WARRIORS 9th ANNUAL FAITH NIGHT

2018 Faith Night posterHere we go again!  On Saturday, Feb. 17th, it’s time for our 9th Annual Warriors Faith Night! On that evening we will continue the tradition of highlighting our Warriors chapel program and celebrating our Christian faith community.  These nights have become a benchmark event in the Warriors season, and I expect that to continue this year. I want to take this opportunity to thank our Faith Night sponsors this year: Shutout Sports Collectibles, Costco, Save On Foods and The UPS Store in West Kelowna.

As we usually do, we will have a youth choir singing the National Anthem at Faith Night. This year we are tweaking it a bit; we will have a combined choir, part from Evangel Church in Kelowna and part from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in West Kelowna.

As well, I will have my raffle table set up on the concourse, with a chance to win prizes. The proceeds of this will help with the costs of the Warriors chapel program.  Other standard features will be a public welcome to all the visiting church groups that evening, which will number close to 10. Also, we’ll have our traditional Pastors Boot Hockey game during the first intermission and also Pastors throwing swag out of the back of one of the Warriors trucks during the second intermission.

With the help of Jason Woodford of Crosswood Productions, I’ve prepared a pretty slick Faith Night video that will run a few times during the evening. The video features Coach Rylan Ferster as well as Captain Jared Marino and forward Mike Lombardi. As well that evening we’ll have a special ‘7th’ man on the ice during the anthem and player introductions. I’m sure that everyone will appreciate the 7th man that night.

To finish it all off, at the conclusion of the game I want to encourage Warriors fans to stay for a few minutes for our Annual Warriors Awards Ceremony, which will be held immediately after the game at centre ice.

We’ll see you at Faith Night, on February 17th!

God bless you all,

Chaplain Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7th Annual Christmas Hamper Night

THESE ARE CRAZY DAYS!  However, as busy as it is during this first half of December, I am not at all wishing it would all go away. No, not for a second. In the middle of all of the beautiful insanity, I hold on to this truth: these are some of the very best days. There will come a time in the future, after I have enjoyed endless days serenity and quiet that I’m sure I will be willing to give anything for a bit of the rush and bustle of a my fabulously busy life. And.. as I have committed my life to serving as much as possible, with the Christmas season upon us, it’s ‘go time’!2017 Christmas Hamper Night

One of the big events taking place during this wonderful season is the West Kelowna Warriors 7th Annual Christmas Hamper Night.  On Saturday evening during our home game vs, the Trail Smoke Eaters, I will be collecting cash donations at the Christmas Hamper table, located on the concourse.  The money collected will go toward purchasing food for 50 Christmas hampers.  Early the next week, these hampers will be assembled by our Warriors players and coaches, and delivered to needy families. I encourage anyone and everyone to come and participate in this wonderful community event. We can all make a difference, it we just donate a little bit.  Besides, there are a number of great prizes to be won!

Any one who knows me knows this: My life is not a secret, I have committed my life to my faith in Christ, which means serving in my community as much as possible. With that is mind, it is an honour and privilege as the team chaplain to coordinate this year’s Warriors Christmas Hamper Night. May God bless you all, and thank you for giving generously.  You are loved.

Pastor Don Richmond, Warriors Chaplain

 

 

 

 

 

First Place at the Quarter

Okay. I know…. it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. However, it’s never a bad thing to be in first place, and that is where the Warriors find themselves at the moment. A combination of good goaltending and stingy defence has made for a strong first quarter of the season. There are many difficult games on the schedule in the next month, so these good qualities must continue for the Warriors to stay on top.

I am impressed with not only the win/loss record of our team, but also with many of the off ice changes as well. Some of these include a new updated look at Royal LePage Place arena.  Here are just some of the notable changes: the VIP section, the wall murals, the ‘This is Our House’ hanging signs, the attendant service in the stands, the pizza/ 20171023_133607chicken/wings and wine sales on the concourse, and the new sponsor signs on the score clock and all around the illuminate band.  And… probably the most impressive and newest change is the Warriors awesome looking bus; what a beauty! 

