Incirlik hosts a spirituality and religion forum

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Rebeccah Woodrow
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 39th Air Base Wing chapel hosted a lunch and enrichment panel with representatives from four different belief systems here Aug. 17.

The panel featured representatives from Atheism, Catholicism, Islam, and Protestant Christianity.

“The purpose of today’s session is to explain how practicing one’s belief system strengthens resilience,” said Lt. Col. Ronald Ragon, 39th ABW chaplain.

Following Ragon’s opening remarks, each representative dove deeper into their personal beliefs and how their practices help them each day. They also took questions from the audience.

The representatives discussed how each religion deals with social resiliency through their belief system in response to major world issues such as starvation, natural disasters and terrorism.

Maj. Richard Luger, who represented Atheism and Humanism, responded, “We owe it to our fellow man to respect and help one another.”

Agreeing with Luger, “Christians are called to reach out in care and concern for others,” said Maj. Anthony Wade, representing Protestant Christian religion. “Christian organizations rally to help those in need during natural disasters, relieving the suffering of refugees through clothing drives and monetary donations.”

The panel and audience also explored spiritual resiliency – one of the four pillars of Comprehensive Airman Fitness.

 The Air Force defines Comprehensive Airman Fitness pillars as “essential to an individual's resiliency, as esprit de corps is vital to a unit's mission accomplishment.”

Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Johnson, 39th Force Support Squadron fitness operations manager, said he attended the luncheon to grow his faith knowledge -- to hear a new prospective on faith, or messages that affirm his beliefs.

“I knew most of the forum members and… it’s just good to know that regardless of what their religion might be there is still a moral standing that brings us together as a military, as the Department of Defense,” Johnson said. “It was good to see a forum where that was accepted and appreciated.”

 Here at Incirlik, while Airmen are away from their families, the chapel puts together these forums for all to enhance their spiritual resiliency.

“Our goal for this panel was to encourage folks to engage in their own spirituality in a creative way,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Trotter, superintendent of chapel operations.

For more information on spiritual resiliency resources to include scheduling a “Faith Works” event in your unit, contact the chaplain’s office at 676-6441.