that was not the case, but you made a good effort. Your suggestion that evangelism among veterans who have left the church behind is much the same as the evangelism we should be directing to everyone in this part of the world. I think that is a prophetic word. Let the Church say, Amen!

  • August 13, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    Deacon Brian also was the leader and one of the founders of the Task Force on Homelessness. That Task Force is now a commission under the leadership of Deacon Jeffrey Boyce.


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