Chapel embraces religious freedom

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
The base chapel highlights the significance of religious freedom as a foundational human right. It provides Airmen and their families a community who experience similar life events such as frequent moves and high work tempo.

The chaplain corps exists to support free exercise of religion according to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. At each base, chaplains support the religious freedom of Airmen and their families and help with spiritual resilience.

“Participants in the chapel program find deep relational connections with each other early on,” said Maj. Shawn Bishop, 92nd Air Refueling Wing chaplain. “Airmen are able to support each other and foster the social domain of resilience while increasing their spiritual resilience.”

The presence of chaplains on base are a great asset said Bishop. Throughout his time as a chaplain, Bishop has seen regular cases where Airmen who are experiencing challenges and difficult decisions have felt comfortable talking with a chaplain and have found pathways to a good solution.

“When I first came to Fairchild it was just me; my family was in New Jersey,” said Tech. Sgt. Veronica Zurita, 92nd Communications Squadron unit deployment manager. “I found family in the chapel here with the Catholic service. The chapel does a lot of good events for families and the staff is always there for you.”

The chapel provides visits to units, pastoral counseling and hosts numerous events like marriage retreats and seminars. They also arrange trips for Airmen to go horseback riding, mountain biking and rock climbing. Other opportunities to do something different, change focus and hang out with fellow Airmen.

The chapel encourages all Airmen of all faiths to embrace religious freedom and use it in their lives to be accepting of all Airmen regardless of their own religious identities.

“The unity that the chapel community has is what brings me in every Sunday to help, volunteer and to teach the children about religious life,” Zurita said. “It feels like home and they treat you like family.”