Personally, it has been great to get to know the 2017-8 edition of the team, of course with the many new faces. I have had the privilege to hold a number of Warriors chapels already, which are always a highlight of the week for me. (…and hopefully for the boys…)  Last chapel I spoke about the good character choices that we all have to make in life, referencing the ‘5 fingers of faith’ from 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 in the New Testament.  Anyone who knows me knows that these 5 fingers of faith are very important to me: ‘Always be on guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong and do everything in love.’ I am convinced that if we live following these 5 principles from the Bible, we will not regret it.

May the Lord bless you all, and please know that you can connect with me anytime when you see me at Warriors games…. I would be honoured to chat with you, have a prayer with you or plan a coffee time.

God bless,

Don Richmond, Warriors Chaplain

Warriors 8th Annual Faith Night

Here we go again!  As the season winds up, with 9 regular season games left, the Warriors have clinched a playoff berth.  My goodness, it seems like just yesterday when playoff fever was hitting West Kelowna!  Where has the time gone?  Either time is really passing by that quickly, or that’s just what older people like me say concerning the past…

One of the big dates still left on the Warriors home game calendar takes place on Saturday Night, February 18th.  We will be hosting our 8th Annual Faith Night, when the Warriors host the Victoria Grizzlies.  Victoria is having a strong year, so it will be a great game on the ice, and hopefully off the ice as well. 2017-faith-night

Faith Night is a wonderful and special event that has become a vital part of the Warriors culture.  It is an evening that gives honour and visibility to the greater faith community, where many church groups and pastors gather at Royal LePage Place to cheer on our Warriors.  That is also the night where I am pleased to highlight the Warriors chapel program, which has been running for 11 seasons, since the team came to West Kelowna.  Faith Night is a fun event, where pastors play a little boot hockey during the first intermission and also throw out a bit of swag  into the crowd during the second intermission.  This year we will show a video interview with Coach Ferster and also Captain Nicholas Rutigliano and veteran forward Jared Marino.  During the evening, we’ll welcome each of the church groups to the game and we’ll start the entire event off with Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church Youth group combined with their elementary school children’s choir singing the National Anthem.  It will be a great evening; I know that I am really looking forward to it!

God bless you all, and Let’s Go Warriors!

Chaplain Don Richmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chaplain D’s Christmas Wish!

As I am writing this blog, I am looking out from my office window onto Gordon Drive in Kelowna.  The office is warm, but just 3 feet from where I am sitting, it’s freezing!  It’s not only beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but it’s also feeling a lot like Christmas!

Just yesterday, I held out last Warriors chapel before the guys head out on their Christmas break.  Between bites of pizza and sips of orange pop, I told of the Christmas story that is found in the New Testament of the Bible.  I did that because many young people simply don’t know about the account; of Mary and Joseph, Angels, Wise Men, shepherds, a jealous King Herod, and of course the baby, Christ the Lord.  We also spoke of great Christmas  traditions; of celebrations and parties, of the best of food and special times with family, of 2016-christmas-hamper-nightfestive décor and delectable special desserts….  Lorraine and I embrace and enjoy all these wonderful things, and yet we have an over-arching umbrella for it all, which is our shared faith in Christ.  For us, that is what makes Christmas, Christmas.

Of course between now and the boys Christmas break, we have a few important games to concentrate on as well as our 6th annual Warriors Christmas Hamper Night.  I am very excited about our Hamper Drive this year, and hope to be able to deliver 60 Christmas Hampers to the Principal of George Pringle Elementary School, to be distributed among George Pringle and other schools, under the direction of the principals.  I will need to raise over $2,000 at Friday’s Hamper Night home game  in order to pay for food that we will be packing into hampers….. so please, I will need your help!

2016-11-22-23-10-11Finally, my  Christmas wish today is that we all would know Peace on Earth in our hearts and homes, and like the Christmas carol ‘Joy to the World’, that every heart would prepare Him room and Heaven and Nature sing.  I pray that you will be encouraged throughout this Season and that you will find yourself serving someone else in some way.

I am so very honoured to serve this West Kelowna Warriors family, not only at Christmas but all throughout the year.  May the Lord bless you and keep you all during this wonderful season.

Have a Wonderful and Merry Christmas,

Chaplain Don and Lorraine Richmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents Weekend

Many of you would know that I travel during the hockey season, visiting various team owners, coaches and chaplains around the hockey world in BC and also speaking to churches and other groups.

