Fort Lee offers Biblical resiliency classes
February 9, 2012
FORT LEE, Va. (Feb.9, 2012) -- The Religious Support Office has launched another new initiative in the chapels at Fort Lee. The latest will help measure individual strength - biblically speaking.
Fort Lee Senior Chaplain (Col.) James White had heard a lot of talk about building resiliency in Soldiers and Families when a thought occurred to him.
"Everybody is talking about it," White said. "There's a lot of good material and good books being written about resiliency, but nothing specifically seems to address biblical resiliency. When you start talking about resiliency, how would you define it biblically?"
White said he often hears news and entertainment reporters saying someone is very spiritual but wonders, what does that mean, does it mean they go to church often, do they believe in God?
"What measures spirituality?" White questioned. "We want to define biblical resiliency with this new class."
White said he hopes to find answers and help worshippers become stronger through the course.
"I've challenged my Muslim and Jewish chaplain friends to take the Koran and the Torah to do the same thing. Most of our religious traditions have something faith-specific to say about the subject of resiliency."
White conducted research to determine how he would measure a person's biblical resiliency and designed a nine-week course to help chapel members learn how to have a stronger bond with God.
Using a Likert-scale, White measures the positive and negative responses to statements about religious routines and relationships.
"I'll take these scores and help individuals move higher on the scale," White said. "We'll be studying the biblical principles for nine weeks and then we'll measure again."
The first night, 27 people signed up for the class, and it has since grown to 31 participants.
"This is kind of ground-breaking work," he said. "Not a lot has been written about this type of resiliency."
White said about 60 advanced individual training Soldiers who attend the chapel are also interested in learning their own biblical strengths.
Sgt. 1st Class John Colvin, Delta Co., 16th Ordnance Brigade is attending the class each Wednesday night at Memorial Chapel.
Colvin said he regularly attends the Chapel NeXt Service each Sunday at Liberty Chapel. He said he hoped that the class would be similar to other resiliency training the Army offers.
"I was hoping for something not secular that I could fall back on," he said. "I want to be able to bounce back and recharge from whatever I may be facing."
White hopes to give Colvin and the other participants the tools to be strong.
"God created everything and made it resilient," he said. "Did he make everything resilient, but us?"
White said he based many of the course's lessons on Genesis.
"For starters, he made the Sabbath day a holy day. Keeping the Sabbath day holy is an act of worship," he said. "And then he created us. We were created for a relationship with our creator. And that is a good place to begin when it comes to biblical resiliency."
For more information about the Religious Support offerings, call (804) 734-6494.