Chaplains prepare for holiday season

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steve Bauer
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
The tempo of the chaplains on base will not slow down as the holiday season nears. In fact, the chaplains are heading into one of their busiest times of the year.

"During the holiday season we remain busy," said Staff Sgt. Robert Hangley, a chaplain assistant from the 30th Space Wing. "We provide more services at the chapels, give counseling to our sevicemembers being deployed and prepare for any contingencies that may come our way." 

During the Christmas season, the chaplains support and give back to the community in an assortment of ways. One example is Team V's Catholic Charities, which runs a food bank to assist with the basic needs of the local community. 

"Team V chaplains are heavily involved in the community," said Capt. Mark Robertson, a chaplain from the 30th Space Wing. 

That also includes the on-base community. Chaplains support and volunteer their time at the chapel-sponsored GI Java for the Airmen living in the dorms. The GI Java is a cyber-café where the Airmen can come with empty wallets and enjoy free Internet access, gourmet coffee and play games on its big-screen TVs, Captain Robertson said. 

The chaplains also encourage the youth of the community to participate in several exciting programs, said the captain. The youth programs include Vacation Bible School, Children's Church, Mothers of Preschoolers and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine to name a few. 

There are opportunities for the entire family to get closer to their faith, as chaplains also meet regularly with the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faith communities. Anyone seeking to worship a different religion can visit the chapel so that accommodations can be made to insure their spiritual needs are met. 

"It's great to be around here this time of year, because I get to see a lot of families who come to our services who want to become closer with their families and beliefs," Sergeant Hangley said. 

Some people, however, are unable to be with family during the holidays. While this season can bring people happiness and joy, others may feel loneliness and depression. 

"It is important to look out for your Wingmen during this time of year," Captain Robertson said. "If you see someone who looks like they need guidance, advice or just someone to talk to, refer them to the chaplains." 

Counseling done by chaplains is absolutely confidential. Anything said to a chaplain will stay with only that chaplain, even if a crime is confessed during the counseling. 

"Chaplains are not police officers or prosecutors," Captain Robertson said. "Chaplains represent the grace, pardon and peace of forgiveness - not the strict, even fair, punishment of law." 

"Chaplains are here to help," he added. 

During this season the chapel community here will host a slew of holiday services. For more information on the chapel's holiday schedule, call 606-5773.