By 2nd Lt. Idalí Beltré Acevedo | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The base chaplain’s office is hosting their first prayer walk, Walk with a Purpose, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 20.
Capt. Lauren Hughes, 50th Space Wing chaplain, organized the event to allow the Schriever community a venue for spiritual growth and resilience while meditating, focusing on mindfulness and praying about different topics affecting Airmen.
The initiative comes from Maj. Gen. Steven Schaick, chief of chaplains, who asked Air Force chaplain corps members to join him in a worldwide prayer stand down for the Air Force, Sept. 13-15.
The chaplain’s office invites all Airmen, independent of their beliefs, as this is an event focused on strengthening spiritual fitness, not religion.
“The prayer walk gives Airmen an opportunity to exercise their spiritual muscles,” Hughes said. “It’s a collective effort for those [of all faiths] to come together and intentionally pray for our Airmen and their families. It will connect Airmen to each other, and the chapel staff, as we pray about specific topics, in our own unique ways. Even if Airmen can’t attend the prayer walk, my hope is this event will reveal the care and concern Team Schriever has for [their] community.”
She explained how the prayer walk aligns with the chaplain corps competencies.
“The two core competencies of the chaplain corps are to provide spiritual care and advice to leadership, this event falls under our first core,” she said. “The prayer walk will give us a time to reflect over this past fiscal year and pray for guidance, resiliency and spiritual fitness in this upcoming year.”
Hughes highlighted the importance of prayer as a way to strengthen the spirit.
“In my faith tradition, prayer is essential to being spiritually fit,” she said. “One does not need to use eloquent words when speaking to God. The creator just wants us to be open and honest about our thoughts, feelings and struggles.”
Capt. Willy Gedeon, 50th Space Wing chaplain, said the event is meant to bring Airmen closer.
“[Schriever] is not just a place to [come to] work, but it is a home away from home, where people should know each other and know what’s going on [with each other]. As we pray together we will build that closeness.”
Capt. Ronald Lawrence, 50th Space Wing chaplain, said this event helps Airmen boost their resilience and connect outside of their workplace.
“I believe having events like this helps us to actually come together,” he said. “When we come together we are no longer individuals working in cubicles or working in different spaces but we are individuals coming together for a common purpose and this unifies people.”
Hughes said a sense of community is important for Airmen to build resilience and overcome adversities.
“Community and unity are foundational in developing resilient Airmen,” she said. “When a person has a village of people cheering, correcting, caring for them, they tend to be able to overcome or bounce back from the hardships of life.”