Luther Academy students meeting with National Armed Forces chaplains
In order to get to know one of the employers of Luther Academy graduates - Latvian National Armed Forces and the National Guard, on 1 March, 2023, LA students met with two NAF professional service chaplains, majors – acting chief chaplain of NAF, a representative of the Roman Catholic Church, Mareks Savickis, and the senior chaplain of the Military Police, representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, Normunds Celmiņš. They shared their experience and explained the specifics of military chaplain service.
A soldier, like any person, needs spiritual care, thus Christ's command to preach the Gospel also applies to the military environment. It is special because it is relatively closed and secular; it is highly hierarchical; it is governed by strict regulations and rules. The chaplain must be able to work in a team, work with a distinctly ecumenical attitude, be able to offer the Gospel message unobtrusively and indirectly, often with his supportive and encouraging presence alone. This kind of service earns trust.
In order for a chaplain be his own in a military environment, he needs special preparation - he is also a military person, even though he is not a fighter, he must be in good physical shape, because he participates in all the training together with the soldiers of his unit. It is the service of presence that builds the relationship of trust between the chaplain, soldiers and commanders. The chaplain provides the religious and spiritual care of the unit's personnel (baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc.), is the commander's adviser on religious and ethical issues; carries out the spiritual, ethical, military-patriotic and religious education of the personnel, as well as gives speeches at the unit's ceremonial events.
Judging by the fact that the discussions lasted and the attention of the audience did not cease, Luther Academy students were very interested in this particular topic of the professional orientation event.