If you are wondering why these actions should be
included in your normal routines, you should remember
that statistical data, if not recorded, cannot be recalled
when your chaplain may need these facts for reports or
accountability. The fact that 150 people observed
Jewish worship or that you took 75 telephone calls in
regard to facility usage per day for the past month are
important data and represent a very important function
in your normal duties and responsibilities. In addition
to your chaplain, the following officials will need to use
the data you collect:
Commanding officersYour commanding
officer will need to know how dynamic the CRP
Chief of ChaplainsThis official will need to
know how the various assigned chaplains are
Major claimantsThese authorities need to be
advised on the ministries within their
Endorsing agentsThese groups need to know
that their chaplains are effective in ministry.
As an RP, you must understand how important the
accurate gathering of data is not only to your CRP but
also to religious program support Navywide.
RELIGIOUS MINISTRY FACILITY
One of the most important areas with which you will
be concerned is the religious ministry facility (RMF).
The RMF, whether afloat or ashore, is the center for
worship. As an RP, you should always keep in mind that
the RMF is a reflection of the sea service personnel we
serve. Built from stones, steel, glass, and wood, the
RMF is the heart and cornerstone of the naval
community because it is the place where people of all
religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds can
assemble to worship.
An RMF contains areas that are referred to in
technical terms that every RP must be able to use and
understand. The three primary elements in an RMF are:
1. Worship center
2. Religious education center
3. Administrative office
In the following paragraphs, lets take a look at each
of these elements.
As its name implies, the worship center is a building
provided for worship and proclaimed to welcome all
people for the free exercise of their religion. Because
worship centers are intended to be used by all faith
groups, they are designed for multiple uses. Each
worship center must be meticulously cared for and made
suitable for the active participation of all naval
personnel and their families.
A worship center may have several distinct sections:
the nave, choir, narthex, aisle, chancel, baptistery,
chapel, sanctuary, and sacristy. As an RP dedicated to
religious program service, you should be familiar with
all of these sections.
The nave is the main body of the worship center. As
the area reserved for the worshipers, the nave consists
of the central open space, including the side aisles, that
extends to the rear of the facility.
As its name implies, the choir is the section set aside
for a musical choir. Some RMFs make use of a choir
loft, either in the sanctuary or at the entrance, in which
both the organ and the musical choir perform. Modern
architecture will often try to place the choir where it can
be seen by the congregation without obstructing the
congregations view of the sanctuary.
The narthex is the vestibule, or porch, at the entrance
of the church. It is separated from the nave by a wall,
railing, or screen.
The aisle is the architectural division of the worship
center on either side of the nave. It can be separated
from the worship center by a series of columns or pillars.
The chancel is the area of the worship center
assigned to the officiating clergy. The chancel includes
the area around the altar, and may even include the choir