Coast Guard Hosts Chaplain Symposium at Little Creek April 8-10

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Coast Guard Chaplains will meet at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia Beach, Va., for their annual symposium April 8-10. This year’s theme is “Ministering to the Emerging Generation.”

Guest speaker Dr. Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research in Nashville, Tenn., will assist the chaplains in understanding more and connecting with the “Post Modern Generation” – young adults from in the 17-24 year-old demographic who view the world through lenses far different from previous generations. Stetzer has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. He served three years as a seminary professor at the Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and has taught at 15 other seminaries. He is currently the director of LifeWay Research.

“Our newest Coast Guard members are very sharp, confident and enjoy a collaborative environment,” explains Capt. Gary P. Weeden, chaplain of the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. “They question things more often, have strong ideas of their own and are often more interested in what they can contribute to the mission than the amount of money they make. We need to better understand the lenses from which they see the world and learn how to listen, engage and communicate.”

The symposium will equip the chaplains with skills to work with a generation that comes from a very subjective/existentialist environment to a military world of specific parameters and objective parameters, according to Capt. Robert Marshall, Coast Guard Atlantic Area chaplain.

Vice Adm. D. Brian Peterman, Coast Guard Commander Atlantic Area; Rear Adm. Fred Rosa, Commander Fifth Coast Guard District, and Capt. James Louttit, Deputy Commander of Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command Atlantic will also speak at the symposium.

Approximately 50 members of the Navy Chaplain Corps (active and reserve) are assigned throughout the Coast Guard to advise commanders to ensure the free exercise of religion, provide religious ministry and support to authorized personnel. In addition, chaplains serve as advocates for the well-being of all personnel and as command liaison to civilian religious leaders, communities, organizations and agencies.

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