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Schriever Chapel to host holiday events

Capt. Ronald Lawrence, 50th Space Wing chaplain, spoke about community, joy and hope at a tree lighting ceremony Dec. 5, 2019, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Lawrence was directly involved in the planning and execution of the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Amanda Lovelace)

Capt. Ronald Lawrence, 50th Space Wing chaplain, spoke about community, joy and hope at a tree lighting ceremony Dec. 5, 2019, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. Lawrence was directly involved in the planning and execution of the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Amanda Lovelace)

Angel Tree program

Smiling as children enter the classroom, 1st Lt. Lauren Hughes, 50th Space Wing chaplain, waits to hear the “Twelve Days of Christmas” sung by Ellicott Elementary school children at Ellicott Elementary, Ellicott, Colorado, Dec. 19, 2018. The Chaplains brought gifts to 54 children in the Ellicott and Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado community, the most Schriever AFB has sponsored to date. (U.S. Air Force photo by Halle Thornton)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

The 50th Space Wing Chaplain office has organized multiple holiday events for the Schriever community during December.

A tree lighting ceremony took place outside of the 50th SW Headquarters Building Dec. 5. Members of the Schriever community attended and watched as the tree was lit, met Santa Claus, and enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate inside the atrium.

“We really want to bring the Schriever community together,” said Capt. Ronald Lawrence, 50th SW chaplain. “For a lot of people, the tree reminds them of a specific time of the year, a joyous time.”

Lawrence said it’s important for everyone in the Schriever community to feel connected during this time of year, regardless of beliefs.

“Not everyone celebrates Christmas the same way or for the same reasons, so we hope the tree will be a symbol of unity, joy, community and togetherness,” he said.

A Light Up a Life service is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at the base event center. It’s a holiday service of remembrance all are welcome to attend.

“The holidays are usually filled with memories,” said Capt. Lauren Hughes, 50th SW chaplain. “When we lose people we love and whom we’ve created great memories with, the holidays can be a reminder that those loved ones are no longer there. If you’re in a space with someone who has experienced similar loss and situations with you, you know you’re not alone.”

Lawrence said their hope for the event is not only to celebrate and remember the lives of loved ones, but to provide support, comfort and peace to Team Schriever.

“You’re not having to try to figure out how to heal by yourself,” Hughes said. “You’re doing it among families who’ve [been through] similar experiences.”

During the service, names of those who’ve passed will be read aloud and written on ornaments that will be hung on a tree in their honor. Then, the light from one candle will be passed on to every candle in the room, and eventually what was once a dark space will be illuminated.

“My desired outcome is that people find hope during this time,” Hughes said.

The next event will be a gift-wrapping party from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Dec. 16 and 17 in the 50th SW Headquarters Building atrium. All of Team Schriever are invited to participate.

“If you don’t have the means to purchase a gift for a child in need, you can still give back by wrapping something for them,” Hughes said.

In addition, people can build connections and meet other volunteers.

“I’ve heard testimonies from Airmen that the gift wrapping party we did last year connected them to others, and that’s what it’s all about,” Hughes said. “This type of event is for Christmas gifts, but it’s also Airmen giving back. It’s something that will put a smile on a young person’s face.”

A Fellowship Dinner is scheduled to be held at the Tierra Vista Community Center here from 4 - 6 p.m., Dec. 18. All of Team Schriever are welcome to attend, enjoy a homemade meal and connect with others.

“It’s open to everyone, but there will be a focus of a Christian tradition,” Hughes said.

The dinner will start with a time of prayer in which requests will be taken. Then, attendees will eat and can participate in a Bible study.

“Having a connection to something that is outside of yourself, having a connection to something that is eternal may help with dark times that we all experience,” Hughes said. “So if anything, the hope for us is that the Chapel team and these events spark hope inside of you.”

A Christmas Eve Candlelight service is scheduled for 7 p.m., Dec. 24 at the event center.

“The service is to remember what Christmas is about from a Christian perspective and tradition, and celebrate the birth of Christ,” said Hughes. “People are going to experience fellowship. Chaplain Lawrence will give a message of hope, and we’ll sing songs.”

While most of these holiday events are based on Christian traditions, Hughes wants Airmen to see there is value in participating despite particular beliefs.

“With events like these, I’d like people [to] know what the Chapel team offers,” said Hughes. “We have things that are spiritual in nature, but I hope [Airmen] will be able to decipher which programs are beneficial to them [specifically]. They’ll see the variety from something as important as building community in a very light-hearted way, to building community in a very somber way. They get to choose when and how they utilize their Chapel team.”

Additionally, being better connected through these events can provide ways in which Airmen can ensure their teammates aren’t forgotten.

“The holidays are a joyous time for a lot of people, but I want to remind those who are having a good time to remember that not everyone might be in that same space,” Hughes said. “Don’t forget to check on your Wingman.”

All Team Schriever members are welcome and encouraged to attend the upcoming chaplain’s events. For more information, contact the Schriever Chapel at 567-3705.

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