I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ret. Colonel Mitchell Lewis, who reflected on his 26 years of military service as an Army chaplain. He was kind enough to give me a glimpse into the pivotal role chaplains play in the lives of their service men and women and their families.
Chaplain Lewis has a storied career. He deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division to Iraq and has been with soldiers in combat, conducting services beside artillery pieces in action. In his early career, he served new recruits in basic training. When he became the Deputy Command Chaplain for the Army in Europe and later the Command Chaplain for the Army in Central and South America, he was responsible for the welfare and training of chaplains in those regions. Retiring from active duty in 2017, Chaplain Lewis is now the Director of the United Methodist Endorsing Agency, training and endorsing military chaplains who come from the United Methodist tradition.
Chaplain Lewis knows first-hand the unique spiritual and emotional needs of our troops: “Soldiers are lonely and scared and are looking for things not in chaos like the world around them. . . . One of the most pressing spiritual needs of our men and women is to have a sense of rootedness whether at home or in combat, ...an anchor to hold on to when everything is going to pieces.”
That’s why devotional material is in such a demand for our troops, explains Chaplain Lewis. The Upper Room daily devotional offers our men and women in uniform a sense of connection—to God and to their families—that they desperately desire. For many, the daily devotional strengthens family ties, giving assurance to soldiers knowing that their spouse or family are reading the same devotion on the same day.
When you give to The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry, you help chaplains meet the spiritual needs of their troops, whether in daily life on the base or in combat. Our service men and women often feel isolated and lonely and face danger in training and deployment. The Upper Room offers them encouragement when they need it most.
Today, you can help to remind our men and women in uniform that they are not alone. Through your gift to The Upper Room Chaplains’ Ministry, you can be a source of strength and encouragement, helping to keep them connected to God. Will you join us in supporting the spiritual lives of our troops?
Between Memorial Day and July 31, we aim to raise $100,000 for this ministry.
The Chaplains’ Ministry costs $189,000 a year to operate.
Did you know that the Chaplains’ Ministry supports prison chaplains too?
Need help in deciding on how much to give? A gift of $42 will provide 10 copies of The Upper Room per issue to a chaplain.
Your gift of $42—or whatever you are able to give—will help chaplains deliver a message of hope and encouragement to those they serve, reminding them of God’s love and ever-present help in times of troubles.
If you are a military or prison chaplain and would like to receive copies of The Upper Room daily devotional for your ministry, please email Amy Skerratt or call her at 877.899.2781 ext. 7212.
Joining friends at The Upper Room in morning prayer on Facebook Live has been an anchor in the storm during recent weeks. In the chaos of trying to figure out how to do ministry in strange and uncertain times, it was a compelling call to stop, breathe, listen, and be in community with those who gather "where the world meets to pray." Join us each day for morning prayer.