And… of all the weekends for me to be away, I picked our Warriors Parents Weekend!  Lorraine and I had a wonderful time on our travels, but I have to admit that I did miss being a part of such a great Warriors family event as Parents Weekend.  It is a wonderful few days of bonding together, a time to get to know and appreciate the parents of our Warriors players, sometimes making connections that last for many years

duboisTo add to the fun, on the ice the boys took 4 points in the two weekend games!  Connor Sodergren had the OT winner on Friday against Vernon and Chase Dubois scored a nifty game winner in the 2nd period against Wenatchee on Saturday.  (Thanks to Ken Reid from Greystoke Photography for this picture.)

Right before we met for a Warriors chapel on Monday, I was pleased to15078956_577052222478041_7490417483116008884_n spend a few minutes with Kyle Marino, the Warriors Captain of last year’s National Champions.  (He is shown here with our Warriors current Captain, Nick Rutigliano.)  It was awesome for me to give Kyle a big old hug and chat for a bit.  It was also good to catch up with Kyle and Jared’s parents, Mel and Lori as well as Connor Sodergren’s parents, Joe and Sharon.

Thank you for taking a minute to read this latest edition of Chaplain’s Talk.  Let me take this moment to let you know that my prayers are with you all, both players and families.

May God bless you and keep you in His love and care,

Chaplain Don

 

 

 

 

Encouragement

It is difficult to believe, but we are almost a quarter way through this 2016-7 season already!  AND… I think that it is time for a little encouragement!   While is hasn’t been quite the first quarter that we all would have dreamt about, I am encouraged with this Warriors team.  I recall other years when the first part of the season didn’t go all that terribly well, and yet things improved significantly as the season went on.  Personally, I like to be encouraged, for when I am I feel sharp mentally and emotionally.  There is a very good chance that you readers are not all that different that myself in this regard, in that we all fare much better when we are encouraged.  From my viewpoint, encouragement brings stability, confidence and determination to any group.

In our Warriors chapels, I really do try to encourage our players, to let them see a bigger orig-mediaitemid23237-8911[1]picture and to leave our chapel times feeling that there is hope and expectation, both for them personally on and off the ice and also for the team as a whole.  A number of times I have used the verse found in John 16:33, where Jesus stated, “I have said these things that people might have peace, because in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

Such is the power of Encouragement!  Think about it, just how much better are we all able to handle our life challenges when we feel encouraged?  Now translate that same approach into the life of a young junior hockey player who is most likely living a long way from home.  It is amazing just how much better can they play when they are encouraged, confident and eager.  What a vast difference there is when this great and much celebrated Canadian  game of hockey is a played with joy, without heavy sighs, distractions and burdens associated with it.  I do understand that there are additional resident stresses involved when players leave their minor hockey days and enter junior hockey, but that is where encouragement comes in…. and that is where I want to be.

Thanks for reading my latest Chaplain’s Talk, and God bless you all!

With encouragement,

Chaplain Don

 

 

Unity

In this edition of Chaplain’s Talk, I thought that I would write a little about what I am convinced is an incredibly important ingredient, yet at times an undervalued part of any successful team; that ingredient being unity.

When I was in grade 7, we had a fun team building day at school. I loved it because we didn’t have to sit in class that day.  We were divided up into groups of 7 and given number of events to compete against the other groups.  One of the many competitions was a tug-of-war.  Our team was certainly not the biggest or heaviest and definitely not the strongest, but we thought that what we would do is learn to pull together on the rope at exactly same time.  As the competition got going, we disciplined ourselves to pull almost like a pulse; we would pull and relax, pull and relax and so on.  What we  found was that instead of all of us pulling randomly at will, that we could achieve victory by our disciplined all-pulling-together strategy.  And it worked!  I think there were many surprised people that day at our school, as we  won the tug-of-war.

As a team chaplain, I have seen the same principle in action with a hockey team on the ice but especially in the dressing room.  When every member of the team learns to pull together without ego getting in the way, the whole becomes much greater than the sum of it’s parts.  Just recently this topic of unity was our main discussion point a Warriors chapel.  I think that this principle of setting aside ego and working in unity really is a game changer.  When you have evenly talented teams playing against each other, I am convinced that unity will find it’s way to the top.  Even after our final chapel prayer, I had quite a few guys chatting with me and signing up for coffee with me….

