It was designed to inspire younger people to come to church, but the ChapelNext program drew more than just the youth to share fellowship during its inaugural service Sunday.

Forty three people took part in the new service, which aims to offer a contemporary worship experience.

"It was a good first start," said Chap. (Lt. Col.) Robert Phillips, U.S. Army Garrison chaplain.

In time, Phillips said he hopes to see attendance grow to more than 50 people, adding he hopes more people become involved as word of the service spreads.

Involvement is a key factor. Phillips said he hopes congregation members take ownership of the service by stepping up and getting involved. Such involvement, in addition to making the service more meaningful for participants, would also help create a more comfortable, interactive atmosphere among attendees.

Chancellor Richardson, 15, brother of Tiffany Hatch, Protestant Youth of the Chapel leader, was one attendee who was looking forward to giving of himself to better the program.

A drummer, Richardson said he was hoping to audition to be a drummer for the service.

Music incorporating instruments other than the traditional church organ is one of the ways ChapelNext is designed to appeal to younger people. The service uses a more contemporary style of music led by a praise and worship team.

To help people follow songs not found in a hymnal, projectors are used to display the words.

The use of such technology was one of the praises Richardson had about the service. Rachel Hutchinson, 15, daughter of Lorene Hutchinson, a member of the Protestant Women of the Chapel, also said the service was a step in the right direction in appealing to younger people.

Phillips said he hopes that word spreads among people Richardson and Hutchinson's age, explaining others would be more apt to attend if they have a group of peers to be around.

"Hopefully, over the next couple weeks, attendance grows when people find out about it," he said. The next ChapelNext service will be held Sunday at 9:19 a.m. at the Fort McPherson Post Chapel.

The service is also looking for a worship leader to lead praise and worship. If interested, call Phillips at 464-2004.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16