FORT KNOX, Ky. — Chaplains are prayerfully planning to make the month of May one to remember.
Calling it Spiritual Readiness Month, Chaplain (Col.) Stanley Whitten, Fort Knox Garrison chaplain, said May is a perfect month to create this atmosphere of spiritual readiness.
“Part of the drive behind it has been over the last two years the Army Chief of Chaplains has been promoting a spiritual readiness initiative,” said Whitten. “When the Spiritual Readiness Working Group started meeting, I brought this up as a place we might want to put some emphasis.
“This is not anything that the Army has done. It’s just a good month where’s there no other emphasis.”
The working group is part of Fort Knox’s Commander’s Ready & Resilient Council, or what is known as CR2C. The members’ role is to address priority areas as defined by the senior commander, to include community needs and trending data, then make recommendations to address those issues.
“We are looking to promote the theme of spiritual readiness,” said Whitten. “In order to do that, we’ve created the opportunities we’ve created where people can plug in where they’d like to.”
Those opportunities begin May 4 with what Whitten is calling a prayer and meditation open house. That date coincides with the National Day of Prayer. According to Whitten, all four chapels – Main Post, Prichard Place, Cavalry and O’Neill – will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for people to participate in personal prayer and meditation.
“This was our choice to give people at whatever time of the day to come in, stay for as long as they want, and to have an opportunity to do prayer and meditation,” said Whitten. “All faiths are welcome.”
Light snacks will be provided at each location, and chaplains will be on standby to assist people who request it.
The second event is a community spiritual readiness forum, which Whitten said will take place from noon to 1 p.m. May 16 in the Religious Support Office Ministry Center at Building 4768. This forum is open to the community for discussion of topic related to spiritual readiness, and leaders will provide an assessment that will be used by the working group to assess individuals’ spiritual readiness needs.
A lunch will be provided to those who attend.
“For anybody in the community who has some curiosity about spiritual readiness, this is an opportunity to come and have a pretty open-ended discussion,” said Whitten.
The last event coincides with Memorial Day. Chaplains will host a Memorial Day Prayer Service May 24, from noon to 1 p.m., at Cavalry Chapel. This event will be a time to remember and honor in prayer the sacrifices of all who have died in military service to the nation.
This event will be done separate from Memorial Day ceremonies.
“This is being expressly done to honor the fallen,” said Whitten. “This is very low-key. We’ll have some spoken prayers and a time for silence.”
Whitten said he is also encouraging other unit chaplains to plan something for their organizations during the week of May 8-12.
All of the events emphasize prayer as one of the main themes throughout the month.
“Prayer to me is a focal point of my faith to connect with God and receive strength,” said Whitten,” and guidance for my journey.”
Whitten said he is hoping the themed month catches on at other locations in the future.