October 1, 2018
Greetings Fellow Jaycees,
If you are reading this and wondering, who is this guy? I will say that is a fair question. State President Les Vannasdall appointed me as Chaplain for the Missouri Jaycees for the year 2018. My most recent official duty was the invocations for the last Winter Banquet and business meeting. Since then, I’ve been busy.
In late May of this year I went to Seattle, Washington to attend the annual training of Foursquare Disaster Relief Chaplains. In that training I learned about what we will face as a nation in the areas of natural disaster relief, family support, critical incident stress management, and group crisis intervention. All of these skills to be applied to my role in my city and my state.
The goal for 2018 was to be available to every chapter offering support and encouragement in areas including personal leadership development, relationship building, as well as mental and emotional health within the membership of each club. I am writing to share what I have found to be a unique opportunity before us. The opportunity to build on the momentum of the Millennial movement while sharing the hard work and values of Generation X. The opportunity to offer acceptance, support, and belonging to prospective members in an American culture that continues to grow more isolated with each passing year.
Every young person is looking for truth and acceptance. We are each of us programmed in our DNA to connect and belong. During my time in South Korea, I learned that in their eastern culture; “You have no identity in life unless you belong to a group.” Whether your group was a church, business, school, family, your identity was found in the group you belonged. As a hospital chaplain in Hannibal, I have seen many patients receive gifts and well wishes to those they care about simply because they belong. We can offer that sense of belonging in our clubs as we serve humanity together.
The Jaycees place value on every human life, and those values are enshrined in the Jaycee Creed. This letter is a call to action. To find our first love in the Jaycee culture beyond our events or parties. I am calling our chapters to return to our founding love for humanity and faith. To support each of our members in our daily lives offering acceptance and support freely. It is what we all need.
I have included in this letter three resources for you to order in the areas of business, time management and maintaining healthy relationships. I hope you will take advantage of them and order them online so we can all grow together.
Finally, I want to remind you that I am making myself available to visit your chapter and wish help in any way that is within my capacity.
John Paul Tomko, Chaplain