Has a custodian for each faith group been
appointed in writing by the commanding officer?
Does the custodian authorize all
disbursements from the appropriate subaccount?
Have all financial reports been submitted
accurately and in a timely manner?
Has a copy of the quarterly and annual
Statement of Operations and Net Worth been
posted on the chapel bulletin board for all
interested persons to read?
Does the religious offerings fund account-
ant retain copies of receipts, vouchers, and
invoices to substantiate all transactions?
Were all purchases or withdrawals from
the religious offerings fund authorized?
Do separate individuals administer appro-
priated funds for the Command Religious Pro-
gram and the nonappropriated religious offerings
Are all other religious offerings fund assets
Religious ministries are provided in the Navy
and Marine Corps to meet the needs of assigned
personnel, their dependents, and other authorized
persons. Religious needs are defined in part by
the various faith groups, but are determined also
by the persons served and their unique situations.
Chaplains seeking to identify and meet specific
religious needs in the commands to which they
are assigned are helped immeasurably by the
participation of the persons served.
Various models for encouraging lay participa-
tion in the identification of religious needs and
for designing programs to meet those needs have
been found effective in some chapel situations.
Most of these models include, in some form, an
organization known as a chapel council. It may
also be called a chapel board or a chapel advisory
While not obligatory, the establishment of a
chapel council authorized by the commanding
officer is strongly recommended wherever reli-
gious services are held on a continuing basis for
various faith groups afloat or ashore. Figure 4-36
shows a sample letter from the commanding
officer authorizing the establishment of a chapel
Duties and Responsibilities
Chapel councils can be helpful in the develop-
ment and implementation of programs to meet
identified religious needs, including the develop-
ment of service projects and the expansion of
Chapel councils have a particularly important
responsibility in ensuring that the nonappro-
priated religious offerings fund is used according
to the desires of contributors. Duties may include
Recommending specific expenditures from
the religious offerings fund
Encouraging stewardship by interpreting
mission and service opportunities to the faith
Governing of Chapel Council Operations
While there may be considerable variation
between the patterns established for chapel
councils of various installations, regulations
governing the operation of any particular chapel
council should be in written form and approved
by the commanding officer. The preferred for-
mat for such a governing document is a directive
issued by the commanding officer.
The chapel council members should work
closely with the command chaplain and the RP
staff in formulating a spending plan for the
religious offerings fund. These persons may also
provide input to the budget process of the CRP
appropriated fundfor example, recommenda-
tions to the command chaplain concerning the
purchase of literature or equipment. Expenditures
from the religious offerings fund are made
primarily in the following areas:
Donations to religious missions and
religious outreach projects
Donations to charitable and relief projects
Most guidance pertinent to logistic support of
the Command Religious Program is provided in
chapters 2 and 3 of Religious Program Specialist