Spiritual health is one of the four pillars in Comprehensive Airman Fitness. One of the Air Force’s major resources in strengthening this component is the chapel systems. Be it a religious service or some morale-boosting down time, the services provided by D-M’s chapel are designed with Airmen and their families in mind.
Davis-Monthan has two chapels: Hope Chapel and Desert Dove Chapel. Each provides an array of religious services ranging from Catholic to Earth-based, and if they don’t provide a service they are happy to help you find it.
“We are here to provide the free exercise of religion,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Brad Phillips, 355th Fighter Wing deputy chaplain. “So if we don’t offer the service you are looking for on-base, we have a contact list that we can use to refer you to an off-base organization. We want to help you find the service you are looking for.”
In the spirit of providing, the Chapel offers Airmen a place to relax and unwind through their Airman ministry center.
“The concept is to have something embedded in the base that Airman can go to as a safe haven for good, healthy physical and spiritual morale boosting,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Dan Zulli, 355th Fighter Wing head chaplain. “One of the things our AMC has is monthly outings. This month we’re going up to the Grand Canyon.”
Another aspect of the base AMC is The Loft, a place where Airmen can go to play video games on one of the provided consoles, cook a meal in the full-sized kitchen or just relax with friends. The Loft, located on the top floor of Bldg. 3610, is currently undergoing renovations and should be completed by October.
“The Loft provides an opportunity for our young men and women to get out of their rooms and connect with other Airmen,” Zulli said.
The Chapel also offers programs for families. Two of their most popular are the Awana and Mothers of Preschoolers programs.
Awana is weekly bible study for children from Pre-K to high school. The children spend their time at Awana playing games, singing songs and fellowshipping with others in their age group.
During MOPS, children are entertained by Chapel staff while moms gather for food, relaxation and adult conversation.
“Their vision is to create a space where moms are encouraged and up-lifted,” said Chaplain (Capt.) John Boyer, 355th Fighter Wing chaplain. “The purpose is to get support from peers who know exactly what they’re going through.”
A squadron is just another type of family, and each squadron is assigned a designated Chaplain. These Chaplains are there for more than a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. They’re here to get the party started.
“Anything we can do to help a squadron build resiliency and morale we do,” Chaplain Zulli said. “For instance, if a unit’s chaplain wanted to hold a burger burn, they’d contact the first sergeant or commander to coordinate a time. The chapel would provide the food, the unit lines up the cooks for the grill and we hold a mini Wingman event for the squadron.”
The Chapel program also assists with annual base holiday activities such as the Harvest Festival, an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating, and A Starry, Snowy Night.
“We have a variety of programs hitting several different demographics on base,” Chaplain Boyer said. “In total, more than one thousand people a week are being reached by the Chapel. It’s very exciting to be a part of that.”
For more information on services and programs, contact the Chapel at 520-228-5411.