Yesterday, seven US Marine Recruits from San Diego joined our Sunday School in Austin TX – thanks to laptops, web cameras, wifi and Skype. Steve W, a retired Navy pilot and English High School teacher, fielded questions from the recruits about God, spirituality, healing and sexuality. The feedback from both sides afterwards was that the hour long class was a huge success. The recruits took away several key spiritual ideas that will help them during their demanding physical and emotional training.
So how did this come to be, you might ask? Carolyn S. is a local Christian Science Practitioner who for the past 5 years has joined other faith-based volunteers and chaplains in providing religious services and spiritual support to the MCRD-SD recruits for 3 hours each Sunday morning. Carolyn contacted us several weeks ago because our church worship services are being teleconferenced with easy Skype access AND we are in a time zone that matches the early morning Sunday free time when the recruits are encouraged to reach out and learn about different faiths.
We talked about different ways that we could support the recruits and their interest in spirituality and healing. The first venture occurred two weeks ago when we arranged for Carolyn and the recruits to Skype into our Sunday worship service at 11am CST (9am PST). We were fortunate to have Chris C., a recently retired US Army Chaplain, join us in person at the Austin church. Chris video-chatted via Skype with the recruits, making introductions before the church service and answering questions afterwards. This initial dialogue led to yesterday’s Sunday School class in which the recruits, most of whom are 17-19 year olds, participated in a Q&A discussion format.
Carolyn later emailed feedback, “…The fact that they are responsible for their decisions in the most challenging situations is amazing. But then they are made in the image and likeness of God and have all that God knows at hand (omni-Science) – so all is well! The point of needing to lift the weakest member for the good of all was especially relative. [After Sunday School] we continued to consider how to apply the Science Jesus demonstrated – one Recruit shared how that has worked in his platoon. He has been “healing” that challenge over the past few weeks.”
It seems fitting that this experience is being written today, Memorial Day, a national day of remembrance for those who have sacrificed so much for the ideals of freedom and sovereignty. Here is a link to an article published on www.Spirituality.com on topic for today, “Remembering our Heroes”.