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A Prayer of Benediction for Chaplain Dale Goetz

Eight years ago (30 August 2010), Chaplain Dale Goetz was killed in Afghanistan ministering to his Soldiers, the first chaplain to die in combat since the Vietnam War. Wanting his sacrifice to not be forgotten, I’m reposting this short prayer from a Memorial Ceremony for him at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School held a few days after he died.

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FT. JACKSON, SC (3 Sep 10) – Recently, the Chaplain Corps lost one of its finest chaplains, Chaplain (CPT) Dale Goetz, in Afghanistan.  We received the news here at the Chaplain School while attending the Chaplain Captain’s Career Course.  Since many of us knew Dale, and the rest of us felt the camaraderie of a “Brother in Arms,” we felt it appropriate to have a Memorial Service for him.  My part was to pray the benediction.  As I prepared the prayer, I felt very impressed that Dale needed to be remembered.  His sacrifice needed to be remembered.  As I post it here, I pray it again . . .     -Daryl

Our most Gracious God and Father,

100_3560We thank you for your presence and love which helps us to endure through difficult times.  We thank you for moments like these when we don’t have to be alone but can gather among brothers and sisters in the faith.  We thank you for the peace that you have brought us today, your peace—that can exist within us even when all around us there is no peace.

As much as you comfort us who have gathered here today, we pray that in an even greater measure you will comfort Dale’s family, especially his wife Christy and their three sons Landon, Caleb and Joel.  Be for them all that they need you to be just now and continue to provide for them in every way in the days, weeks, months and years ahead that they face life without their husband, father and son.

Finally Lord, we pray that you will bring real peace to our land, so that we can rest in safety and comfort and not have to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way.  Bring to us, we humbly ask you, the time when parents don’t have to grieve the loss of their children killed in war; hasten the day when spouses don’t have to say goodbye to their loved ones because they serve their country; provide for us, dear Father, a world whose children do not have to grow up fatherless because of the sin that envelopes us; and be victorious, Almighty God, over the Evil One, establish your Kingdom on Earth finally and forever, that we may enjoy your loving and peaceful presence for all eternity.

Go with us now, Lord we pray, as we reluctantly return to the world out there.  Please don’t let us soon forget our brother Dale but help us to honor his sacrifice through our lives lived for your glory and Christ’s life lived through us.

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  (Heb 13:20-21)

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Happy 243rd Anniversary!

The Army Chaplain Corps celebrates its 243rd anniversary on 29 July 2018. Here’s a short video celebrating where they have gone and what they have done:

Happy Anniversary to the United States Army Chaplain Corps!

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World War 2 Protestant Chaplains’ Retreat

Protestant Chaplains’ Retreat, Lorraine District, Jougne France, 6-10 August 1945

Following the end of the war in Europe, just as word was coming in about the Japanese surrender, Protestant Chaplains from the Lorraine District in France met for a time of fellowship, rest and relaxation, at the 46th General Hospital’s Retreat Center in Jougne, France on the Swiss border. Below is the booklet that was published following the retreat which has some of the remarks and devotionals given during the the chaplain’s time together.

Some interesting titles of the addresses are: Present Day Trends and the Chaplain; The Prophet Elijah and the Chaplain; Through Christ to God, Romans 12:11; The Chaplain and His Bible; The Prophet Amos and the Chaplain; He that Hath an Ear Let Him Hear; The Chaplain and the Soldier; Spiritual Hunger-Matthew 5:6; The Prophet Jeremiah and the Chaplain; The Chaplain, a Priest and a Prophet; and The Chaplain and the Future. All of the address weren’t recorded in detail, but many of the highlights are included and most are very interesting, as are the included devotional thoughts.

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Canis-chaplaingroup_11This booklet belonged to Chaplain R. P. Canis who led the singing at the retreat and also one of the daily devotions. Chaplain Canis was a veteran of both World War 2 and the Korean War, being assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan when the Korean War broke out and was in Korea for the defense of the Pusan Perimeter at the Battle of Taegu in August 1950. I received this booklet from Chaplain Canis’ daughter.

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