A short time ago, I was enjoying a wonderful vacation in Palm Springs, CA, savoring special times with friends, soaking up the mild temperatures and sunshine, and swimming (well floating mostly!) in a 92-degree pool! On one of our exploring sightseeing expeditions, we visited the Palm Springs Air Museum. What interesting and educational displays they have from lots of vintage aircraft and other war memorabilia to capturing historical people, times., and events through photos and other personal belongings. One such historical display event caught my attention and showed faith in action.
The display was titled, “The Dorchester Chaplains”…telling the true story of the sinking of the United States Army Transport(USAT) Dorchester off the coast of Greenland on February 3, 1943, during World War II. Onboard, traveling to their new assignments within the European Theater, were four new 1st Lt Army Chaplains, who met at Harvard’s Army Chaplain School. They came from totally different backgrounds and faiths: a Methodist minister (Rev. George L. Fox), a Reform-Rabbi (Alexander L. Goode, Ph.D.), a Roman Catholic Priest (Father John P. Washington); and a Reformed Church in America minister (Rev. Clark V. Poling). When their ship was torpedoed in the middle of the night, they all immediately took action to calm the troops, minister to the injured, and save lives by guiding personnel to lifeboats, …all giving up their life vests to others when the supply ran out. The story goes that as the ship went down, they joined arms together, saying prayers and singing hymns to comfort those left behind. That’s faith in action…that’s service beyond self and for God.
Faith in action…that’s a foundation stone for IOKDS as well. We come together from different faith communities and backgrounds. We minister to others and do for others serving “In His Name.” Throughout our 134 years, we’ve responded to whatever fate God has placed in our pathway continually growing our faith and ministering to others all along the way. Thanks be to God.
Cathy Duncan, International Secretary