The NAB at the North Pole

On September 30, 2022, the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy reached the geographic North Pole, only the second time a US ship has done so unaccompanied. Along the way, a team of scientists worked with the Healy crew to conduct numerous scientific studies.

Along for the ride, serving as the ship’s chaplain, was NAB chaplain Dr. Lyle Schrag. For the past six years, Lyle has been serving in the Auxiliary Chaplain Support (ACS) program, supporting the chaplains of District 13 (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). This includes providing chaplains for long-term deployment due to the limited number of active-duty chaplains, which is why Lyle was assigned to the USCGC Healy.

The USCGC Healy’s mission to the North Pole ended on Veteran’s Day, completing a historic 124-day mission to the high Artic icecap, traveling 170,000 miles. Throughout the trip, Chaplain Lyle was able to lead services for the crew, including communion at the North Pole, personal care, reintegration training, and a ministry of presence. Upon reflecting on the mission as a whole, he said, “Deployment as an Auxiliary Chaplain on the Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy to the North Pole promised to be an adventure in itself. But the real adventure proved to be one of the heart and soul. While supporting the Coast Guard Chaplains with shore-side units over the last six years has been a privilege, the depth of ministry with the crew in this deployment has made it a rare gift of honor.”

A Chaplain Change-Over

Harrison Lippert and Jay Clark, the former and current NAB endorsing agent for chaplains.

For the past six years, Harrison Lippert has served as the NAB’s endorsing agent for chaplains. This past November, he officially handed over those duties to Jay Clark, the NAB’s most recent active-duty Army chaplain. Jay’s experience – including his last eighteen years as a military chaplain and his clinical pastoral education – will be incredibly valuable and qualifies him to oversee both the NAB’s military and civilian chaplains, such as those serving hospitals, care centers, hospice, or prisons.

Jay began his life in military service as a National Guard in 1986, serving for nine years as a military policeman. After earning his M.Div at North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (now known as Kairos University), he pastored two NAB churches: Shell Creek Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, and Herreid Baptist Church in Herreid, South Dakota. It was at Herreid where he felt God drawing him back into military service, this time as a chaplain. Since he was commissioned in January 2004 and up to his retirement in December 2022, Jay served in Hawaii, Alaska, South Korea, Colorado, Washington, and Virginia, meeting with commanders, going on deployments, counseling soldiers, and performing a hundred other tasks that challenged his skills, even pastoring chapel services. Jay and his wife, Michele, have two adult children, Jake and Gabe, both of whom are attending university.

We are thankful for Harrison’s years of service as the endorsing agent overseeing and serving NAB chaplains, and we are grateful to Jay for stepping into this role.

If you want to learn more about what it means to be a chaplain, or just want to learn more about the current NAB chaplains, click on the link below.

NAB Chaplains

Scripture and Your Cultural Lens

The cultural lens through which we read and engage with Scripture impacts more of our interactions with one another in the church than we probably realize. A diverse church must recognize that methods of biblical interpretation have cultural perspectives; different cultures can approach the same text from different perspectives yet remain faithful to Scripture. As we engage with people across culture lines, we will be better able to reach them when we are aware of our own cultural biases in interpretation and of their cultural perspectives. Further, as we grow in our cross-cultural competence within the church, we can grow to love and respect those of different cultures who have different interpretations of the same biblical text.

Join Wayne Stapleton, VP of Cross-Cultural Engagement, and Bethany Kaposhi, Cross-Cultural Engagement Leadership Team member, on February 16, 2023, as they host a discussion with Larry Caldwell, professor of Intercultural Studies and Bible Interpretation at Kairos University, and Lyndell Campbell-Réquia, NAB missionary and seminary professor in Brazil. This hour-long interview will be followed by a half hour of questions and answers from those attending.

Being on mission means joining God where he is moving, and sometimes that means he calls us to engage across cultural lines. This requires us to be sensitive and aware of our own cultural biases. Join us for this webinar to talk about how each of us bring our own cultural context to how we understand and read Scripture and how that impacts the way we follow Jesus and interact with one another.

Sign Up for the Webinar

Last Chance to Join Conversation with Matt Canlis, Author of Backyard Pilgrim

The NAB is hosting a webinar with Matt Canlis, author of Backyard Pilgrim and subject of the Godspeed film. It takes place Monday, January 23 at 10:00 am Pacific, so there are only a few more days to sign up. This is a great chance to hear about Matt’s journey in preparation for the Backyard Pilgrim book study groups starting the week of February 19.

If you are interested in Monday’s webinar, the book study, or both, follow the links below.

Sign Up for the Webinar

Sign Up for the Book Study

Registration Open for Planter Summit & Bonfire

Registration for the 2023 Planter Summit and Bonfire is now open! Taking place April 24–27, 2023, outside Chicago, Illinois, the joint gatherings of Planter Summit and Bonfire are an excellent time to connect with likeminded leaders in the NAB.

The Planter Summit, April 24–25, is a chance for NAB church planters and spouses to gather together for a great few days of inspiration, rest, and renewal. Bonfire, April 25–27, is an annual gathering of NAB leaders who have given themselves to joining God on mission in their various contexts. While both of these events are unique unto themselves, all who attend are invited to arrive early or stay later to take part in both gatherings.

More Info on Planter Summit

More Info on Bonfire