JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C., –
Local religious ministers from various faiths met at Joint Base Charleston March 15, 2018 to learn how to better assist the increasing number of service member’s attending their congregations.
The day-long gathering included an in depth explanation of the roles of Air Force and Navy Chaplains, an open-ended discussion between local clergy and chaplain corps representatives and a live demonstration of JB Charleston’s mobility capabilities.
“The purpose of today was to establish a line of communication between civilian clerics and the chaplain corps to assist each group in providing the best religious services possible,” said Lt. Col. Craig Abee, 628th lead chaplain’s augmentee. “By establishing this relationship, we want to help these clerics to provide the best possible religious services to the active duty, reserves, guard members and veterans who attend off-base services.”
Abee and Col. Walter Bean, 628th Air Base Wing joint base senior lead chaplain, delivered a brief explanation of a military chaplain’s mission and answered questions asked by the communities’ ministers.
“I have a lot of veterans in my congregation,” said Dr. Clay Shook, Memorial Baptist Church pastor. “This was a great way for me to learn how to better serve the veterans in my church. I was amazed at how much a military chaplain actually does.”
The clergy saw the loading of a C-17 Globemaster III, providing a firsthand look at what some of their congregation members might do or support on a daily basis.
“The loading demonstration of the C-17 was very impressive,” said Shook. “I have never seen anything like that. The aircraft is one impressive piece of engineering.”
As the diversity of the military and its members grow, providing everyone, regardless of faith, equal religious and spiritual services becomes an ever important mission for the chaplains of the military.