Spirituality and Spaceflight

Last Sept. Mike O’Neal presented a presentation on Spirituality and Spaceflight.  This event was co-sponsored by FAC.  Many of our nation’s astronauts are viewed as men and women of great intellect and courage, but some are also men and women of great faith.  This multimedia presentation looked into the role spirituality has played in human space flight.  Stories were shared on how astronauts have spiritually prepared themselves to go into space, how they practiced their faith while in space, and how space has profoundly impacted their spirituality.  This talk featured Apollo-era audio, a video of an astronaut joining his church for worship via a live video feed while on the International Space Station, along with breath-taking pictures accompanied by a number of encouraging and moving stories.

Mike O’Neal worked for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center for over 31 years, where He was awarded the Agency’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and two Exceptional Service Medals.  Prior to his retirement he completed a special assignment in which he investigated mechanisms to provide spiritual support for astronauts on long-duration missions.  His assignments with NASA included; Deputy Director of the Space Station Hardware Integration Office, Deputy Director for the Space Shuttle Engineering Directorate, and Leader of the Exploration Think Tank.  Mike has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry from the Harding School of Theology.  Mike is the author of three books published by 21st Century Christian, An Angel’s View: Encountering God through the Stories of the Heavenly Hosts; Created for Good Deeds; and Holy God, Holy People which is part of their FLEX Adult Bible study series.  He has also authored a chapter for an anthology on space and religion, titled Touching the Face of the Cosmos: On the Intersection of Space Travel and Religion.  Mike speaks professionally on the topics of his books, as well as on the role spirituality has played in human space flight.  He also preaches on invitation around the Central Florida area.  Mike and his wife Carol have two children, live in Titusville, FL, and are members of the North Brevard Church of Christ.

Additionally Mike presented 3 lessons on angels at the Kirksville Church of Christ:

The Holiness of God: Angels’ Worship & Praise (Sat. Night) (45 min)

Angels have much to teach us about our holy God. From standing in His awe-inspiring presence, Scripture reveals that these angelic eyewitnesses were dramatically impacted by the power, majesty, and holiness emanating from their Lord and Creator.  And as such, their subsequent response not only informs us of God’s holiness but challenges us today to approach our God in a more honorable manner.

Sovereignty of God & His Relationship to the Angels (Bible Class) (45 min)

This session explores God’s sovereignty through examining the angels’ relationship to Him, along with looking into the concepts of the army of God and guardian angels. Scripture attests that angels are mighty beings and have on occasion delivered God’s people, but where are we to place our trust?

An Angel’s View: The Crucifixion & Resurrection (Morning Worship) (35 min)

Built on a biblical framework, the crucifixion and resurrection are explored through the perspective of the angels. Angels appear at the other major events concerning Jesus, but where were they when Jesus went to the cross? What significance can be drawn from their presence at the resurrection?  Mike examines this topic through a captivating parallel with his personal experiences during the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.