Commentary

October 25, 2013

Chapel celebrates 50 years of connecting people

Maj. Rolf Holmquist
99th Air Base Wing Chapel

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — As the chapel celebrates its 50th Anniversary this October, 50 years can seem like a long time, but age is relative.

For example, there are ongoing debates of how old the universe is, its existence ranging from thousands to billions of years. Consider that the United States is only 237 years old compared to a more mature 763-year-old Stockholm — the city that was close to where my father was born. World War II ended 68 years ago, and even our own United States Air Force is 66 years old. Fifty years of ministry for the 99th Air Base Wing Chapel is significant and yet, it is just a moment in time.

A lot has happened in these past 50 years including wars and conflicts in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Deployments have increased across the globe. Our Airmen faced and still face danger and some have even died for their country. The chapel has stood tall as a light on a hill, a beacon in the fog during this period to help people get through these ever changing times.

The 99th ABW Chapel team started taking care of people in 1963, and it still does so today. One reason for this 50 yearlong success is the connect-ability that happens when you are there. The dictionary defines connect as to join, link, unite or bind, to establish communication. Connect-ability is the ability to connect with other people in a variety of social settings.

By nature, people are social creatures. We were never designed to be alone. Humanity thrives on its ability to connect with each other. The chapel has always been a place where people can connect to their faith, family and friends.

This social network happens at this chapel, and other chapels around the world, even in deployed locations. Airmen enjoy this connection to people so much when they retire they still choose to worship at a military chapel. We have lots of veterans that still serve our young Airmen and their families as they meet throughout the week in the chapel.

We owe a debt of gratitude for those that have served in the past to make the chapel the hub that it is today. One of those Airmen is the late Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Robert P. Taylor, former chief of Chaplains, and was the keynote speaker at the Oct. 27, 1963, chapel dedication.

Taylor was a World War II veteran. He survived the Bataan Death March and 42 months in several Japanese prison camps. His job while in the prison camps was to minister to more than 10,000 patients at the prison camp hospital in Cabantuan, Philippines. What Taylor was doing was connecting these patients to their faith and to each other. They could not go to a chapel, but the chapel could go to them in the form of Taylor’s ministry.

As the 99th ABW Chapel reaches its 50th year of existence, we have much to celebrate. This chapel has hosted many marriages, baptisms, first communions, confessions, and even funerals and memorials. What is the outcome of all this good connect-ability? – Resilient families.

Connecting to one’s faith is vital for many people. As we connect to our faith, we bring our family along with us. Our family members connect to their faith and to each other and then they make new chapel friends. So the social spiral continues to swirl outwards creating more and more resources for Airmen and our families.

This produces resilient Airmen and that is what the chapel team is all about: connecting Airmen and families to an array of resources in order to weather turbulent times like these. So if you are in the neighborhood Oct. 27come join us at 9:15 a.m. for a slice of cake as we celebrate 50 years of caring for the Nellis AFB community. Come, get connected.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Nellis readies for Red Flag 15-2

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy, approaches the runway for landing during Red Flag 15-1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Feb....
 
 

Nellis to host AF wounded warrior trials

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, British and Australian wounded warriors will convene here Feb. 27 through March 5 for the 2015 Air Force Trials. The trials are an adaptive sports event designed to promote the mental and physical well-being of seriously ill and injured military members and veterans. Nellis...
 
 

Just American: A century of Black life

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson....
 

 

Don’t underestimate importance of sacrifices

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We...
 
 
awards

2014 NTTR Annual Awards Breakfast

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Mikaley Towle (From left to right) Staff Sgts. Jeffrey Golson and Kerri Rude, Master Sgt. James Rouse, and Cheryl Daniels pose for a group photo during the Nevada Test and Training Range 2014 ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Nellis hero recognized in Portraits in Courage

Courtesy photo Tech. Sgt. Patrick McGillivray, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal technician, poses for a photo while deployed in the Wardak Province, Afghanistan. McGillivray was recognized in the ninth v...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin