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  • For the past couple of years, in the light of shutdowns and in-person restrictions, one area of Soccer Chaplains United that has grown has been our weekly podcast series. Entitled, From the Touchline, the podcast has been a mix of different types of listening — from interviews with guests to (my favorite) a series based on the hit TV show Ted Lasso. Beginning in 2018, we started to podcast the show with the idea that (as a chaplain) we are standing on the "touchlines" — the sidelines of the game of soccer. The role and work that we have is about cheering and encouraging and even shouting out coaching and instruction — not about the game, but about faith and about life. For

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    Recently, Jubal McDaniel, volunteer chaplain to Tacoma Defiance shared an email with the rest of the Soccer Chaplains United team about his experience thus far in working out chaplaincy service for his team context. Our conversations with Jubal began in late 2020, with COVID and the pandemic in full-swing, it took time for the introductions and beginnings of ministry. More headway was made in 2021 — Jubal as able to meet and serve the team in many virtual ways and towards the end of the year, in a few, tangible ways. What follows below are some of Jubal's reflections, which I believe give helpful insight into the work of soccer chaplaincy and some of the challenges and ways to take

  • Perhaps you've heard the adage — a house divided cannot stand. These words, spoken by Jesus a couple thousand years ago, play out in the rift that we see between members of the AFC Richmond team and Coach Lasso and Coach Beard have got to come up with a solution before it all unravels. Today, on the From the Touchline podcast, I reflect on the inability for teams, homes, and kingdoms or nations to continue to exist with sharp division — there has to be reconciliation, there has to be healing and repair. During Jesus' earthly ministry he was accused of being on the same side as Satan — a ridiculous accusation and Jesus' words are a reminder that a

  • Since moving to Colorado in 2010 and turning on the television to watch the local soccer team in the MLS Cup final, Kevin Hasenack has been a fan — not just of football (soccer), but of the Colorado Rapids. But more than a fan, this local pastor to Calvary Wellspring (located in Aurora, CO) has been involved in the game at different points and in different ways. Pastoring and befriending a former Colorado Rapids 1st Team player and his family further piqued his interest in the "Beautiful Game," but also revealed some of the more difficult sides to being an elite pro. The challenges that I see is that athletes are asked of a lot: fans ask a lot of them,

  • Tensions and fights happen in football — especially in the elite side of the game. There's a lot at stake and a wide variety of sources and causes of division and struggle and more. What happens when the emotions and passion boil over and threaten to destroy the camaraderie and unity of a locker room? Today, on the From the Touchline podcast, I look at AFC Richmond going through this particularly difficult stages of group formation — one that teams often go through. A similar situation that Jesus faced with his own disciples — his rule wasn't "No fight club" but rather one that went deeper into the heart and ethos of a group of people that were tied together into a

  • From the Touchline

    The National Women's Soccer League, the top league for women's soccer in the US, begins their season with the Challenge Cup tournament this Friday as the Portland Thorns take on the OL Reign. Today, on the Soccer Chaplains United podcast, From the Touchline I am joined by special guests — Lori Krueger, volunteer chaplain with NWSL side KC Current and the volunteer chaplain coordinator for the league, as well as Soccer Chaplains United's very own — Christina Garber — the volunteer chaplain for the Portland Thorns. There's much to discuss as women's soccer has been in the news a lot in the past few months — for good things and for challenging things. Also part of the pod, Lori takes on