From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Airport chaplains: Fly the spiritual skies

(Photo by Joe Jones)
Whether for pleasure or necessity, air travel often indicates a break in the regular routine.

Breaks like these can zap a person out of his or her everyday consciousness and into a whole new state of awareness.  Such
experiences have a way of bringing spirituality to the forefront.

That is a major reason why more and more airports are not only providing chapels, but also chaplains.  AP writer Scott Mayerowitz
reports that airport chapels are "typically tiny non-denominational spaces, in out-of-the-way locations."  According to Mayerowitz, there are "350 part- and full-time [airport] chaplains worldwide."

These chaplains represent numerous faiths and denominations: "Roman Catholic, Protestant and, to a lesser extent, Jewish, Muslim or Sikh."  Although scheduled worship services are held,
most airport chaplaincy occurs on the fly, so to speak.

Airport chaplains often find themselves in the front lines during health crises, weather extremes, employee burnout issues, plane crashes, terrorist threats, family tragedies, etc.    

As Rev. Hutz Hertzberg, Senior Protestant Chaplain at Chicago's two airports, so aptly stated:  In the 21st
century, we need to bring the ministry to where the people are instead of waiting for them to come to
our churches.


Copyright November 27, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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