By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Derien Luce, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs. This story originally appeared here.
The team from the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center (NCSC) has recently begun a social media outreach for Sailors and their dependents entitled, “Weekly Words of Encouragement.”
The purpose of the program, which began April 3, is to inspire faith and hope in the hearts and lives of people during the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Each week, Capt. Carey Cash, NCSC commanding officer, uploads a video with encouraging words to the NCSC Facebook page. Other chaplains will soon post videos.
“In the midst of continuous changes, Sailors are offered the consistent message of God’s faithfulness and are encouraged to invest in their spiritual lives and the lives of others,” said Cash.
According to Cash, the response to “Weekly Words of Encouragement” has been positive with hundreds of views per week along with an abundance of favorable comments and shares.
“Even as they are not able to worship in base chapels or in-person congregations, Sailors are encouraged and challenged through a good and timely word for the week,” said Cash. “The Weekly Word offers a creative vehicle that points those we serve back to God – our source of strength, hope, and assurance in the midst of life’s storms.”
Cash goes on to say that chaplains serve as bearers of hope.
“Crisis, quarantines, isolation, and uncertainty are the exact places where chaplains can offer real hope,” said Cash. “As one chaplain told me, ‘We get to offer the best possible ministry on what may be another’s worst possible day.'”
To view the “Weekly Words of Encouragement,” visit the NCSC’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NavalChaplaincySchoolCenter/.
Almost 200 chaplains and 200 religious program specialists (RPs) graduate from NCSC residence courses each year to deliver professional religious ministry to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Merchant Marine. Another 600 chaplains and 300 RPs receive professional development training annually through mobile training teams.
Chaplains and RPs play a critical role in helping the Department of the Navy achieve and maintain a ready force. Religious ministry and compassionate pastoral care are characterized by conviction, mutual respect, and cooperation within a pluralistic environment. Chaplains and RPs are embedded within commands operating at sea and ashore to ensure 24/7 availability for service members and their families.
For more information on NCSC, visit https://www.public.navy.mil/netc/centers/chaplain.