Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hockey Ministries All Star Breakfast

This weekend is pretty special for me….. Lorraine and I are in Ottawa for our Hockey Ministries NHL Annual All Star Breakfast. It is pretty cool to walk around the city and run into hockey people from all over.  Stopping to say hello and get a picture taken with Rangers Coach John Tortorella,  seeing slightly controversial Boston goaltender Tim Thomas show up at our breakfast….  This morning 550 people packed into the downtown Marriott hotel for this great breakfast event.  We heard awesome presentations of faith in Christ from ex-NHLer’s Bobby Smith, John Vanbiesbrouck, Laurie Boschman, Mark Osborne, and Mike Gartner. 

I belong to a large Hockey Ministries group of international chaplains, and I coordinate most of the programs in BC.  And while all this NHL stardom in our nation’s capital is very impressive, I wouldn’t trade the Warriors chapel program for anything.  Suffice it to say that I look forward to getting home to the Warriors.

Finally, I am so very glad for a Rock to lean on during difficult periods in life…. if fact during every season of life, whether good or not.   And that Rock is Christ Jesus.  I look forward to continuing my support and counsel of all the good folk who make Royal LePage Place their hockey home.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you would like to.  I would enjoy listening to your story and having a good chat.  

God bless you all,

Chaplain Don

My Superstition Free Zone

Right off the top, let me tell you that I am not superstitious.  Superstition runs counter to everything that I do or who I am.  I speak about that on a regular basis during our Warriors chapel sessions.  Our discussion topics in our chapels often center around excellence in our character, and about faith in Christ that will help us during difficult times of life.  I have never felt that praying to win, or to get the ‘edge’ is what our faith is all about.  In fact, it would seem to trivialize the depth of why we would have faith in God to begin with. Over the years, I have had many fans, friends and acquaintances playfully suggest that I should pray for the team to win, perhaps hold another Faith Night because it will insure a victory, or strangely enough, sing the National Anthem because the Warriors tend to be successful on those nights.  Now I am aware that it is all light-hearted, but for the record, I have never prayed for a win.  I do pray for the boys to play their very best, and to honour God with their great talents, but that is as far as I will go.  

I have always believed that hard work, playing smart, making few mistakes and buying into the Coach’s system will bring many more wins and losses on the ice.  I am also convinced that faith in Christ will take care of much of the game of life away from the ice.  I live in a superstition free zone, because for me, it’s what’s inside that counts. Losses and difficulties will come, that is just how life works, but how I deal with those difficulties will reveal what is inside. Victory will not test the inner quality of a person, but a defeat or a trial certianly will.  My father has told me for years, “Son, it’s not what happens that matters as much as how you react and deal with what happens.”  And …..those are true words.

Let me leave you with one last thought.  The final thing that we do in our Warriors chapel is to gather in a circle and repeat our chapel motto together.  Every player knows it and wil carry it with them for years to come.  Here it is: “The highest purpose for my faith in God is not to change my circumstances, but to change me.”

 Let’s go Warriors!

Chaplain D

What a great Warriors Weekend!

This has been a wonderful weekend for our Westside Warriors! I was great to see so many people fill the building on Friday night for Faith Night. I believe we had the largest home crowd of the season. Congratulations to the boys as they played well and came up with a convincing shutout victory.  I wish to thank the church groups in Wesk Kelowna and Kelowna for supporting Faith Night this year.  The atmosphere at Royal LePage Place was just wonderful.  A special  shout out goes to Vittoria Spindor and the choir from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church for singing the National Anthem.  Here they are pictured, singing their hearts out!

The entire Faith Night was just great, with the pastor’s boot hockey game at the intermission, the videos on the screen, the huge crowd, and the great game! I greatlyappreciated Alex Draper and Shutout Collectibles for raffling off one of his pictures with the proceeds going to the Chaplaincy ministry.  One funny comment that I heard that night was this: In the third period, Faith Night turned into Fight Night! It’s been a long time since I have seen that many fights occur at the same time!  In the end, it was a very exciting, successful event, and I am very grateful to all who participated.  I want to mention personal thanks to Mark and Janelle Cheyne for embracing the Faith Night concept, and to the entire Warriors crew for making it happen:  Andrew, Carly, Kim, Jon, Jason, Mike, Adam, Stuntman, Alex, those who made the videos, the area Pastors and congregatations, our Coaches and our players.

