The Post Chapel has recently experienced a sudden increase in Sunday service and weekday programs attendance.
Post Chaplain, Lt. Col. Bradley West said the sudden influx is what can be expected in the field of religious support, however, he said the influx may also be attributed to several outreach efforts that West said he and his staff have been doing in the local community.
“My staff and I just go out there and talk to folks. We try and spread the word,” West said.
West said the influx has also brought in a diversity of forces. Since the increase, West said he has seen a lot more Air Force and Navy Families in regular attendance.
“We’ve been seeing an increase in our worship services and more of a diversification,” he said.
Frontline, a weekday discussion group, is one of the groups that has experienced growth in attendance. The group meets to discuss several religious, leadership and professional issues. The group gets together to try and find ways to better understand processes and procedures through their faith. WSMR Post Chapel NCOIC Staff Sgt. Sean McCormick said the group is currently discussing how faith influences leadership through the freedom of religion act.
“It’s a vast subject matter and the program is open to anybody,” McCormick said.
The group, which was started almost a year ago by Garrison Commander Col. Brian Michelson, meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The group in attendance has grown from a handful of people to an average of 20 individuals.
This month’s session was held Feb. 11. Ellis Easterly, who has a doctorate in biblical languages and has been volunteering with the Chapel for three years, led the discussion. The next Frontline is scheduled for March 11.
The event is open to everyone. Lunch is provided during the event. McCormick recommended that those that are interested sign up for the class ahead of time. Individuals can sign up over the phone, through e-mail, or in person.
“If anyone has a burning issue, they can lead the discussion,” West said.
Financial Peace University is another program that has grown from six people to over 25 people. The program follows a nine-week financial stewardship program kit developed by popular American Financial author, Dave Ramsey. The Chapel offers this service free of charge. Currently, the group is in its third week of the nine-week program. The program has been held three other times before and West said there are enough kits available to hold a fifth session once this session is over.
“They’re motivating each other. The group dynamic is very powerful,” West said.
He said he believes this program has grown so much because of word of mouth and the power a group environment can have in helping an individual succeed.
“It’s just an excellent program that’s more group centered,” West said. “It’s much more interactive than just an online course.”