Chaplain Clark highlights Edwards chapels as safe places

  • Published
  • By Capt. F. "Jay" Clark
  • 412th Chaplain's Office

As we look at ways that we emphasize “safe place,” one such place to highlight is the base chapel and the presence of our chapel teammates. Chapel buildings are sacred places for worship and spiritual growth. They provide sanctuary for prayer and meditation, for example. The Edwards chapels are staffed by chaplains, religious affairs Airmen, civilian employees and contractors who seek to make spaces of safe connection for individuals here at the center of the aerospace testing universe.

Connection is important for human life. To paraphrase Confucius, “In order to get the world in order we must get our nation in order, and in order to get our nation in order we must get our families in order. In order to get our families in order we must cultivate our personal lives, so we must set our hearts right.” 

For many of us, we are not in a place to fix the world, that is far too big a task. We can, however, start in the places that we do have influence. What are some ways that we as individuals are finding peace? Are we taking the time to understand ourselves? Some practical ways of doing the work of self-reflection and introspection are focused meditation, understanding personality, engaging in therapy, and the like. As such efforts shape us, we can use what we know about ourselves to help shape the environment around us. That environment can be our families (locally and abroad), our personal relationships (intimate and superficial), the places where we recreate, and especially our workplaces. The old adage is that “hurt people, hurt people.” If this is the case, then the inverse is an imperative: that helped people must seek to help people. This grows our sense of connection and safety.

Lastly, we must connect to something that is greater than ourselves. It is in this that our identity finds purpose. This is where the location of the chapel and the work of the chaplain team can help. It is our focus to help everyone with ethical, morale, matter of conscience, spiritual or religious needs. When all pillars of the Comprehensive Airman Fitness model are engaged and exercised, then we can see the full potential we have as humans, as teammates and as citizens of our country.