The USS John C. Stennis is hosting informal Heathen services called sumbels in its chapel for a “small, committed” group of sailors.

A statement released by the carrier says Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Joshua Wood has been appointed Heathen lay leader for the carrier.

“I never felt like I connected with anything spiritual until I visited Norway and discovered a group of Heathens who opened my eyes to their religion,” fellow practitioner Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Joshua Shaikoski said, Military Times reported Thursday.

The newspaper noted that Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Wood’s appointment was approved by commanding officers “on the basis of volunteerism, high moral character, motivation, religious interest and a letter of certification by the appointee’s religious organization.”

“Heathenry helped me connect with people on the ship that I would have just passed by,” Aviation Electronics Technician Airman Shaikoski added.

The carrier is operating in the Persian Gulf.

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