Now that there is a separate place for items that are primarily photographic, Travelblogue.co, I will use this blog for more traditional blog entries. That includes links to material from other writers as well.
One of the highlights of my week at Kandahar Airfield is the Sunday morning service of the Kandahar Crossroads Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The “crossroads” in the name befits the short length of stay for many who are part of this group. There are four pictured in this January photo who are now back home or at their next assignment, including Chaplain Chris Antal, the Unitarian Universalist Minister who was responsible for bringing the group into existence at KAF.
[23 March update – five now back home or re-deployed from our group of eleven]
In the current issue of UU World, Donald E. Skinner offers some more details about this group; In Afghanistan, UUs light chalice in new congregation
Another curative aspect of Reverend Antal’s ministry was the establishment of a Zen meditation group on Saturday morning. This has served to expose some people to the practice and to provide others with the support of a sangha, including those from other traditions.
Those who did not need to hurry off to work at 0700 following meditation were invited to take part in a Japanese tea ceremony. This was my first exposure to this tradition.
I am very happy to report that several members of the group have completed the work necessary to become Religious Service Lay Leaders so that these activities did not stop with the departure of Chaplain Antal. Robert LaVallee will be able to insure continuity of the Sunday service. David Graham has taken over leading the meditation practice. He even has begun to offer the tea ceremony at the end of zazen.
Most of the people working at Kandahar Airfield have their home thousands of miles away. The sort of activity established by Unitarian Universalist Minister Chris Antal has helped provide a spiritual home for those who will spend six months, a year, or longer here at Kandahar Airfield.