The great Warriors weekend was not over though.  Congratulations to our boys for following up the Faith night victory with another win on Sunday afternoon and a weekend sweep of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.   This is the kind of a weekend that builds confidence all around.  Let me also congratulate Travis Blanleil for his Sunday afternoon hat trick. Great work Travis!  I look forward to more great Warrior weekends ahead.

In Christian Faith, Chaplain D

Our Warriors 3rd Annual Faith Night is this Friday, January 13!

This Friday night will be a wonderfully exciting evening as our Warriors host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on our 3rd Annual Warriors Faith Night. We have had noticably large crowds for our previous year’s Faith Nights, and I am expecting the same again this year.  The night will begin with Our Lady of Lourdes youth choir singing the National Anthem.  During the evening church groups will be welcomed over the PA system, and some of our local ministers will play boot hockey during the first period intermission.  (Now that will be something to see…!)  We will also be showing a few Faith Night video interviews during the both intermissions.

Faith Night highlights the Warriors chapel program that I have been privileged to lead since the fall of 2006, which was the very first season of Westside Warriors hockey.  We are also celebrating a significant part of our community, which are our church groups and faith based organizations.  It is a pleasure for me to welcome our Christian community to our 3rd Annual Faith Night! I think it will be an event to remember!

Fans, let’s cheer our Warriors on to a great victory at this year’s Faith Night!  I wish to say thank you in advance to the entire Warriors organization for allowing Faith Night to happen, and to the various church groups for getting behind this exciting evening.

God bless you all,

Don Richmond, Warriors Chaplain

 

Big Picture – The Mature Perspective

One of the opportunities I enjoy as a chaplain is to continually encourage and lift up people around me. That is a value that I believe all people could and should embrace more. I admit that there are times when it doesn’t come easily, but I am committed to work on it.  (It is always far easier to slide down than to climb up.)  One great way to encourage and lift up  is to refuse to get locked into a small view of any situation, but rather take a larger view.  Asking questions such as ‘How can I grow or learn from this situation?’ or ‘How can we encourage each other and stick together?’ are helpful large viewpoint perspectives.  These perspectives also reveal a high level of maturity in those who take this approach. My Dad has always told me, “It’s not so much what happens to you, it is how you react to what happens that will make a diference in the long run.”

As our Warriors come home disappointed after their road trip to Prince George, let’s lift them up.  They will need a good boost from their supporters.  I am sorry that I cannot make this Sunday’s game vs. Victoria, I really do wish I could be there but am just not able to.  If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to head to Royal Lepage Place on Sunday afternoon and lift up the team.

Oh yes, one last thing:  Next Friday, January 13th is our Third Annual Westsaide Warriors Faith Night. That night we host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.  We will have Our Lady of Lourdes youth choir singing the National Anthem,  a few real great video interviews, and some local ministers playing boot hockey in the first intermission. We will also introduce a song called Warrior, by the band Audio Adrenaline.  What a great evening it will be!  We are expecting a large crowd for that night, and I trust you will come and experience it. 

 

Getting over the Christmas/New Years Rush

Welcome back to the second half of the Warriors season! We all look forward to a good late season push from our boys. I really do appreciate the Warriors, players, Coaches, office staff, game staff and owners. They make it easy to work as a team chaplain. Our bi-weekly voluntary chapels are really quite good. Hardly anyone misses team chapel; a place where we have profitable real life chats and a good closing prayer.  We are truly in the business of developing not just good hockey players, but great young men. 

For most,  Chirstmas is a wonderful time, loaded with family, too much food, and too little sleep.  Just about now;  a few days after New Years day,  is when life may begin to catch up with us…..things such as weariness, a few extra pounds, the reality of extra financial pressures, maybe a cough or cold, etc.   I have alwasy found that my Christian faith has been a rock to me in these times.

I am also mindful of this fact: it is often on our most celebrated holidays that people experience their most lonely times, struggling with reminders of  memories of losses that have occured in the past. Hidden within the joyful times of life can also be the secrret pains of life as well.  I am always open to chat with anyone about these issues. Just call the Warriors office and they will connect you to me.

Thanks Warriors fans, I look forward to continuing this blog!! It is new for me, and I trust that you will find it helpful and encouraging.

In Faith,  Chaplain Don