FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 18, 2016) -- Community members are invited to attend Fort Lee’s first, “Back to Church Sunday,” a day focused on equipping and empowering participants to be “inviters” as a part of a national movement of churches across America Sept. 18.

There will be two services to choose from – Catholic Mass in the sanctuary of Memorial Chapel and Protestant Worship under a tent outside of Williams Stadium, both at 10 a.m.

Worship will be followed by a free picnic, petting zoo, pony rides, inflatable Kids Zone, ministry fair, “Dunk your Chaplain” booth, and lots of fun with fellowship.

The National Back to Church Sunday movement is in its eighth year and continues to gain momentum with over 30,000 churches representing 120 denominations expected to participate this year. Eight-out-of-10 people say they are open to visiting church if invited – they are just waiting for an invitation.

The Protestant worship service will be a combined effort of the Memorial Chapel Traditional Protestant, 909 Contemporary, Gospel, Hispanic Bilingual, and Ordnance Reload Christian Worship Services. With around 1,000 expected to attend, it will be a special service that features contemporary and gospel music, traditional hymns and a spirit-filled message preached by Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Claude A. Crisp.

“Now’s the Time,” is this year’s theme, which is relevant to both churchgoers and those who do not attend church. The BTCS Facebook site states, “In a time when terrorism plagues our freedom and the current culture threatens our religious liberties, the need for the church and God’s favor is greater than ever. The theme is based on 2 Corinthians 6:2, which reads, ‘Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.’ Participating churches believe there has never been a better time than now to come back and get plugged in to a church that offers a place to belong, opportunities to serve the community, and the chance to grow spiritually through a journey of personal faith.”

“This is Fort Lee’s first year to participate in National Back to Church Sunday, as well as our first attempt at a single worship and Christian fellowship event this big,” said Crisp. “Our chapel communities and Unit Ministry Team Lee have been working hard on this event for months and anticipate sharing hospitality with over 1,300 people that day. We are excited to share our love of God, all the opportunities offered by Fort Lee’s Religious Support program and the opportunity to call the community of Fort Lee ‘Back to Church.’”

With nine different religious services held at five separate locations throughout the week, as well as Bible studies, men’s and women’s groups, a junior-senior high youth program, and tons of kid and family friendly programs throughout the year, there is something for everyone at Fort Lee, according to the chaplain.

For more information about Fort Lee’s religious programs or this event, visit www.lee.army.mil/rso/chaplain or www.Facebook.com/FortLeeReligiousActivities, or contact the Religious Support Office at (804) 734-6494.