[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                       August 8, 2008

Religious Support Office reports 
increases in program attendance

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

More Soldiers are finding their way to the installation’s religious and Bible study services, with attendance being up 33 percent over last year, said Fort McCoy Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell.

Colwell said the increase was determined from an analysis of attendance numbers at Religious Support Office (RSO) worship and Bible study services from Oct. 1, 2006-July 20, 2007 and Oct. 1, 2007-July 20, 2008.

The increase can be attributed to several factors, including more service opportunities being available, more mobilizing/demobilizing Soldiers at Fort McCoy, the duration of overseas deployments, and better reporting of those in attendance, he said.

"This (keeping track of attendance) helps ensure the Soldiers are getting adequate services."

Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell,
Garrison Chaplain

"We have services out in the field for mobilizing Soldiers," Colwell said. "We’ve been finding that the longer the deployments are to support (Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom) overseas missions, the Soldiers feel the burden and need our services to boost their morale to make it through a time of war."

The improved congregational reporting came about from a First Army directive to better quantify the request for additional resources to meet the Soldiers’ needs.

Colwell said although the request generated additional paperwork and work hours, the requirement actually helped the RSO staff members document and provide accurate numbers of how many people they were serving.

"This (keeping track of attendance) helps ensure the Soldiers are getting adequate services from our program," Colwell said. "The chaplains who provide services in the field to the mobilizing Soldiers also have been very good about documenting the number of people who attend their worship and Bible services."

The core RSO worship services are Catholic, Chapel 10, building 1759, and Protestant, Chapel 1, building 2672, he said. Both services are held at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. Bible study classes are at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.

Worship and Bible study services also are offered in Fort McCoy Contingency Operating Locations Freedom and Liberty, Colwell said.

The RSO attempts to serve any personnel who have religious needs. Colwell said anyone who is trying to find a specific religious service can call the RSO at (608) 388-3528 for more information.


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