Raising 'Spirits': Base chapel offers new cafe and services to build Airmen morale

WHITEMAN AFB, MO -- The base chapel will be offering new services to better meet the needs of Whiteman's community and reach out to a younger audience.

One of the many changes is the creation of the Spirit Café, a non-threatening atmosphere for Airmen to relax in, said Chaplain, (Lt. Col.), Steven West, 509th Bomb Wing chaplain.

The emphasis of the Spirit Café is to provide a healthy alternative for Airmen to get together and have fun. Currently there are no chapel services planned for the café,
but they are possible in the future, depending on Airmen feedback, said Chaplain, (Capt.), James Pitney, 509th Bomb Wing.

The focus of the Spirit Café is primarily relational and will not be program orientated, but rather people driven.

"We intend to meet the needs of the whole person as well as spiritual needs," Chaplain Pitney said. People won't be bombarded with religious view points when they walk
through the door, but individuals will be available to talk with anyone who is interested, he added.

The Spirit Café will offer several activities for Airmen to enjoy together. The café will have two Xbox 360s™, a Playstation 2™, two 27-inch TVs, one 50-inch plasma TV with surround sound, a pool table, a ping pong table, four gaming chairs with speakers, guitars and a cappuccino machine.

Anyone attending can bring in movies to watch on the plasma TV, but the movies must not be R-rated and must be approved by Spirit Café volunteers. All activities are provided free of charge.

In addition, free wireless Internet access and computers connected to the Internet will be available. Plans are in place to increase the amount and type of activities based
on cost and individual feedback, Chaplain Pitney said.

The Spirit Café is open to anyone who wants to come, from enlisted to officer, married and single, regardless of religion. Airmen are also able to invite friends above the
age of 18.

The Spirit Café is scheduled for an opening ceremony at 4 p.m. Jan. 25 with special guest Chaplain (Col.) Bobby Page, Air Combat Command Chaplain.

Beginning Jan. 25, the Spirit Café will be open from 6- 10 p.m. Thursdays and 6-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

To become a volunteer at the Spirit Café, contact the base chapel at 687-3652.

The base chapel has also made a few changes in their service hours this year.

The new service hours are the product of a newly created contemporary protestant worship service that is sweeping across the Air Force, Chaplain West said.

The first contemporary worship service will begin 11 a.m. Jan. 14 at the chapel.

"(Contemporary worship) is a high energy, praise and worship style service," Chaplain West said. The service will be highly multimedia driven and include a rock style praise

The service will be very informal, the chaplain said. "I won't be in a coat and tie; I may even wear jeans."

"We won't compromise the gospel. It will be the word of God," he added. "It will touch the hearts and the needs of people.

Another new chapel program is the Whiteman Young Adult Catholics, a group for young Catholic adults seeking a stronger connection to their Catholic identity and support
on their faith journey. The next WYAC gathering will be a free spaghetti dinner and social held at 6 p.m. Jan. 20 immediately following the Catholic mass at 5 p.m.

The chapel also offers a Protestant Young Adult Ministry for young Airmen. PYAM will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesdays for Bible studies and discussions. The group will meet again
6 p.m. Fridays for fellowship and fun, including dinner followed by sports, gaming, movies and hanging out.

PYAM offers monthly trips such as water-skiing and hiking. Retreat weekends, such as snow-skiing, sky-diving, rafting and horseback riding are planned quarterly and annually.
In addition to the new contemporary service, the protestant community offers a traditional service at 8 a.m., Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. at the base education center and a gospel service at 1 p.m. All services take place each Sunday.

The Catholic Parish offers mass each Saturday at 5 p.m., Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and new Catholic religious education program at 11 a.m. at the base education center.

For more information on chapel services, contact the base chapel at 687-3652.