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God’s Full of Surprises

On Ash Wednesday, I was commissioned as a Navy chaplain in the reserves, marking the end of a year of surprising and, at times, confounding discernment!  Though I grew up in San Diego, I hadn’t had many direct connections to the military. And when I first received a call from a Navy recruiter a year ago, I wasn’t inclined to stay on the phone for long. But then I heard more about how the reserves work (two days a month and two weeks a year normally) and how a chaplain offers one of the few spaces of confidential conversation for servicemembers, and this God of surprises started to work on me.  I’ve come to look forward to the opportunity to care for servicemembers and their families and provide for their worship the best that I can. And the wonderful part is that I will still continue serving at St. Luke’s as a co-pastor alongside my wife, Laurel!  I admit that I don’t fully understand what I’m getting into — anyone who has tried to follow God’s call faithfully knows this feeling — but I trust that Jesus will walk beside me, my family, and my church through it.  If you have any questions about this experience, do reach out to me at colin@stlukesnorthpark.org.


Category: #Military

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6 replies to “God’s Full of Surprises

  1. John Sturges | on March 1, 2023

    Congratulations Colin! I was in the Navy for over 30 years and I can tell you chaplains are deeply needed to minister to our sailors, all of whom lead very stressful and engaging lives. Goe’s Blessings to you on your journey-you’ll enjoy your new flock!

  2. BethAnn Hiller | on March 1, 2023

    Had the honour to be present when Rev. Colin M was commissioned as a Navy Chaplin. Seeing his family pin the bats, listening to a retired, yet still very active Navy Chaplin{who happened to be at the Pentagon on 9/11, where my cousin was- yes, he survived. Being an active member of St Luke’s, it was very moving and heartwarming. The honesty of when he explained that he truly didn’t know what he was getting into, but was excited…listening to prayers, hearing the words of induction made me even more proud of him. Looking forward to.learningnmore about what a powerful, compassionate, intelligent man of God can do in the service of our country. Air force, Army air corps {WW II}< navy and civil war surgeons are part of my legacy. Personally, I belong to the Martha's vineyard MA Peace Council. & The SD Episcopal Justice /organizations. I am so very proud &;happy for this wonderful family.

    BethAnn Hiller
    St Luke's Episcopal North Park, CA
    Carlsbad, CA

  3. Polly Getz | on March 1, 2023

    So proud of you! So do you get a crash course in “Navy 101”? I would enjoy hearing stories about your eexperiences along the way.

  4. Cynthia Wilcox | on March 2, 2023

    Congratulations…. my father was a navy chaplain during WW2.

  5. Babs Meairs | on March 2, 2023

    Congratulations, Colin. This was surprising and delightful news. Chaplaincy is very dear to me, and I ministered under the Bishop for Armed Forces and Federal Chaplaincies for many years, including being on the staff of Bishop Packard and sharing ministries with Bishop Maness and Bishop Wright. If I can be of any support please let me know. God bless you in this new endeavor.

  6. David McElwain | on April 14, 2023

    Welcome to a small and crazy bunch. I’ve been retired for 12 years now, but still value my time in the Navy. Expect to have some really great experiences and some not so great. The USN, USMC and USCG provide wonderful opportunities for service. That and your Episcopal comrades are some of the best priests around. Have fun, enjoy every minute and give thanks for the opportunity God has provided.

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