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Lutheran Chaplains at Travis Air Force Base

Today, we celebrate the work of ELCA pastors who are serving at military bases. Earlier this year, Diana Barrios (Director of Finance and Stewardship for the Synod) and I visited Chaplains Semovoski and Bense at Travis Air Force Base (Travis AFB). Military bases often function as cities (with housing, restaurants and other amenities), work places and training sites.

There are two churches at Travis AFB. One primarily cares for Catholics. The other is a worship space for Protestants. The Protestant chapel at Travis AFB looks like a typical congregation with one noticeable upgrade. Behind the altar, there is a jacuzzi for baptisms. In addition to worship services, the space is also used for weddings, funerals and other life events.

Inside the Travis AFB's movie theater, we attended a ceremony to honor service members who had excelled during the past month. Chaplains try to attend as many celebrations as they can, so that people associate chaplains with more than just the hardest moments in their life and work.

Being present with those they care for enables chaplains to build connects, to be seen as a colleague and gives folk who may want to talk to them an opportunity to chat without it looking like folk need help.

Before visiting Travis AFB, I assumed that chaplains mostly attend to the injury that comes from war or humanitarian efforts. This is an important part of their work, but due to the age that many airmen enlist, military chaplains also take care of many of the same needs as other ministries to young adults.


The Peak is a coffee shop and hang out space for airmen with programing that could also be found on a college campus.

Military chaplains, like all chaplains, provide critical care and support in places where there are emergencies and disasters. At Travis AFB, chaplains also provide support for the ordinary aspects of life. Please add military chaplains, particularly Chaplains Semovoski and Bense at Travis AFB, to your prayer lists.


If you are interested in Military Chaplaincy, you can learn more about it here:


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Courtney Geibert
Courtney Geibert
11 ene 2022

Thank you for an introduction to military chaplaincy. I LOVE the addition of a jacuzzi! I am holding Chaplains Semovoski and Bense at Travis AFB in my prayers.

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