In the military, we experience time differently. It’s marked in dwell time between deployments, the number of boot socks in the laundry, cadences, bugle calls, our PCS counts, and by “hundreds” rather than AM and PM. The rhythms that the non-military world subscribes to—sports seasons, school years and summer vacations, work weeks, birthdays and anniversaries—are all things that must conform to “the training calendar” in the military way-of-life. It’s easy for us to fall out of sync with our pre-military communities and extended families, leaving us feeling isolated, lonely and without a homeland. As chaos increases in this world, we must press in to intentionally order our lives alongside our sisters-in-Christ who are also sisters-in-arms.
To close out March, Women’s History Month, we want to draw your attention to 4 organizations that every military-connected woman needs to know about.
Protestant Women of the Chapel (along with its partner Catholic Women of the Chapel) is, essentially, “the women’s ministry” for the United States Armed Services. The Chaplain Corps refers to PWOC as a “task-force multiplier”—reaching further into the military-community than any chapel or chaplains could on their own. PWOC is the largest auxiliary organization of the military chapel system with a presence at nearly every U.S. military installation around the world. On a given week, thousands upon thousands of women come together from every Christian denomination for worship, fellowship, scholarship and leadership development under the banner of PWOC. “The Four Aims” govern its existence: to lead, teach, develop and involve women. Their motto is: “Workers together for Christ.”
At one PWOC location some years ago, an informal poll of 150 affirmed that, for a majority of attendees, PWOC was their only exposure to a church setting (70%) and that even more (80%) felt they were primarily responsible for the spiritual development of their household. In recent years, many PWOCs have expanded their offerings to better accommodate female service-members, retirees, working spouses, homeschooling moms, and mothers of young children. Given the wide range of church experiences, backgrounds, and traditions represented at PWOC, there is a supernatural opportunity for discipleship, mentorship and friendship. Because of its extensive network of over 130 chapters around the world, when a woman faces the upheaval of a military move, she can be confident to fall into formation with her PWOC sisters at the next duty station. Over time, we cross paths with many familiar faces and friends-of-friends through the PWOC community!
To find a local PWOC chapter, leadership training tools, or more information about their ministry, go to:
- Website: thehubpwoc.net
- Facebook: The Hub at PWOC
- Instagram: @thehubpwoc
“It’s easy for us to fall out of sync with our pre-military communities and extended families, leaving us feeling isolated, lonely and without a homeland.”
Planting Roots was the first parachurch ministry to focus on women in the military community. Through their resources, events and community, Planting Roots equips and encourages women-in-uniform and military wives to grow in their faith, and share that faith with others. Organized and overseen by female veterans and military spouses, their vision is that all “military women and wives will be deeply rooted in Christ.”
Describing the ministry niche for Planting Roots, Founder and Director Kori Yates, a Marine veteran married to an active duty Army soldier, said, “We desired community that would go beyond our current installation and a place to gather with other military women and wives to encourage each other while we worship and grow together.”
Planting Roots has published many Bible studies and devotionals with the military-connected woman at heart. Presently, they are gearing up to publish another study–the title of which is yet to be revealed–but promises to aid us as we wrestle with issues like: faith, identity, community, adversity, purpose and contentment. Additionally, they now offer Expeditionary Events: highly-customizable programs that may include any combination of teachings, workshops, worship, publicity materials, print products, and more. They are partnering with local churches or chapels to carry out one-day programs or multi-day retreats facilitated by a Planting Roots staff member.
To learn more about Expeditionary Events, follow the launch of their new study (May 15!) or learn more about the Planting Roots ministry, go to:
- Website: Plantingroots.net
- Facebook: Planting Roots
- Instagram: @plantingroots1
“As chaos increases in this world, we must press in to intentionally order our lives alongside our sisters-in-Christ who are also sisters-in-arms.”
Formerly known as the Army Wife Network, this all-volunteer organization aims to cultivate feelings of solidarity, while fostering confidence and the ability-to-thrive in the military spouse lifestyle. Their blog archive totals nearly 3,000 articles and they are projected to hit 1,000 podcast episodes in 2023, making them one of the most robust military spouse support organizations in terms of content availability. Their team of military spouses from across the branches publishes new, relevant content daily on their social platforms.
While not “outwardly” a religious or spiritual organization, Mission: Milspouse recognizes the significant impact of spirituality on the well-being and mental health of military spouses and service members. From a leadership perspective, Executive Director Dr. Sharita Knobloch leads, guides, and encourages the M:M Command Team “with the faith components that are foundational to my existence and well-being as a military spouse… I lean on the scripture… illustrating that the awesome God who comforts us in our troubles gives us the privilege (yes, privilege) to come alongside and comfort those who are now going through something similar.”
Mission: Milspouse recently transitioned to a nonprofit 501(c)3. This new status promises the opportunity to offer tangible, community-focused, in-person resources, in addition to their online content. (The scope and details of their plans are all still classified!)
To explore the Mission: Milspouse archives for reviews of every military post, listen to their podcast, or have a front-row seat to the declassification of their upcoming projects, go to:
- Website: Missionmilspouse.org
- Facebook: Mission: Milspouse
- Instagram: @missionmilspouse
Armed Services Ministry
Armed Services Ministry equips the military community to engage with God’s word by offering free Bibles and Scripture resources to service members, veterans and their families. ASM’s programs run the gamut from e-courses on trauma healing, to spiritual readiness challenges, to topical studies on grief, fear, anger, guilt and more. We also partner with other grassroot efforts, non-profits and parachurch organizations to provide Bibles for their military ministries!
This Lenten season, we have been synchronizing our social stories with snippets from our devotional, “Journey of a Military Wife.” You can find the whole devotional at militaryjourneys.com, on the YouVersion app, or order a hardcopy from the ASM website.
Sync up with ASM at:
- Website: armedservicesministry.org
- Facebook: Armed Services Min
- Instagram: @armedservicesmin