Monday, September 15, 2008

I Carry a Weapon to Church!

I know this might not seem as odd for those of you from the South; but at the church I attend here, we are required to carry our individual weapons everywhere we go, even our place of worship.Each battalion/squadron in the Army is assigned a Chaplain. He or she serves the many purposes that a normal pastor/priest/minister would in the civilian world, albeit with a little more uncertain environment. However, these individuals are not allowed to carry a weapon, and are assigned a Chaplain's Assistant, who is responsible for their well being on the battlefield.The service that I regularly attend on Sunday mornings is held at the "Engineer's Chapel." Four of the Five Chaplain's that participate are attached to an Engineer Brigade here on Liberty, while the fifth is one of my Chaplain's. As previously stated, being a Forward Support Company means you essentially answer to two different bosses, one being the battalion/squadron you support and the other the battalion to which you are assigned. The Chaplain for the Brigade Support Battalion, to which I am assigned, is a regular at this service.
Although I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, I wouldn't technically consider myself one anymore. Leslie and I have been members of a non-denominational church for the past 5 years now and this service is more catered to that style of worship than the more traditional one I grew up attending. Many of you may be familiar with the "Contemporary" terminology, as this service uses contemporary music; however, there are still some traditional components intertwined. First, we start off with one or two gospel songs (which is somewhat foreign to me) followed up by a time of praise and prayer requests. We return to worship music with a few contemporary songs, then proceed with the Sermon, delivered by any one of the five Chaplains. We conclude with the Lord's Supper and a hymn to close out our time together.
As you can see, this is a very diverse service; yet, it maintains the centerpiece of our fellowship, glorifying and honoring our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Although I wish there were more people attending, we usually get a solid crowd and I have developed a few closer relationships along the way. I am very thankful for this time of worship; however, it always makes me miss my wife and our home church even more. Chad, I hope you're still saving us a seat for when we return!
Take care and God Bless.


[w] said...

ok, that's one of the funniest titles I've hear. LOL love it bro!!

-- wade

Chad Sparks said...

We're saving your seat. Just leave your gun (oops, I mean "weapon"). Then again, there is a church here in Knoxville which actually voted to have at least one armed usher in each service. I'm not kidding. I think it is in response to the nut who came in the Unitarian/Universalist church and shot some innocent people. I don't know if you heard about this. It was tragic.

We miss you Jesse! I'm glad you are getting to worship, and I'm glad that many others are too! I've gotten different reports from guys concerning the spiritual thirst of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that's one of the reasons God has placed you there. To bring fame to him.

I'm praying for you!!


Anonymous said...

You dont know me but I go to Providence and linked to your blog from the Providence page. I wanted you to know that I am real thankful for guys like you who are standing for our country. it makes me get tears in my eyes. It sounds like a lot of frustrating things happen that could get a guy down but I know you know how blessed we are for our country. I will pray for you!!! keep the faith and stay strong!!!!!