Soldiers’ Chapel celebrates centennial

| August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
Parishioners file out of the sanctuary to the Soldiers’ Chapel’s 100-year anniversary, Sunday. The 2nd SBCT chaplain’s office arranged the celebration for the community  to celebrate a century of history in the building, which is actually composed of two combined churches.

Parishioners file out of the sanctuary to the Soldiers’ Chapel’s 100-year anniversary, Sunday. The 2nd SBCT chaplain’s office arranged the celebration for the community to celebrate a century of history in the building, which is actually composed of two combined churches.

Story and photo by
Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers and their families have been attending services at the Soldiers’ Chapel, here, for 100 years, and the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team’s chaplain team decided that was cause for celebration, Sunday.

“The purpose of remembering or celebrating a hundred years of service is threefold,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Koeman, 2nd SBCT. “One is to celebrate and show a hundred years of a God’s faithfulness to the community and their faithfulness to him. Second is the idea that even an old chapel is relevant to the community for worship. Third, our country is not that old and recognizing 100 years of a chapel being used for worship is significant.”

Some of the people in attendance felt the celebration wasn’t just about the chapel’s centennial.

“Celebrating the church is celebrating the fabric of the community,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Hagemaster, psychologist. “Many of us even walk, here, and that’s rare in this day and age.”

The Soldiers’ Chapel, as it stands today, is actually the combination of two churches. The entrance was originally part of a church commissioned by Queen Lili‘uokalani of Hawaii in 1913. It was combined with a second chapel in 1925 and moved to its current location by Quad D.

The chapel is a National Historical Landmark with more than its 100 years of service. It is home to a rare, vintage pipe organ built in 1931, which is one of only two of its kind in Hawaii, and still has the bell donated to the original post chapel by the 5th Cavalry Regiment in 1912.

The celebration sermon was provided by Chaplain (Col.) Peter Mueller, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Mueller spoke about Soldiers and their families being standing stones, or pillars, of the community and the need to use the past as a foundation for the future.

“We need to have our Memorial days and Veterans days and those commemorations that tie us to the legacy,” he said, “not to be caught just in the past in some kind of nostalgia, but to bring forward from the past the foundation, those things that make you who you are. So, for the faith community, we want to do that too.

“We want to recognize things like the celebration of this 100-year anniversary, so that it reminds us of those values that those people lived, especially their faith in God, and can motivate us and encourage us to live faithfully and to be a witness to the next generation,” Mueller added.

The sermon and remembering of the past were only part of this celebration. The 2nd SBCT chaplain team worked hard to also make it a family friendly party.

“Sgt. David Besikof did a great portion of the legwork,” said Koeman. “I told him the various things I wanted, and he made it happen. I talked to the garrison chaplain and guest speakers, but he got the food, the shaved ice, the face painting and bouncy houses for the kids.”

Koeman believes that the Soldiers’ Chapel can stand for another 100 years of hope, healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, love and purpose.

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Category: News, Sustainability

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