Finally, I had a great time at the BCHL Showcase this past week watching the Warriors with-trevor-miller-in-the-broadcast-boothcome away with 2 wins; one against Chilliwack and the other against Coquitlam.  (I can’t forget to mention what great games Quinn Foreman had, scoring 5 times in those two Showcase games, with the entire team playing hard and doing well.)  I also want to thank our play by play broadcaster Trevor Miller for welcoming me into the booth to sit beside him and do colour commentary for the two games.

Thanks for reading Chaplain’s Talk, I trust that you will be encouraged by it.

God bless you all, Chaplain Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Night, Banner Night!

2016-09-09-19-05-31What a great celebration in West Kelowna to start the new BCHL season!  With a wonderful crowd filling Royal LePage Place, the stage was set. Right from the introduction of the new team, the night just kept rolling.  The Triple Crown trophies came out, our RBC shutout winning goaltender Matt Greenfield was introduced along with mighty mites Brendan and Kaylene Ritchie (the heart of Warrior fandom),  and we were off and running!  After Brendan, Kaylene and Matt dropped the official opening faceoff (which by the way was awesome),20160913_171438

I was honoured to sing our National Anthem with Mike Schell’s Uptown Hornz backing me up.  They were just fabulous and I totally enjoyed singing with them playing.  It just seemed like Royal LePage Place was electric that night, with the cheering and the buzz of 20160913_165348the crowd.  I am quite sure that Warrior Nation left the arena on September 9th with a memory that will never be forgotten in West Kelowna history.

As I write this post today, I just finished my first Warriors chapel of the young season, meeting many players for the very first time.  21 young men and myself gathered together and spent about 25 minutes chatting, eating pizza and finishing with a team prayer.  I look forward to a wonderful season of Warriors hockey, including many times meeting with players and fans one-on-one, laughing, lifting and encouraging. Oh and…. I’ll always offer to say a prayer with you, because that’s just who I am.

God bless you all,

Chaplain Don Richmond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Canadian Jr. A Champions!

Yeesssss!!!  2016 Royal Bank Cup Canadian Champions!

How rewarding has this winding Warriors playoff journey been?  Here are a few twists and turns along the way….  After 58 games, this club ended up in second place in the BCHL Interior Division, with 79 points, 22 fewer than the first place Penticton Vees, and third in BCHL points behind Penticton and Chilliwack.  The 2016 playoffs began on March 4th and ended 35 games later on May 22nd.  The Warriors played 93 regular season and playoff games, far more than any other Jr. A club in Canada. (And that does not include exhibition games.)

RBC ChampionsBy the end of this winding road, all the players were sore, bruised and banged up, with a few nursing more serious injuries, one playing the Championship game with a broken hand.  I believe that I head the phrase, “Just tape my hand to my stick and get me out there.”  Now that’s a true Canadian hockey player!

Personally as the Warriors chaplain, I was able to travel with the team for all 27 final days on the road.  We left on April 27th for Estevan, SK and the Western Canada Cup and returned as Canadian Champions from Lloydminster, AB with the Royal Bank Cup late atWith the Triple Crown.jpg night after a 13 hour drive on May 23rd.  During that time, I was pleased to hold a playoff chapel in Estevan and also one in Lloydminster.  All together, we had 15 Warriors chapel sessions this year – 10 during the regular season plus 5 during the playoffs..  I am so honoured and thankful to be trusted to give some guidance and spiritual direction to the players and personnel within this wonderful Warriors club.  I want to take a minute here to thank Mark and Janelle Cheyne and Head Coach Rylan Ferster for setting me free to operate as the team chaplain.

Well, the parade and the initial celebrations are now over…. and I am increasingly aware of how weary I am. (and I am assuming the entire organization is, including our enduring fans…)  It is time to relax for a few moments as the summer rolls into the valley, and enjoy the beautiful place that God has made for us.  It’s flip-flop time…. for beaches, boats, wineries, patios, and the like.

May God richly bless you all as, like the Warriors players, you take a bit of time to relax and rest. May we all realize and appreciate the tremendous times we have experienced together and be truly thankful.  We are family!  And… to the players moving on to college scholarships and other places, may the Lord be your strength. I know that you will always remember that this has been a year that none of us will ever, ever forget!

In Christian Faith,

Chaplain Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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