Unpacking your spiritual suitcase

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Maj.) Keith Muschinske
  • 341st Space Wing Chapel
"Where's home for you?" North or south, east or west - the answer only begins to scratch the surface of our diverse Air Force.

For many, a big part of "home" accompanies us wherever the road called "PCS" leads. I'm not talking family, at least not in the usual sense. I'm talking "faith" - my faith, your faith, our faith. I'm talking about our many and diverse religious belief - in a power, a force, a God greater than ourselves; in a "family of faith;" in what moves our spiritual selves along the road to integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do.

That's what the Air Force Chaplain Service is about - helping bring that part of home - your religious faith - to life at Malmstrom. We won't unpack your "faith suitcase" for you, but we're here to help you do so. We're here to help you exercise those same 1st Amendment rights you've sworn to defend.

For some here at Malmstrom, exercising their Freedom of Religion doesn't include a "faith family," because what makes up a faith family - others who believe as we do, a place to meet and/or worship, specific spiritual leaders to encourage us on our life journey - is not readily available. For many, "floating weekends" necessitated by missile field schedules make regular faith family participation, even if there are a number of local faith family options, difficult.

So ... is that all there is? If we fall into one of those two categories, do we simply shrug off the opportunity to grow our faith while at Malmstrom? Do we make "where we are" an excuse to forget "who we are," or, for some, "whose we are"? You are certainly free to forget, and you won't get much from your Chaplain Service to the contrary--remember, we can't, unpack your faith suitcase for you. But if you'd rather grow your spiritual self, even in this "wilderness" setting, here are just a couple of ways to find the "spiritual water" for that growth. First, don't assume there aren't any familiar faith families in the area. The chapel has info on a variety of religious resources, for a variety of faith groups. We can also--through respectful and anonymous ways--connect you with others who have identified the same "religious preference" as your own. Contact the chapel at 731-3721 for more info.

Second, especially for those posted in the field, we now provide resources and Web links on the 10-day share drive, accessible from any MAF. Go to the "Missile Field Devotional Links" folder, and if you don't find a sub-folder on your religion, contact the chapel and we'll do our best to hook you up. If you have a link or other resources to recommend, let us know as well. Help us help you to unpack your spiritual suitcase while you're here under the Big Sky!