Ask Chaps

Join Chaplain Joe Pinzl in the occasional series “Ask Chaps”. You can hear more about Marines, their traditions, and the ministry taking place amongst them in the “Ask Chaps” video on Zion’s Facebook page, posted every Thursday @ 8:30 p.m Central Time

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:20

Brothers and sisters, what a comfort it is to know that our Immanuel is truly present —with us always —to do what His name says: to save!

But how do we know? That is a question I get a lot as a Navy Chaplain. How do we know that God is truly with us? And if He is, what does it matter?

Far from being a passive observer in the affairs of men, our Lord Jesus reveals the truth about who our God is: one that will never leave, nor forsake us (Heb 13:5). He does so, through very simple means, as Matthew 28 shows”
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

In Holy Baptism you are united to your Lord; “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). By Word and water, the old sinner is drown and put to death. What emerges is clean and new (Rom 6:2-11); one with whom the Father is well pleased (Matt 3:17).

Can you think of how often we may need to hear these words of grace? It’s not something that our Sailors and Marines hear very often, and yet we must all cherish this Word and nurture it daily, for in baptism God truly saves (Mk 16:16; 1 Pt 3:21; Titus 3:5)!

Always Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN
Naval Weapons Station Earle

God with Us in Sacraments
Great, indeed, we confess is the mystery of godliness: He was manifest in the flesh, vindicated by
the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in
glory.” ~ 1 Timothy 3: 16

Brothers and sisters, what a joy it is to share what is share this truth with you! As you gather to partake of the Lord’s body and blood every week so too do we who are afar share in the blessed communion promised to us (1 Cor. 12:27).

Navy chaplaincy serves this specialized community which. in many ways, desires what we in the Church have: communion with God. It is that community of believers gathered by the Holy Spirit extending beyond the boundaries of time and space.

How fortunate we are then, to bear witness to the truth of the incarnation, in upholding the sweet communion Christ himself establishes with his people through the sacraments.

According to the truth we confess a sacrament is; a scared act a.) instituted by God, b.) in which He has joined His Word of promise to a visible element, c.) and by which He offers, gives and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ (Small Catechism with Explanation, 202).

In the sacraments God not only talks-the-talk; in putting himself in, with and under material things like water, bread and wine, He walks-the-walk. He enters into even lowly things, like flesh and blood, to give this Word of promise to you (1 Cor. 1:28).

In a world of such uncertainty Sailors, Marines and their families desire something that is real and true. What a blessing it is give them God, in the places He promised to be!

Always Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN
Naval Weapons Station Earle

Ask Chaps December 29, 2022 Immanuel, “God with us.”

“’Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us.’)” ~ Matthew 1:23

Brothers and sisters, it has been sometime since my family and I have had the pleasure to enjoy this festive season with you. As we join in with your prayers and songs of rejoicing at the wedding feast
from afar, we would much rather be present.

I am sure this goes for many members of Zion who cannot be home this Christmas season.

Still, a wedding feast is not given for us to marvel at our company. It is given that we may stand in the light of that love which emanates a bridegroom untied with his bride. In Christ, God united himself to His Creation. So we have our consolation in One who promises to abide with us wherever we are (Jn 15:1-11).

As a Pastor and Chaplain, I preach Christ crucified, which is His profound affirmation of what it means to be ‘with us” even in death. I also administer the sacraments according to the Gospel to those
who are called to share in that very real presence which provides a foretaste of the Resurrection and everlasting life!

So, as we join from afar in rejoicing at the incarnation, I will be taking the next 4 weeks (beginning January 5th) to discuss how the sacraments are administered in a military context. This will be made
available both online (via Thursday night Compline) and in print (newsletter).

I pray the peace of Immanuel—which is ours in Christ Jesus—will fill your hearts with joy at His presence!

Always Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN
Naval Weapons Station Earle

Ask Chaps. First week of Advent 2022
Every good gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~ James 1:17

Brothers and sisters, last week I wrote you about a few conditions— or pre-requisites—for being a military chaplain. Among those things are:

1. Candidate must at minimum possess a bachelors degree as well as a Master’s of Divinity degree from an accredited institution.
2. Candidate must obtain an Ecclesiastical Endorsement from specific faith group, church/Religious Organization.
3. Candidate must have at least three years of ministry experience as an ordained minister in a specific faith group.

The United State Military holds to a very high bar when considering who it commissions to care for the souls of their Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, and Airmen.

That bar is met by the efforts of the Navy. Though each branch does prepare and equip chaplains for ministry within their respective professional organizations, they do not make pastors, priests, imams, or rabbis.

It is the church that raises up leaders. It is the church that trains, equips and—in accordance with the Holy Spirit—calls people to that hallowed office of the ministry. And it is the Church—that body of whom the head is our Lord—which gives us our sure foundation.

Always Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN

Ask Chaps: Do Chaplains need a religious affiliation? How does that affect the services offered?

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience and teaching.” ~2 Timothy 4:2

Brothers and sisters, thanks be to God that His own Spirit would ravel so far and frequently, bringing the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to all communities and corners of the world!

As we pray together in this harvest season, let us also remember to petition our Lord to continue to send out laborers, “for the harvest is plentiful, but laborers are few” (Matt 9:37-38).

I thank God daily for the privilege of serving you, as I labor for the gospel in the United States Military.

I say “privilege,” because that is precisely what that call of the Holy Spirit commissions me to do. The Unites State Military has roughly 2,800 chaplains serving within its six branches (Navy Chaplains serve 3!).

All Chaplains are clergy endorsed by their Religious Organization (RO), to do the work of a Pastor, Priest, Imam, or Rabbi according to the “Manner and Form” of their endorsing body. Different Chaplains provide different services that are in line with the faith tradition they represent.

Every Chaplain has a duty to serve those service members who belong to their faith-group while also supporting others so long as that service is not “contrary to the Chaplain’s conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs” (DoDI 1304.19)

It is a blessing to serve you Zion in laboring under our Lord for the salvation of souls! Please send more questions. I love to hear from you!

Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN

Ask Chaps” Compline November 10th, 2022.…

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brothers, you did it to me.” ~Matthew 25:40

Brothers and sisters, Martin Luther reminds us that, “A Christian is perfectly free lord of all, subject to none; [and] A Christian is perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.

But before Dr. Luther contributed this wise turn of phrase it was put into practice by his name’s sake: St. Martin of Tours. November 11 is his Saint Day. It is also Veteran’ Day. But even before that there is yet another occasion for service and celebration.

November 10th is the Marine Corp Birthday: HOORAH!

So…what’s the big deal? Why are Marines so “special” anyway?

Marines do make a big deal out of their birthday. More than any other military community! It could be because they claim to be “born in a bar.” (Tun Tavern, Philadelphia 1775). Maybe it’s just their inclination to obey orders (MCO No.47. Series 1921). Or perhaps they are just strangely ritualistic in how attached they are to their heritage.

Whatever the reason, United States Navy Chaplains continue in the heritage of St. Martin of Tours serving not only Sailors in the Navy and Coast Guard, but Marines as well.

You can hear more about Marines, their traditions, and the ministry taking place amongst them in the “Ask Chaps” video on Zion’s Facebook page, posted every Thursday @ 9:30 p.m.

Semper Fidelis!
Your Servant in Christ,
Pastor Joe Pinzl
Chaplain Corps, USN

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