PWOC participants can be proud of their international and national PWOC heritage. This chapel-based ministry for women was formed to help chaplains carry out their religious programs, and to bring Christian fellowship and spiritual growth to U.S. military communities around the globe.
Shortly after family members of U.S. Armed Forces began arriving in Europe in the mid-1950's, women formed chapel support groups to assist their chaplains and to seek Christian fellowship. Initially, these groups had no ties to other chapel or women's groups. In October 1955, 250 women from across Europe attended a convention in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Here a U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) PWOC Council was established and guidelines for area and local chapters were prepared. In May 1956, 500 women gathered again in Berchtesgaden for the first PWOC Training Conference. There were speakers and workshops to train the delegates and to offer spiritual enrichment. This conference proved to be so successful that it has become an annual PWOC-Europe event. All chapters of the U.S. Forces Europe were united into one organization in 1960 and the USAREUR Council became the European Council.
"We Are Workers Together for Christ," the theme of the first PWOC training conference, has become the official motto for PWOC worldwide.
PWOC-International was formed in 2006 as PWOC- Europe and PWOC-USA transformed into one organization.top
The Protestant Women of the Chapel is a resource network that unites, trains and encourages women in the military chapel community in their spiritual growth.
PWOC is God empowered, Christ centered and Spirit led; exists as an extension of the chapel; encourages women to grow spiritually within the body of Christ through prayer, the study of God's Word, worship and service; is sponsored by the Army Chief of Chaplains and is recognized by the leadership of the Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Chaplaincy.top
This is the primary logo for PWOC. The mark is a representation of the mission, vision, and values of the ministry.
Turquoise: stands for the presence of God, which brings freedom, refreshment and the life giving energy of the Holy Spirit. His presence transforms us and enables us to make a difference in the culture in which we live. As we abide in His presence, we are empowered to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to others in need.
The Metallic Letters and Olive Branch: stand for the precious metal of God's love. In Psalm 36:7-9 are these words: "How precious is thy steadfast love, O God!"
White Cross: symbol of our Christian faith. One bar is vertical signifying our responsibility to communion with God, while the other is horizontal, representing our responsibility to our fellow man. It is white because that is the color of purity and cleanliness and represents Jesus' nature. The shadow shows the depth of the cross and our ability to enter into the refuge of Jesus.
Dark Blue: stands for freedom, which we know as Christians. Jesus died and we are free from sin. Jesus says: "…you will know the truth and the truth will make you free."
PWOC has four aims:
- to LEAD women to accept Christ as personal Savior and Lord;
- to TEACH women the history, beliefs, and programs of the church, all built on a solid foundation of worship and Bible study;
- to DEVELOP in women the skills of prayer, evangelism, stewardship, and social service, against a background of personal spiritual development;
- to INVOLVE women in the work of the Chapel, in keeping with their abilities and interests.
Readiness Position Statement
The Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) is an integral part of the installation's religious support mission, which directly assists the commander in caring for his/her Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families. PWOC is a part of the commander's religious support program and it organizationally exists under the supervision of the installation chaplain. PWOC's part of the religious program is to minister to the unique needs of the military woman and female military spouse. PWOC equips women to flourish in the unique challenges of the military lifestyle through its emphasis on nurturing and mentoring. This is accomplished by seasoned military spouses and mature military women.
PWOC provides the environment to nurture a spiritually enriching community that enhances personal enrichment and family readiness. During times of deployment, the Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Marine can be assured that PWOC will be a close, caring group who will be there to support his spouse and provide a helping hand when needed.
PWOC is grounded in spiritual principles, and is a unique force multiplier for the commander. This is accomplished by training women in personal and family skills, by being a compassionate safety net to hurting women, and by supporting the ideals that military personnel are called to protect and defend.top