ELCA Federal Chaplaincy Ministries

June 21, 2017

Would you be open to extending your ministry in your community? Would you be interested providing a “ministry of presence” by connecting with youth (cadets) and senior members (adults) of the Civil Air Patrol, the official Auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF)? Our office has recently been contacted by senior chaplains in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Chaplain Corps, to offer this unique opportunity to our pastors.

CAP, as the official auxiliary and Total Force member of the USAF, plays a leading role in aiding and supporting domestic Search and Rescue missions involving lost or downed aircraft and missing persons scenarios by performing 85% of all missions of this type for the USAF. CAP engages with a network of Federal, State and local community leaders, giving aid, relief and support during times of natural and man-made disasters, counter drug surveillance and intelligence missions, and national emergency situations.

CAP operates the world’s largest volunteer Chaplain Corps and chaplaincy program. CAP Chaplaincy is a voluntary ministry which engages and involves community pastors with a local squadron (normally based at a regional airport or local military facility or base). The basic, key role for the CAP Chaplain is conducting the Character Development program for cadets of the local CAP Units. CAP Chaplains work directly with the nation’s youth. Chaplains emphasize youth and young adult Character and Leadership Development, centered around community service and aviation. Character and Leadership Development are major focal points at the heart of the CAP Cadet program. This program is for youth ages 12 - 21. CAP is also a leader in the aviation field focused on and conducting Aerospace Education, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs for local schools (K – College) and community organizations.

CAP Chaplains also engage in advanced Emergency Services (ES) training that prepares them to become Mission Chaplains (MC) rated in three ES areas: CAP Support, Disaster Support, and Air Force (direct) Support. Once trained, they can serve as members of a Chaplain Support Team (CST), responding and giving Chaplain support to any and all situations for which the CAP is called.

Senior CAP Chaplains and our ELCA Director of Federal Chaplaincy reached out to our synod office with a particular interest in attracting new applicants to the CAP Chaplain Corps program. They are looking for chaplains where ever CAP serves throughout the US in all 52 states and US Territories. There are always a number of positions available in your local area.

To get a quick overview of the CAP Chaplain Corps program and qualifications, you can check out the home page of the Civil Air Patrol Chaplain Corps at: https://capchaplain.com/join or go to the main website for CAP at www.gocivilairpatrol.com and click on the Chaplain link.

For more information about the ELCA commitment and application details for all federal chaplaincies (military, VA hospital and federal corrections), please contact eric.wester@elca.org or call Pastor Eric Wester at (202) 417-3693.