On November 14, 2014, the Christ for the World Chapel at John F. Kennedy International Airport gathered to mark the 50th Anniversary of the laying of the Cornerstone. A worship celebration was held at the Chapel that featured special music and attended by representatives from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Terminal Four Airline Consortium, Travelers Aid International, the International Association of Civil Aviation Chaplains, the Council of Churches of the City of New York, a Chaplain Emeritus, the Chapel Advisory Board and airport employees.
Pastor Romeo Dabee (Chaplain) delivered a message of thanksgiving for the visionaries of the Chapel ministry in the early 60’s and challenged those gathered that ready or not, their time has come to engage fully in fulfilling the mandate from Christ to “go into the world…” Mr. Michael Moran, General Manager of JFK Airport in his brief remarks following the worship service said, “50 years ago the Port Authority forged a partnership with the Chapels to ensure faith had a home at the airport. Today, I am happy to be here celebrating with all of you… and reaffirming the Port Authority’s commitment to accommodate all faiths at the airport.”
William Huisman, Executive Director of the Aviation Development Council and Chair of the Chapel Advisory Board acknowledged the presence of The Rev. Lars Silverness, Chaplain Emeritus who served the airport community for over a decade ending in the 90’s and expressed sincere thanks to all who are currently involved in the ministry of the Chapel.
Today, the Christ for the World Chapel is located on the Departures Level of Terminal 4 and opened for prayer and meditation daily from 6 am to 11pm. Weekly Wednesday Worship Services are held at 12:30pm and the Chapel also hosts Christmas Concerts, Health and Wellness Fairs for Airport Employees. The Chaplain is available for pastoral care and counseling, Bible and Study groups, weddings and other special services in collaboration with the other Chapels serving the JFK Airport community.
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News from the Port - Spring 2013
News from the Port - Christmas 2012
News from the Port - A Seasonal Newsletter
See a Video Interview with Pastor Dabee
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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.