are expected to use common sense when
ministering in a public forum.
“We as Christians may be offended if a
Muslim used ‘in Allah’s name’ in a prayer,” says Hunter, noting chaplains need to
use “common sense, decency and respect.
“So we don’t [use the phrase ‘in Jesus’
name’] out of respect for others. We may
conclude ‘in the name of our God’ which
isn’t considered putting anyone down.”
Bergeron notes working in the multi-
faith environment may challenge some
thinking of chaplaincy.
“It’s not a denominational environ-
ment, and we don’t work for the advance-
ment of a denomination,” says Bergeron.
“Some people are comfortable working in
that context, while some people who are
in denominational ministry may not work
well in a chaplaincy context.”
Still, says Bergeron, “It’s a great life. I had
22 years of civilian ministry before entering
the military. It’s a tremendous opportunity
to serve with some of the bravest men and
women of Canada.
Rob ERT WHITE of Guelph, Ont., is
a freelance writer and an editor
with Christian Week Ontario.
Major Kevin Klein, chaplain at Canadian Forces Base montreal/St-Jean, talks to churches all the time, and many
of them ask what they can do to help military
chaplains with their ministry. Here’s a list of
ideas from Klein, Lt.-Col. Pierre Bergeron,
Capt. Ray Smith and Jane Twohey, director
of military Christian Fellowship, a Canadian
association for military men and women:
• Contact a chaplain stationed nearby, and
ask how you can help.
• If your church is near a base, develop ministry teams to help base chaplains with
• Hold a Canadian Forces Family Sunday
where your congregation honours the
sacrifices of Canadian Forces members
and their families.
• Hold a Remembrance Sunday (nearest
to november 11) to honour veterans and
serving military members. Invite a chaplain to take part.
• Take time to learn about the transient
nature of military families, become sensitive to their needs and integrate them into
your church as quickly as possible.
• Become part of the Military Christian
Fellowship prayer network or intercessory
team ( www.mcf-canada.ca) and pray for
deployed soldiers, military families and
• Provide practical support for military families such as cutting lawns, shovelling snow
or offering rides. –RW
Churches Can Help Chaplains