By Derek Gean (Fort Wood Community Editor)April 4, 2014
Members of the Fort Leonard Wood community gathered at the Pershing Community Center March 27 to join together and pray for the nation, military members, president and elected officials as part of the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.
The breakfast gave members of various faith traditions the opportunity to join together and place their faith in divine Providence.
"(This is) held yearly at Fort Leonard Wood and installations around the world," said Chap. (Lt. Col.) Michael King, deputy installation chaplain. "Leaders have gathered every year to acknowledge faith."
The 399th Army Band provided music, and prayers were offered from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist faith traditions. Also, other individuals led in songs and prayers.
The theme for this year's breakfast was "Religious Faith, Leadership and Today's Army: Make a Difference."
Chap. (Col.) Michael Thomas, Installation Chaplain, introduced the guest speaker, Chap. (Maj. Gen.) Donald Rutherford, U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains.
Rutherford took the opportunity to speak about the theme and the need for faith in the military. He said George Washington needed Providence on his side and the best way for him to accomplish that during the Revolutionary War to have chaplains on board.
He shared how through strong faith and leadership people can be calmed in times of public distress.
"The best individuals and Soldiers are those able to calm people in the midst of anxiety," Rutherford said.
"Leaders can sometimes be hard pressed to give us direction in times of anxiety in times of trouble. They can't always see light for themselves sometimes; what it is like to be able to think calmly. It's a hard thing to do."
Rutherford said he hoped his message would give people a sense of comfort.
"I don't think there is any doubt in our minds that the world we live in today is anxious, it is very anxious times both for our Army, our military as an institution, our Soldiers, civilians and our Family members. It's a tough world we live in right about now.
"I think that in difficult situations in life there is one choice to make … what are we going to do, we can maximize them or minimize them."
He said to be an effective leader is to be one that helps calm people in the midst of anxiety.
"Our nation, our world needs our leadership, our collective leadership (in) the challenges we face today and for the future."
He told the Soldiers that he hoped they were here to make a difference.
"I encourage you to grow in your faith so that you may be leaders who bring calm in the face of anxiety," Rutherford said.