Chapel offers religious education

The Goodfellow Air Force Base Chapel, lit for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

The Goodfellow Air Force Base Chapel, lit for the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. John Barton)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Goodfellow Air Force Base Chapel held its first Sunday school/Religious Education classes for this year Sept. 7. Attendees enjoyed fellowship and lessons about the Christian faith.

The program is open to any military ID holders. The chapel has provided classes for every age group (kindergarten to adult). The hour-long classes are designed to challenge them in their spiritual walk - whether Catholic or Protestant.

The Catholic class teaches the basics of the Catholic faith and prayers to kindergartners and first-graders. Second graders receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation with Christ and the Community. Third and fourth graders learn about Mass and devotions, such as the rosary.

Fifth and sixth graders study the Old Testament. Seventh-graders delve into the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels. Those in eighth grade study church history beginning with Acts and delve into the writings of Saint Paul.

Ninth graders through adults study their roll in the Church, concentrating on moral living and social justice. Those interested in becoming Catholic follow the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

The Protestant children use a curriculum that engages them with hands-on Bible lessons. The junior/senior high school class is studying a book called "Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations," by Alex and Brett Harris.

The adult class will be delving into a book by Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancey titled "In the Likeness of God." Coming from a medical doctor's perspective, this book illustrates how the human body is analogous to how the church works together to glorify God.

"In all of these classes, I'm looking forward to how people are going to grow in their faith," said Chaplain (Maj.) Michael Goecker.

"Things I enjoy about Sunday school include having a small class so I have more one-on-one time, and I can ask the questions about what I want to know or learn about," said Michel Harding, 14. The teachers of the classes benefit as well. Brendan Price, 22, helps teach the Catholic youth group.

"What I get from Religious Education is the sense of satisfaction and enthusiasm because I'm helping younger members of the community learn about their faith," Mr. Price said.

"I like the feeling I get when I explain an aspect of the Bible and the student gets it," said Capt. Stephen Harding, who volunteers his time to teach the Protestant junior/senior high school class. "The look of understanding on their faces is why I get out of bed on the weekend."

Sunday school is held in the Religious Education building across the Chapel office near the Mathis gym. Admission is free. Protestant classes are from 9 to 9:45 a.m., while Catholic classes are from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

For more information on these classes, or for information on religious education for other faiths, contact the chapel office at 654-3424.