Promoting Daddy: Chaplain’s Family organizes God-honoring celebration.
By Andy Meverden, Associate Endorser
In Romans 12:15, Paul wrote:“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
2020 was a uniquely challenging year, for all of us, including our VCN chaplains, so when good things happen, we need to rejoice.
February 10, 2021 was such a day! One of our military chaplains was being promoted. In accordance with post regulations, chaplain Daniel & Sasha Moen wisely requested use of Ft. Carson’s large Soldier’s Memorial Chapel for a “worship service” in place of a traditional unit-level “promotion ceremony.” Army guidelines for religious services allowed for a bigger audience socially distanced in this larger indoor facility. So, in typical fashion, the whole Moen Family went to work.
Dan and Sasha planned the service, sent out invitations and organized a “Grab ’n Go” lunch. Sasha and two young daughters planned a special surprise, baked “to go” cupcakes and gathered decorations.
Honored to deliver the Benediction, I was limited in my ability to take pictures, but slipped off the platform to capture the surprise.
Soldiers and civilians gathered on a cold foggy day; officers and enlisted, chaplains and command team members. After a welcome and opening prayer, remarks were shared by the Garrison Chaplain who had previously served with Dan at Ft. Drum, NY, and his current battalion commander, himself a follower of Jesus. After the “publishing of the order,” Chaplain Moen knelt center-stage with his wife and daughters standing aside and behind. With practiced precision, his young daughters removed the shoulder boards with the rank of captain (Lieutenant for you Navy folk) and replaced them with the rank of major (O4). Rising to his feet, Dan’s wife, Sasha helped put on his dress jacket with new rank, symbolizing the essential support and partnership of an Army chaplain’s spouse. Thinking the service would continue, as planned, Dan began to take his seat, when the moderator, introduced “the surprise.” Dan moved from the platform to the first pew next to his wife, cameras recording and live-streaming, as his daughter’s, beautifully dressed – and masked – stepped to the microphone to share a special poem (see photo).
Stunning the audience with their poise, prose and delivery, Daddy gave each girl a hug, kiss and affirming words. The newly promoted chaplain then gave thanks to God, and the many Family, Friends, and Comrades who supported and served with him along the way, including his previous enlistment as a Chaplain Assistant. He closed his remarks recounting the near “impossible odds” of him being selected for Active-Duty Chaplaincy. “I was told that I was the wrong race, the wrong religion and the wrong gender…but God made a way…” He then invited Sgt First Class Henry to the chapel piano to sing a song about God’s working in the impossible circumstances of life. It was straight from the heart of an experienced Combat Veteran to those attending/observing online. It brought tears to my eyes and others present
Finally, I was invited to give the Benediction – one that I worked on for several days. Before praying, I presented Dan with an original copy of the War Department 1942 “Song and Service Book for Ship and Field.” Proudly, I placed the 79-year-old, historic book in his hands and closed in prayer. The “service” was executed with military precision and appropriate surprises!
After greeting attendees, those remaining were invited to the fellowship hall, to pick up lunch, topped off with individually wrapped cupcakes baked and distributed with hand-made thank-you cards and “scrolled” poem, by Sasha and daughters. From start to finish, the event was coordinated, designed, and presented in a considerate, Christ-honoring way, “promoting Daddy” and pointing all to his Savior!
Join us in celebrating Chaplain Moen’s promotion, praying for spiritual impact on those who witnessed the event. Intercede for the Moen Family as they transfer to Fort Hood, TX where Dan will complete chaplain Family Life training over the next two years. He is one of 200 chaplains in our network of military and civilian ministry specialists who face challenging ministry situations. Ask God to guide and sustain them and their Families as they follow their unique call to ministry.
For more stories by and about Venture Church Network’s 200 chaplains, military and civilian, visit Chaplaincy – Venture Church Network (venturechurches.org). For information on chaplain endorsement, email Randy Brandt, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.