HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — The base chapel hosted a Faith Leaders Summit here with local clergy to foster resource networking and strengthen ministry partnerships, April 6.
During the summit, attendees were introduced to the demands, operational tempo and mission of military and civilian Airmen working on base. They also received briefings from base representatives and toured facilities.
“Ministering on an installation with more the 21,000 military and civilian employees is a huge task,” said 75th Air Base Wing Deputy Chaplain (Maj.) Lukus Counterman. “Many civilian ministers serve people who work here at Hill and building bridges with local clergy extends our spiritual care capabilities.”
A key aspect of the summit involved the community resource networking briefing where the faith leaders entered services they provide into a smart phone application, which will result in an organized, comprehensive local resource listing to assist in extending spiritual care to Airmen.
This information will help base chaplains better understand the availability or limitations of support regarding worship and rites, religious accommodations, pastoral care and traumatic stress intervention for the diverse faith groups represented on base.
Briefings on topics ranging from the Wingman Advocate program to suicide prevention were also provided. The purpose of such briefings was to familiarize visiting clergy with top stressors faced by Airmen who use their community faith services.
“We have the all the best equipment, everything you can imagine when it comes to computers and technology, but the most important resource we have doesn’t have a tail number, or a serial number, it has a social security number,” said 75th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Jennifer Hammerstedt, “and that’s our people. We have a fantastic chapel program here at Hill, but I know that the vast majority of them worship off the installation where you lead. That’s why what you do is such an invaluable service.”
Other summit activities included a breakfast and additional briefings. After a mission briefing, the faith leaders proceeded on a walking tour of the base chapel and guided tours of 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group and 388th Maintenance Squadron facilities and operations.