New chapel to include merged congregations
Protestant service members fill up the church pews July 31 at Morris Hill Chapel to learn more about merging the protestant congregations when the new chapel in the Forsyth area opens. Photo by: Jessica Healey, POST.
Story by: Jessica Healey
1ST INF. DIV. POST
Protestant congregations from Kapaun and Main Post chapels met July 31 at Morris Hill Chapel for a first combined information meeting and fellowship.
The new chapel, opening in October, will be located near the Forsyth neighborhood and will feature Protestant services that will combine the two congregations.
This meeting and fellowship was the first of its kind and had a turnout of about 170 members and newcomers.
First, members mingled and ate a meal together. Then, they went outside for an icebreaker activity that elicited plenty of laughs. Afterward, everyone went back into the sanctuary to get some information about the upcoming merge, the vision for the new chapel and programs that will be offered at the new chapel.
In addition to giving the Protestant service-goers the opportunity to combine into one large service on Sundays, the new chapel will allow double the amount of programs to be offered outside of the regular church worship services.
The focus will be on offering more programs for young adults and children, said Don Ericson, director, Religious Education.
The youth, for example, will kick off a brand new group and meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at Morris Hill Chapel until the new chapel is operational.
The youth group is for children in grades sixth to 12th. It will give an opportunity for kids to develop community, said Chap. (Capt.) Bill Breckenridge, Warrior Transition Battalion, and Protestant youth leader.
An Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, or AWANA, program will be opening at the new chapel. Along with AWANA, Sunday school for all ages will be offered, too, which is something that has not been possible due to space constraints, Ericson said.
"Our goal is to create the best experience in religious education in the Army. It is my hope that Families coming and going out of Fort Riley will say it will be or has been the best assignment for them spiritually," Ericson said.
Chap. (Lt. Col.) Don Carrothers, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and lead chaplain for Protestant services, said the current stage of the merging process is kind of like the shuttle moving to the launch pad. The ultimate vision is to have a hometown church model, he added.
Starting so many new programs will take many new volunteers. Working with children requires some specific training, and the next available training will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 24 at Morris Hill Chapel. Child care can be provided, if needed. Training is good for up to one year and is transferable from post to post.
The next merged congregation fellowship will be a Family-style picnic after services Sept. 8 at the Main Post Chapel.
For more information or to volunteer, contact Ericson at email@example.com or 785-239-0979.