by Drew Page
|Rev. Steven Langehough and his wife, Bridget|
WEST HAVEN (8/13/2012) -- Rev. Steven Langehough is well traveled, and he often brought his congregation with him. He's been to Germany, Turkey, Korea, and the outback of Australia. As a military chaplain, Langehough has served the all over Europe and the Middle East. Now he brings his extensive experience to West Haven.
Langehough was born in Iowa. He earned his BA in Pastoral & Chemical Dependency Counseling and received his Masters of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He has extensive training in substance abuse intervention and suicide prevention. As an active and reserve military chaplain, he has served in multiple states and 5 countries. During his 30 years, he was served in civilian parishes. Langehough says being a military chaplain is not unlike serving a settled parish.
"When your congregation goes somewhere, the military part of the congregation, you go with them," says Langehough.
Langehough was deployed in both Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He went on field exercises in Germany, Turkey and Australia. He served as a medical evacuation chaplain in the air force all over Europe and Middle East serving pilots and nurses. Wherever the people went whom he served, Langehough went with them.
The position of military chaplain offered Langehough unique opportunities. He has trained in leadership roles for a variety of settings, including leading groups in time of battle. He has dealt with military contracting and trained in business management. He has even trained to deal with global issues such as human trafficking.
An occasional series welcoming those new to serving in the Connecticut Conference UCC.
In West Haven, Langehough saw a congregation that was committed to growing. The church had broad ideas and was looking for someone with the skills to bring those ideas together. To Langehough, West Haven was looking to the future and asking how they could lay the foundation for a new generation.
Since he began in April, Langehough has helped begin a new brown bag lunch and bible study. He has also planned a new mid-week service on Thursdays. Other initiatives have also been discussed. Langehough says he likes to work in an environment where ideas are shared openly. He calls these "popcorn thoughts". Combining the open ideas of a congregation with Langehough's broad experience is a powerful recipe for a vital church.
Drew Page is Media Assistant for the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ.