Working Together in Crisis Response was the theme of the 12th Bi-Annual Interagency Chaplain Conference held at the Memorial Chapel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., June 15, 2018.

"When you talk about holistic healing the physical, spiritual, the mental, you can't forget the spiritual. So what we want to do is keep that alive. People are spiritual in different ways, and that reflects this conference. We have a lot of chaplains from a lot of organizations representing a lot of faiths and faith groups and the one thing they all care about are people," said Chaplain (Col.) Terry Austin, JFHQ-NCR/MDW Command Chaplain. "The main purpose is to stay in touch. In case or when something happens we can respond in a more organized and collaborative way instead of being an individual trying to do a lot of things."

Various military, governmental, non-governmental and civilian chaplains from across the National Capital Region discussed important topics of healing the wounds of the healer. According to organizers of the conference, this year more than 140 registered for the conference. Organizers said the conference is produced by JFHQ-NCR/MDW in collaboration with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

"The spiritual care component is a key support that we want to be able to provide those who have lost their homes due to a disaster. So this a great opportunity to meet with folks who do this day in and day out," said Paul Carden, Regional Disaster Officer, American Red Cross -- National Capital Region who presented at the conference. "We both have a better idea of what our programs are, what we do and when that disaster happens we are all going to be able to work together more effectively and more efficiently so that's why we are here. We have a better understanding of what we each do and what our lane is in a time of a disaster so we are not bumping into each other but gently working together."

In addition to information on the Red Cross, there was also a panel discussion about the various roles Chaplains serve in the NCR and briefing on interagency cooperation during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

The next Interagency Chaplains Conference is scheduled for the fall.