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    NAWSCL Religious Ministries Carry on Following Recent Earthquakes

    NAWSCL Religious Ministries Carry on Following Recent Earthquakes

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hammond | 190728-N-NZ935-0009 CHINA LAKE, CA. (July 28, 2019) U.S. Navy Chaplain, LCDR Robert...... read more read more

    RIDGECREST, CA, UNITED STATES

    08.02.2019

    Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Hammond 

    Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake

    CHINA LAKE, California – Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake’s (NAWSCL) base chapel remains closed following the recent earthquakes but the base’s religious ministries continue their mission and are needed more than ever for the community that has been shaken up recently!

    Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was affected by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which occurred near NAWSCL and the city of Ridgecrest, Calif., July 5 and a 6.4 magnitude earthquake one day prior.

    Immediately following the earthquakes employees from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) had to begin the task of assessing over 1,300 buildings located across NAWSCL. Including a very important building for the community, the chapel. The chapel was placed on the original list of buildings that were deemed uninhabitable, yet the mission of the Chaplain’s Corps would remain the same and the task of caring for the people was just beginning under the veil of a traumatic event.

    “We are, and will always, be here to offer pastoral counseling 24-7,” said U.S. Navy Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Crabb. “If you call one of the office numbers someone will answer 24-7. We are always available whether for religious counselling, life or crisis response counselling.”

    In discovering that the base chapel was to remain closed, the next task was to find a place to hold services for a community that really needed a place of support and reliance.

    “The church isn’t the building in which you worship,” explains Retired Chief Petty Officer Bob Voigt. “The church is the chaplain, the people and our faith and because of that we can worship anywhere.”

    For 60 years religious services have been held in the same Base Chapel, but since the chapel was now “red tagged” it was not going to happen there for the moment. Now without a home the chapel had the generous offer from the Moral Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office. A great place to gather was offered up for the religious services, the Ballroom/Events center known as the Paradise Café.

    “We worked so hard to build up the congregations here and we don’t want people to not have the support they need from their faith in such a crucial moment and miss attending church out of fear of safety,” explained Crabb. “At least, as a short-term fix, we were able to move our services to the Paradise Room across the street.”

    While the future of the chapel is yet to be determined, religious services will start to return utilizing the Paradises Cafe.

    “We are holding three services every Sunday,” explained Crabb. “Our hope is to restore all of our weekly services for our Jewish, Pegan, Catholic and Protestant members.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.02.2019
    Date Posted: 08.02.2019 16:58
    Story ID: 334345
    Location: RIDGECREST, CA, US 

    Web Views: 207
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