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News from the Port - Spring 2013
News from the Port - Christmas 2012
News from the Port - A Seasonal Newsletter
New Chaplain Chosen
for Ministry at JFK Airport
|The Rev. Romeo K. Dabee
NEW YORK (November 21, 2011) – The Rev. Romeo K. Dabee has been named as the JFK Airport Community Minister, effective December 1. He will provide ministry outreach from Christ for the World Chapel, located at JFK Terminal 4, a ministry of the Council of Churches of the City of New York. Pastor Dabee will continue in a 47-year line of airport chaplains going back to the beginning of this ministry in 1964.
Pastor Dabee was ordained by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2005 and has served as pastor of Gloria Dei Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Hyde Park. Prior to moving to Gloria Dei in 2008, he was Associate Pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Jamaica.
A native of Guyana, Pastor Dabee holds a Diploma in Public Management and a B.Sc. degree in Accountancy, both from the University Guyana in Turkeyen, Guyana, S.A. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 2005 and is presently pursuing a Master of Sacred Theology degree there and is writing his thesis on Ecological Ethics. He completed Clinical Pastoral Education at Episcopal Health Services of New York in 2001.
Prior to immigrating to the United States in 2000, he worked 9 years in Guyana as a manager in accounting, procurement, and quality assurance positions with IDI Engineering Co. Ltd. and Roma Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
The Council of Churches of the City of New York, which provides the ministry at Christ for the World Chapel, was founded in 1895 and is the oldest continuing council of churches in the United States. The Rev. Dr. A. R. Bernard, CCCNY President and the Rev. Dr. Jimmy Lim, Executive Director both celebrated at the selection of Pastor Dabee.
“The Christ for the World Chapel Advisory Board is very excited about Pastor Dabee becoming our new Chaplain,” said William Huisman, Executive Director of the Aviation Development Council who chairs the Advisory Board of Christ for the World Church. “We look forward to his leading our ministry’s outreach to JFK’s employees, travelers, and our neighbors. We believe that his enthusiasm, warmth, and compassion for God’s people will enable him to become a valued member of our team of chaplains while expanding the caring faith-based ministries offered at JFK International Airport.”
Among other services to the airport community, the Chapel sponsors an annual Christmas Concert (set this year on Saturday, December 10, in Terminal 4 Arrivals area), a Health Fair, and, since 1972, the Bishop Wright Air Industry Awards Luncheon in April, named for Bishop Milton Wright, father of aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur.
Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport is home to four chapels of different faiths. The chaplains – representing Christianity (both Protestant and Roman Catholic), Judaism, and Islam – constitute a team of colleagues serving the needs of over 35,000 employees at JFK and the millions of travelers who transit each year through America’s Gateway to the World.
Christ for the World Chapel began ministry at JFK Airport in 1964 as the JFK Protestant Chapel. The ministry was established by the Council of Churches of the City of New York and was housed in a stunning A-frame structure designed by renowned architect Edgar Tafel, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Chapel was set between Our Lady of the Skies Roman Catholic Chapel and the International Synagogue at the JFK Tri-Faith Plaza.
While the three chapels together in the Plaza provided a picturesque setting for weddings and a convenient location for community and church meetings, the location was not particularly convenient for passengers or employees who were faced with a daunting journey on foot across two interstate highways.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey proposed including the chapels in the JFK 2000 project, first proposed in the early 1980s. The last service in the old chapel was held January 1, 1988, closing with a congregational procession carrying liturgical artifacts to the new interim Interfaith Chapel located in the International Arrivals Building.
Not only was the interim chapel more accessible to employees and passengers, but the arrangement provided the opportunity for closer collaboration among the three chaplains, leading to a stronger interfaith religious presence in the Airport community.
In May 2001, the new Terminal 4 opened, replacing the International Arrivals Building. Today, four chapels stand side by side in testimony of a mutual commitment to an interfaith religious presence and cooperation at America’s Gateway to the World.