2017-08-11 / Chaplain's News

Chapel programs can be vital to a smooth PCS

CHAPLAIN’S CORNER
CHAPLAIN (LTC.) KELLY PORTER
35th Signal Brigade (Theater Tactical)

As I prepare to change station from Fort Gordon to Europe I’m more aware of the many families coming and going from our installation.

All are asking the usual questions. When is the commissary open? How do I register the kids for school? When does football start? Where is the best place for a haircut?

A few are asking the harder questions. Where can my children meet good friends? How can we find a neighborhood where we fit in? Who can I call on in an emergency?

Military families are tough and quick to recover from adversity. If a typical military family took one of those quizzes to determine their stress level they would max it out.

They’ve learned two of the sure things in life are everything changes and nothing is guaranteed. And they put up with it. And they thrive.

One of the most impressive traits of military families I’ve noticed is their dogged pursuit of information and ability to quickly connect with others.

For all the new Fort Gordon families let me offer one more resource to help you settle in your new and very temporary home.

The Fort Gordon chapel program can answer all those hard questions. With services for Roman Catholic, various protestant and multiple other faith groups you can truly find a place to call home.

According to a 2016 study by Barna Group, 55 percent of American adults attend a church service regularly, and 83 percent of those attend a church with 500 people or fewer.

So, despite the barrage of daily depressing news at least half of the country turns to a small faith community to keep them going.

When you PCS where can you immediately find such a group who understands your situation? Military chapels are filled with others going through common experiences and who deeply care.

Three recent national studies discovered higher levels of marital happiness, lower levels of parental stress and lower divorce rates among those who attend religious services at least weekly.

Chapels are a place where you can be honest, accepted and supported as well as receive some amazing teaching and training on how relationships work best.

Above all else, chapel is a place where you can meet with God. Chapel is not another social work clinic. What makes relationships work is the God who made us.

Whether you are coming to or going from Fort Gordon this summer find a chapel service where you can get plugged in as part of a loving, growing community and grow in your faith.

The Bible reminds us to do so in Hebrew 10:24-25 which states, “And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

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