For a number of years, I served as a chaplain (padre) in the army reserves here in Canada. I absolutely loved it. But I eventually released for two reasons: one was that I was starting at a new church which I wanted to focus on and the other was I was having some health issues.
Regarding my health issues, I have made a remarkable recovery, have drastically cut down my medication and am in the best shape that I have been in for years.
Regarding my church focus, I have now been at my church for three years and feel very settled here. I have been looking for ways to get involved in the community.
At this point, the chaplain branch has accepted me, the local regiment has accepted me and I have passed my fitness test. The final step is just to pass my medical test.
But why would I even want to return to military chaplaincy? Am I not busy enough? Here are my reasons for wanting to return to the army as a padre.
- The armoury where I am looking to serve is only a five minute walk from my church. I see it as part of the community I want to serve.
- My job as pastor is to take care of my congregation but also to get outside the building and minister to others.
- I love the military culture. Too many people think that culture is about killing people. It is not. It is about growing as leaders and developing skills.
- The military provides training, including ministry training, that will benefit my congregation.
- Being in the military helps me to stay in shape, which benefits me personally and helps me to be a better pastor.
- I care about those who are serving in the military, both in the reserves and regular forces. If I can help, I want to.
- I enjoy the connections I make with other padres.
- It is fun.
Those are just some of the reasons that I want to return to military chaplaincy.
If you are interested in learning more about military chaplaincy here in Canada, you can find information here.