Main Post Chapel holds dual-hatted ‘change of stole’ ceremony

| June 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
Col. John Peck stands with the Tropic Lighting's religious stole during his Change of Stole ceremony held at the Main Post Chapel, June 22. Peck will be taking on the dual role of 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii chaplain in one of four pilot Army programs.

Col. John Peck stands with the Tropic Lighting’s religious stole during his change of stole ceremony held at the Main Post Chapel, June 22. Peck will be taking on the dual role of 25th ID and USAG-HI chaplain in one of four pilot Army programs.

 

Chaplain (Maj.) John Grauer
Plans and Operations
USAG-Hawaii

The change of command and change of responsibility ceremonies are predictable events in the U.S. Army. However, on Wednesday, the 25th Infantry Division recognized a change of leadership with a not so common ceremony.

Soldiers in the division said farewell to their spiritual leader in a Change of Stole ceremony. The Change of Stole is a representation that the responsibility for spiritual leadership has passed from one chaplain to another. The historical basis of this ceremony draws its tradition from the Bible. Second Kings, Chapter two records, how the prophet Elijah transferred that spiritual leadership and authority to Elisha thereby identifying a new prophetic voice.

Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you before I’m taken from you? Ask anything.”

Elisha said,… “I want to be a holy man just like you.”

“That’s a hard one!” said Elijah. “But if you’re watching when I’m taken from you, you’ll get what you’ve asked for. But only if you’re watching.”

And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven.

In this role, the chaplain, as a spiritual leader, is passed to another. The outgoing chaplain relinquishes his leadership as the senior chaplain for the division, similar to a commands leadership by passing the unit’s guide on during a change of command ceremony. The stole ceremony symbolizes the responsibility to lead and facilitate the ministry of the Unit Ministry Teams and to perform and provide religious support to Soldiers at home and deployed.

Soldiers, civilians and other community members bid farewell to Col. Chul Kim, outgoing 25th Infantry Division chaplain during the Change of Stole ceremony held at the Main Post Chapel, June 22.

Soldiers, civilians and other community members bid farewell to Col. Chul Kim, outgoing 25th ID chaplain during the Change of Stole ceremony held at the Main Post Chapel, June 22.

Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn took park in the traditional passing of the stole by removing the white stole from Ch. (Lt. Col.) Chul Kim and placing the stole on the shoulders of the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Chaplain (Col.) Steve Peck, entrusting him with dual responsibilities of leadership as the new incoming 25th ID chaplain.

Peck becomes one of four chaplains in the Army to become a leader of two organizations as part of new initiatives, the 25th ID and the garrison to ensure that religious support is about “building strong ministry leaders,” which is about living the call, and to “build a strong religious community,” meaning we need to be our best at taking care of the Army Family. In receiving the stole, Peck reiterated his call to servanthood by sharing in, the motto of the Chaplain Corps: “Pro Deo et Patria” (For God and Country).

The Army’s chaplains provide the best defense against stress faced by Soldiers and families, said Flynn, noting how Peck will bring forth change as directed by the Office of the Chief of Chaplains.

 

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