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Luau kicks off Alpha course to promote spiritual fitness

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- Chaplain Mark Robertson talks to volunteer leaders of the Alpha Course that will be happening on base. The course is designed to help Airmen become spiritually fit. For more information contact Chaplain Robertson 606-5773(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Wesley Carter)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- Chaplain Mark Robertson talks to volunteer leaders of the Alpha Course that will be happening on base. The course is designed to help Airmen become spiritually fit. For more information contact Chaplain Robertson 606-5773(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Wesley Carter)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An explosion of pastel napkins folded like flowers gave the dining room a tropical atmosphere for the 30th Space Wing Chapel-sponsored luau Sept. 7 at the Pacific Coast Club to kick off the Alpha Course.

"The Alpha Course is about reaching people outside of church," Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Robertson, 30th Space Wing protestant chaplain said. "The PCC offers a relaxed environment where people can be open and not feel threatened for their views."

The course, which is scheduled to meet every Thursday for the next 10 weeks and is still open for registration, is designed to help people grow as believers and as a community, said Chaplain Robertson.

"Participants of the course will break up into small groups and discuss some of life's toughest questions like 'Who is Jesus?'" he said.

Being able to have open discussions about things of a spiritual nature help Airmen cope with the hardships of military life.

"Alpha allows the opportunity for members of Vandenberg to make not only a spiritual connection, but also reach out to each other and make a community connection," said Annabelle Robertson, wife of Chaplain Robertson and guest speaker at the luau.

"Being spiritually fit along with having a good support group at home makes being deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan easier to handle," Chaplain Robertson said.

The luau served Hawaiian entrées that consisted of fried rice and chicken covered in a native sauce, he said.

The hard work of those involved in supporting the dinner was appreciated by the wing chaplain.

"The planning and hard work from the chaplain's assistants to ensure all the contractual requirements were met before the dinner took place was miraculous with the short amount of time that we had," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Michael Grubbs, 30th SW Chaplain.

The luau allowed the chapel to start a program that will promote the spiritual fitness of Airmen and their families. This fitness is crucial to the health of the Air Force and its Airmen. For more information on the Alpha course contact Chaplain Robertson at 606-5773.