Spirit Matters

Dignity in Death

Last year, I came out of early retirement—perhaps better characterized as “premature retirement”—to accept part-time work as a hospice chaplain. In my new role, I often hear three common reactions when I tell friends I work for hospice. The reaction that always surprises me is, “Where is your hospital?” Read More
doctor holding a patient's hands

Come Fly With Me

I know you’re busy, so in this month’s column I ask for only a few minutes for you to consider two questions.


First question: Feel like taking a trip with me?

If so, I’m inviting you to join my wife and me March 8–15, 2020, as we return to Honduras.

“Why would I use my vacation dollars to go to a third-world country?” you ask.

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Navigating Your Faith

Navigating Your Faith Look for ways to find the answers together By Norris Burkes September 2019 As a teenager, I often told my high school ROTC instructors that I aspired for a dual Air Force career—first as a flight navigator and second as a chaplain. “Strange...

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taking the road of the straight and narrow

To Toot or Not to Toot

Several times during my years in the Air National Guard, folks jokingly asked me how I became an officer without knowing how to play golf. Their questions finally challenged me to rectify my shortcoming with some lessons. With only a few years before retirement, I was on my annual training in San Luis Obispo when I found an opportunity to play my first game with fellow chaplains. Read More
Man facing sunrise with arms outstretched

What is a Chaplain?

What is a Chaplain? Let’s set the record straight By Norris Burkes July 2019 In the 18 years I’ve been writing this column, many readers have shared their impression of what a chaplain is. And more than a few have certainly told me what a chaplain is not. A few...

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Finding Your Faith

Imagine taking a virtual plane ride today and meeting me in San Francisco for a 30-minute drive south to Moffett Federal Airfield, formerly known as Moffett Navy Air Station. With my military ID we easily slide past the Smokey-Bear-hatted federal guards. A quarter mile in, we pull curbside and walk across the lawn to the Moffett Chapel, built in the style of the Spanish Colonial missions. I’m comfortable here because this is where, in 1994, I took my first Air Force active-duty chaplain assignment. Read More
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