Bill Cork

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Reflections in the Quiet



This month began with my 55th birthday. I anticipated this milestone with some anxiety, because it was at Christmas, 1970, that my grandfather died of a heart attack while on a business trip to Galesburg, Illinois. I was 9. That Christmas morning, I opened his final present to me, a beagle puppy that we named “Mitzi.......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
To Life!

In “Fiddler on the Roof,” Tevye and Lazar Wolf joyously celebrate their agreement on Lazar’s engagement to Tzeitel by toasting, “L’Chaim”—“To Life!” Their duet goes on to playfully contrast the joys and sorrows of life, with the repeated exclamation that despite the times of confusion, sadness, or ......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
War Stories

In Erich Maria Remarque’s 1931 novel, “The Road Back” (sequel to “All Quiet on the Western Front”), he follows a group of German soldiers home, as they try to reintegrate into civilian life after Germany’s surrender. They find everything changed—themselves, their friends, their family. When pushed to tell......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Life in the Middle

An accordion. That’s what my life feels like right now, with pressure from two sides. I reflected on this in my first “Fine Winer” article, that I’m feeling the “middle” in “middle age.” My wife, Joy, and I are dealing with the growing pains of our young adult kids, and with aging parents. We worry a......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Shadowlands

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” So C. S. Lewis begins his book, A Grief Observed, about the death of his wife, Joy. A few weeks ago, travel......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Fallen Leaves

When I was a kid in Terre Haute, Indiana, fall meant raking leaves. It was the only yard work I enjoyed. We’d rake the leaves into giant piles, and then we’d spend the next couple of hours jumping in them, reforming the piles, and jumping in again. I can remember the damp earthy smell of those we raked from under t......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Of Spiritual Journeys

I never really got tangled in wars between religion and science. Contrary to Larry Mitchel’s experience, related in a couple posts on this page, it didn’t all “start with science” for me. Rather, for me It started with a sense of the presence of God, and seeking to figure out what he meant to say. I passe......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Fast Cars and Freedom

It sat there, big and red, and I could almost hear the 375 horses under the hood stamping their hooves and snorting. It was a new Dodge Challenger, and it sat in the President's Circle section of the Hertz lot at the Burbank Airport between Nissans and Toyotas. My wife and son were some yards behind me, but I didn't st......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Life Goes On

“Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!” So the Beatles sang way back in 1968 on “The White Album” (I don’t think I purchased it for another 20 years or so). Yes, “life goes on,” and a lot has transpired since my last article, written after my daughter’s wedding. It’s been a roller coaster of u......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
Building Bridges

A story from my college days. I came back from lunch with some friends one day in January 1981 and found a note from the dean of men in my dormitory mailbox. He was giving me a new roommate, an English as a Second Language student from Egypt. He was a Muslim. The dean considered the options and thought I might be a goo......... more »

Bill Cork has spent thirty years in ministry, primarily in college and military chaplaincy. He’s now serving as assistant endorser for his denomination, while continuing to serve as a chaplain in the Army Reserve. A graduate of Atlantic Union College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, he has taught college and graduate courses in world religions and young adult ministry, and has been active in interfaith dialogue. His military experience includes Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a 2013 deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He is a Suicide Intervention Trainer and a Combat Medical Pastoral Care Specialist. Recent study has focused on the area of Moral Injury in combat veterans. He is also active in the veterans community in Houston, having served as chaplain of his American Legion and VFW posts. He and his wife, Joy, were married in 1982 and have two adult children.
The Unexpected

I wasn’t feeling well. Something was off. I noticed my distance vision was blurring, and my last exam was just five months ago. I was waking up all night to pee. And I had the strangest craving for grapefruit and grapefruit juice. I Googled the symptoms and found nothing for the last one – but was alarmed at what I......... more »

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