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 Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle

AFAS helps ease financial stress

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Hiroko Bush, 99th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant, accepts a Nellis Airman’s Air Force Financial Aid Society application at the Airman and Family Re...
 
 

AF to change instructions for oaths

WASHINGTON — The Air Force has instructed force support offices across the service to allow both enlisted members and officers to omit the words “So help me God” from enlistment and officer appointment oaths if an Airman chooses. In response to concerns raised by Airmen, the Department of the Air Force requested an opinion from...
 
 

Why I became a victim advocate for fellow Airmen

Editor’s note: Though the author chose to remain anonymous, this is the real story of one Airman’s experience with sexual assault. Be mindful that no two sexual assault stories are the same. If you, or anyone you know, has been or is currently a victim of any sexual crime, contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

USAF A3, former USAFWS commandant visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler Lt. Gen. Burton M. Field, deputy chief of staff of Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., is sprayed by his wife Lisa after hi...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed

Shedding light on patient advocates

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Master Sgt. Bryan Anderson, 99th Medical Group patient advocate, speaks with a patient at the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Sept. 15....
 
 

F-35 on time to deliver global security, Air Force official said

WASHINGTON — Work leading up the completion of the multinational F-35 program is largely on track, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office executive officer said in remarks during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 15. Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported steady progress across all elements of...
 




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