Men and women filled the Ramstein Officers’ Club Jan. 29 to take part in the National Prayer Luncheon and hear Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil Richardson, Air Force chief of chaplains, speak at the annual event held in Suites One and Two at the club.
After the luncheon’s invocation, representatives from different religions opened with prayers and scriptures of their faith, allowing all attendees to come together and participate as a whole.
During his speech, Chaplain Richardson not only thanked Airmen from U.S. Air Forces in Europe for their work, but he shared his message, focusing on one’s faith and why he feels it’s important to have a relationship with God.
“We must remember who we are,” he said. “We are the only nation founded on the premise that our rights are given to us by God. We’re not a specific faith, but we are a group who came to our country to practice our faith, whatever that is.”
Chaplain Richardson began his career as an enlisted intercept operator and Russian interpreter before getting out, completing his education and coming back into the Air Force as a chaplain and working his way to his current position.
Using the Bible and pieces of his own life story as a reference, the chaplain explained how trust is critical and may be the most important ingredient of one’s faith.
“Trust allows people to feel confident in knowing they can count on God,” he said. “And chaplains are there to provide for each person so they can practice their own religion, no matter what that religion may be.”
Using the story of David and Goliath as his theme, the chief of chaplains explained how it was much more than just a children’s story.
“It’s a story about faith and courage under fire,” Chaplain Richardson said. “Also, it shows victory comes to those who don’t just believe, but to those who step out on their faith.”
Expressing true and inspirational events of his life with enthusiasm and humor, Chaplain Richardson made it possible for people of any faith to come out and enjoy each other’s company while counting their blessings.
“The National Prayer Luncheon is an important tradition,” he said. “We don’t advocate one religion over another, and we don’t push religion on people, but everyone can feel free to worship in whatever way they want. That’s the beauty of a multi-faith nation, but we can still get everyone together every once-in-a-while to celebrate religion as a whole.”