Today’s news:

Adopt-A-Chaplain - Local church welcomes Yolanda Gillen

The Bay Ridge United Church of Bay Ridge has adopted another chaplain under the Adopt-A-Chaplain Program. The church has been involved in Adopt-A-Chaplain with Chaplain 1LT Virginia Emery who was in Iraq but has returned to the states.

Their new chaplain is LCDR Yolanda Gillen who is a Navy Chaplain serving with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit/Combat Logistics Battalion 24 in Afghanistan. She is married with four children and is currently caring for 370 troops. She and her unit departed Camp Lejuene, North Carolina March 2008 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Combat Logistics Battalion 24 provides needed supplies (i.e. food, water, repair parts, etc.) for those fighting on the front line.

While the Sailors and Marines in the Navy’s amphibious fleet are most often known for their physical fitness and combat readiness, they are also remaining spiritually fit, thanks to the support provided by the “Blue-Green” Chaplain team. “Helping a Sailor or Marine to become spiritually stronger will produce a better Sailor or Marine who is stronger mentally, psychologically and physically,” explained Chaplain Gillen. “I see Sailors and Marines becoming more spiritually fit, which allow them to make better decisions, be better prepared to deal with the storms of life and also help others in need.”

Recently, the Navy Chaplain Corps celebrated its 232nd birthday, and the spiritual component of the warrior is often neglected though much is demanded of the amphibious Sailors and Marines, both physically and emotionally. About 250 of the more than 900 Navy chaplains serve with the Marine Corps.

Bay Ridge United will be collecting snacks, toiletries, CDs and DVDs to send to the Chaplain for her troops. Ten boxes were already sent to Chaplain Gillen and since she is planning to have a New Dads class for those Marines/Sailors who have had babies since being deployed, Bay Ridge United will be collecting baby dolls to send. If you have baby dolls to spare, bring them to Bay Ridge United Church and they will ship them.

For more, call the church office at 718-836-4978 or visit

Bay Ridge United Church, a joint congregation of the Presbyterian Church, USA (PCUSA) and the Reformed Church of America (RCA), is located at 636 Bay Ridge Parkway. Worship during the summer is every Sunday at 10 a.m.

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