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Tinker Multi-Faith Alliance created

An image of the 72ABW Ch. (Lt. Col.) Sam Bridges at the Tinker Ministerial Alliance luncheon Nov. 14

72nd Air Base Wing Chap. (Lt. Col.) Sam Bridges welcomes members of the steering committee for the new Tinker Ministerial Alliance to a luncheon Nov. 14 at the Tinker Religious Education Center to revise their charter. The multi-faith alliance is comprised of churches and religious organizations from off-base which will be able to support and counsel members of Tinker's civilian workforce. With only six full-time chaplains manned to provide support to active duty military members, the chaplains recognized the need for civilian support. The Tinker Chaplains will still be able to provide support to civilians is crisis situations, but will provide outside resources to civilians in non-crisis situations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kelly White)

An image of former 72ABW Ch. Sam Tucker assisting with the multi-faith alliance at Tinker

Sam Tucker, senior pastor at Wickline United Methodist Church in Midwest City (and former 72nd Air Base Wing Chaplain), left, along with other religious leaders from Tinker's surrounding area, gathered together at the Tinker Religious Education Center Nov. 14 to discuss charter verbiage as part of the Tinker Ministerial Alliance. The multi-faith alliance will be able to assist Tinker chaplains with the spiritual needs and counseling to Tinker's 30,000 civil servants. (U.S. Air Force photo/Kelly White)

The Tinker Multi-Faith Alliance Steering Committee gathered at the Tinker Air Force Base Religious Education Center on Nov. 14 for an initial meeting to discuss their charter and the ways they plan to support the Tinker community. 

The purpose of the alliance is to leverage community partners and resources to develop and maintain the spiritual fitness of Tinker AFB Civilians and Active Duty Airmen in alignment with the Secretary of the Air Force’s priorities for taking care of Airmen and their families.

The Steering Committee, limited to 12 professional and fully qualified religious leaders representing diverse faith backgrounds, will partner with and advise the 72nd ABW Chaplain in matters regarding spiritual care for Tinker AFB personnel.

This agreement between Tinker chaplains and community faith leaders is hoped to enhance the spiritual care of both Civilian and Active Duty Airmen.

“As you know, Tinker has about 30,000 people on it every day and there are only five assigned chaplains with deployment requirements,” said Chaplain, Lt. Col. Samuel Bridges. “There’s a greater population than five assigned chaplains can care for. About 27,000 of those are civilians and we’re not resourced to care for civilians so the idea is to partner with our community, since they’re already caring for many of the people we care for, and to do some wonderful things for our community.”

The Tinker Chaplains will never turn a Civilian Airman away in a crisis situation, but will provide outside resources to them in non-crisis situations.

With this multi-faith alliance in place, Tinker Chapel personnel, when appropriate, will refer members of the Tinker AFB civilian workforce to the pastoral resources listed on the Tinker Chapel website. On the website, Airmen will find a list of the ministries in the Oklahoma City area that participate in the Tinker Multi-Faith Alliance who can provide the pastoral care needed and crisis counseling.

Civilians will be able to find this list of highly vetted faith-based resources at tinkerchapel.org, underneath the “Civilian Airmen Care” tab and the Steering Committee will continue to recruit civilian pastoral resources for this list.

“We hope that this will become a dynamic entity with great impact,” Bridges said.

The multi-faith alliance will meet again after the holidays.