My head is cold. I will tell you why in a moment, but first let me let you all know that the first week of Chaplain School has been fantastic. The opportunities for ministry abound. As many people think that the military ministry is not a real ministry, or that there are no opportunities to be able to make a difference in lives of people, I want to be the first to say NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
The U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps is a small world. There are only 850 active duty chaplains that cover the entire U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy and let's not forget the 2 billets to the Merchant Marine.
There are opportunities to do the following as a chaplain: Preach according to your faith twice a week, lead a Bible study, perform weddings and offer marriage counseling, offer evening prayers, dedicate ships, dedicate babies, conduct at sea burial ceremonies, help those who are suffering and depressed and this is just a small taste of what a chaplain does every single day. It is exhilarating just to think about it!
I learned a few new things this week. First, I wonder how many people knew that when a ship is underway and there is a church service occurring the Christian banner (See Image Below) flies above the national ensign? What an amazing tradition that reflects the fact that God still has a place in our every day world!
Another thing I learned is that we have amazing instructors that care about their troops. I know that this may seem obvious, but I have learned that there are chaplains in the fleet that don't care. The instructors, particularly LCDR Moore, is fantastic and has given briefings that are practical, soul-stirring, hilarious and informative.
The next thing I learned is that this is not ODS! Thankfully, I have a room to myself, full kitchen, two TV's and maid service daily. I'm practically in the Air Force now ;)
Additionally, there are more things to tell about. The chaplains that are with me, though some are different (I think we have a bunch of baptists), all have a call to ministry. It is amazing to see how God has worked in so many individual lives. How He has led people through their own trials and struggles and has brought them to the place that they are in their military career. One of the cool things is that I met another chaplain who went to my high school. LTJG Chad Goddard went to PCS/PCA and is with me! Another blessing is that I was able to meet two other chaplains from that are also endorsed by Conservative Baptists of America. It is such a small world and God constantly reveals himself to me through these little blessings.
Now, the answer to why my head is cold. Gunnery Sergeant Foote wanted us to all have marine hair cuts on Tuesday when we went back to school. Well, I got a marine high and tight. Today it snowed. Lovely, my nice thick hair is no longer isolating my head. Gunnery Sergeant, seems to be a pretty nice individual. We had our first day of PT yesterday and he gave us two choices. Run six miles, or do the Gunny Obstacle Course. We chose the obstacle course. Today, my arms and neck are sore. :(
For those of you who are looking for information about chaplain school, here is the rundown of a schedule.
0730-0800-Daily Devotions with the other chaplains. These daily devotions are wonderful, you get to see how different faiths conduct some of their services. I observed the Eastern Orthodox service the other day and it was very interesting! Not my cup of tea though.
0800-1130-Lecture, "death by PowerPoint"
1300-1630-"death by PowerPoint"
On Monday's, Wednesdays and Friday we have PT lead by the Gunnery Sergeant at 0530.
Well that sums up this week! God bless, see ya next Friday!