Thursday, December 29 at 9pm
Chaplains is a two-hour documentary that goes inside the dynamic and inspiring world of chaplains, men and women who represent their own particular faith tradition but are trained to be of comfort and support to people of all faiths, nationalities and whether or not they are religious.
With a tradition dating back centuries, chaplains today are on the front lines, often in the midst of life and death situations, where the questions are the deepest and the need for spiritual and pastoral care the greatest. From the war zone to the workplace, chaplains serve as pastor, social worker, counselor, and bridge builder, and "lean into the painful places," says prison chaplain Karuna Thompson.
While there have been chaplains on the battlefield for centuries, today's battlefields can be anywhere people feel danger or despair, or where they simply need a spiritual connection. Structured as a series of story profiles, Chaplains follows a unique group of dedicated men and women into a multitude of arenas where they offer help and support: the battlefields in Afghanistan, a motion picture retirement home in Hollywood, a poultry processing plant in Tennessee, a state penitentiary in Oregon, the U.S. Congress, at the hospital bedside, and at the NASCAR racetrack.
Through these diverse stories, Chaplains offers an engrossing and thought-provoking look at brave men and women on the frontiers of faith, whose work crosses denominational differences and provides comfort to a broad cross-section of people eager for help and comfort.
Chaplains is not a hagiography that presents them as saintly or "divine" characters with all of life's answers. Instead, viewers see chaplains as human beings who are committed to their faith and professionally trained-but who still experience doubts, uncertainties and concerns. In many cases, the presence of chaplains and the grace with which they serve brings immeasurable comfort, support and wisdom. At other times, despite their best efforts, they fail and that mixture of success and failure creates the real-life drama of the film.