ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Members of the Quad Cities religious community joined Arsenal Island chaplains for the 4th Annual Rock Island Arsenal Prayer Luncheon May 28.
About 200 people gathered in Heritage Hall for the event.
Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Charles Bailey, Army deputy chief of chaplains, was the guest speaker at the luncheon. His remarks focused on the value of prayer in our complex world of competing interests.
"Moments of crisis" turn people to God, Bailey said. While serving in Afghanistan, Bailey was notified that his son was in the hospital and not expected to survive. Bailey returned to the U.S. to be with his son and was told by the medical team that "there is no way" that his son would live.
"I have never prayed to the depth of heart that I did for my son. I prayed for God to take me rather than my son; today he is in graduate school," he said. "Why does it take this type of moment to reach that level of prayer," he asked.
Bailey challenged the audience with three questions: "What do you have that you do not need, what do you need, and where is [your] joy and happiness?" If you have the answers to these questions, you are well on your way, he said.
Chaplain (Col.) Peter Mueller, First U.S. Army, provided the invocation. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert Land, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, provided introductions. Staff Sgt. Gene Lucas, U.S. Army Sustainment Command chaplain assistant, served as the emcee.
Quad Cities religious leaders provided special prayers including: Dr. Lisa Killinger, president of the Quad Cities Muslim Community, who offered prayers for the world; the Rev. Canon Ed den Blaauwen, Christ Anglican Church, Moline Ill., who offered prayers for the states of Illinois and Iowa; and the Rev. Richard Barriger, First Church of the Nazarene, Rock Island, Ill., who offered prayers for the military.
Also participating in special prayers were: Sgt. Maj. Timothy Metcalf, chief chaplain assistant First U.S. Army, who offered prayers for the nation; Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Joel Russell, First U.S. Army deputy command chaplain, who offered prayers for the Quad Cities; and Chaplain (Maj.) Terry Jarvis, Joint Munitions Command chaplain, offered prayers for the families.
Maj. Yokeitha Ramey, ASC, sang the national anthem. Instrumental music was provided by the Augustana University String Ensemble. Vocal music was provided by Andrew Robinson of Wildwood Baptist Church.
Maj. Gen. John Wharton, commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command and Rock Island Arsenal, provided special appreciation items to Bailey for his support to the event. Certificates of appreciation were presented to the religious leaders, the string ensemble, and the singers.
Col. Elmer Speights, RIA garrison commander, provided closing remarks. Seeing the support for this event lets me know that this is a "great community," Speights said.
Additional photos from this event can be viewed/downloaded at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/army_sustainment_command/sets/72157644941021133/