Anglican Bishop to Australian Defense Forces connects with US Anglican Army chaplains

Bishop Ian Lambert visited with TEC and ACNA chaplains on duty in Kuwait

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — Bishop Ian Lambert, the Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defense Force, visited with two U.S. Army Anglican chaplains, Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Dan Knaup (Episcopal Church of the USA) with 335th Signal Command and Chaplain (Capt.) Ian Burgess (Anglican Church in North America) with the 17th Sustainment Brigade, 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) June 10, 2016 at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Lambert, who previously served 20 years in the active duty ADF before completing his theological studies and becoming a priest, is in Kuwait to support and check on the spiritual welfare of ADF members deployed in the Middle East. 

Connected by their convictions, the Anglican ministers freely discussed the challenges and rewards of being a military chaplain, how the chaplain corps is structured in their respective countries and methods of Soldier care. 

“The principle that we are a spiritual being must be brought regularly to our commanders,” Lambert said.

The idea of caring for a servicemember’s spiritual well-being is an important key to suicide prevention, agreed the chaplains from both countries. Knaup shared how spiritual strength is one of the five pillars of the Army’s current resiliency training. He then passed out Army “ACE” cards — a tool for suicide prevention encouraging Soldiers to Ask, Care, Escort battle buddies with suicidal thoughts — to Lambert and the two other Australian chaplains accompanying him, Senior Chaplain (Capt.) Murray Lund, Royal Australian Navy, and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Sarah Gibson, Headquarters Joint Task Force 633. 

“I was glad to see Chaplain Lambert’s concern for servicemembers,” said Burgess. “It’s great to see that in Australia that they’re using some of the same programs — like the ASIST [Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training] program — and that’s bearing results there.”

Along with conversing on the serious side of their responsibilities, the Australian chaplains shared how they dodge kangaroos in rural parts of their country, and Burgess described seeing wild mustangs in rural Nevada. They even shared inside jokes about the prevalence of committees in the Anglican Church.

Bonded by faith, they closed their time in prayer. They prayed for protection and courage for servicemembers of coalition and partner nations and for peace — a peace that will only come from the sacrifices of those men and women these chaplains have dedicated their lives to serving.

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