GULFPORT, Miss. (NNS) -- More than 60 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps chaplains and religious program specialists (RPs) from around the globe attended a Professional Development Training Workshop hosted at the Seabee Memorial Chapel, June 18-21, at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) in Gulfport, Miss.
Rear Adm. Phillip "Endel" Lee, Jr., deputy chief of chaplains for reserve matters with the U.S. Navy Chief of Chaplains Office, noted the main goal of these annual workshops for the Chaplain Corps.
"The primary purpose of these workshops is to incorporate professionalism for our religious ministry teams, both our chaplains and our RPs as they work together, and to expose them to new ideas and concepts for ministering to our service members," said Lee.
While this workshop discussed issues related to professional development in ministry for the military, each year it also covers a new topic the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps would like to address, such as ethics, humanitarian efforts or caring for military family members. This year the topic focused on understanding and delivering religious ministries to 'None's, Done's and Millennials'."
"This year it's about really making sure that we're fine tuning our skills and providing care and religious ministry to the youngest generation coming into the military, as well as none's and done's'," said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Miller, a U.S. Navy chaplain at NCBC Gulfport.
He noted that none's are those who don't necessarily have a religious background or faith identifier, whereas done's are people who previously decided they no longer wanted to associate themselves with certain religious or spiritual aspects.
Miller mentioned that the Chaplain Corps wants to be able to learn how to better connect with these service members to meet any emotional, spiritual or other needs they may have.
"We want to make sure we're available to them in any way that fits within the category of the care that we're supposed to be providing and understand how we can reach out to them to help them become more holistic, healthy people," said Miller.
Since the main purpose of the Chaplain Corps is to "promote the spiritual, religious, moral and personal well-being of the members of the Department of the Navy," Lt. j.g. Sarah Powell, an NCBC Gulfport chaplain, noted this is what the chapel strives to provide for Sailors and Marines, as well as other military members and their families.
"It's an avenue to connect with the divine to bring hope and light into your soul, share in meaningful relationships and dialogue about important issues of the day, a place to share struggles and grapple with difficulties, and a place where you can come and be yourself and find acceptance," said Powell.
Overall, these workshops are ultimately designed with the goal of helping chaplains minister to and provide better care for the military population and their families.
"We want to help connect them to a sense of what the divine is and what that means for their lives, and how that can create what I like to refer to as 'spiritual toughness' for them in this enterprise of serving in the very challenging setting of the military lifestyle," said Lee.
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For more news from Naval Construction Battalion Center, Gulfport, visit www.navy.mil/local/ncbcgulfport/.