While professional soccer has already returned in the United States and around the world, there is still a massive impact from the novel Coronavirus which has different parts of the country and the world in different stages of reaction and response. Social distancing in one place but wide-open, no restrictions in another, means that finding common ground is difficult. The global pandemic has affected the stock market and global and local economies for months — and businesses and non-profits have felt the effects to varying degrees. So, too with Soccer Chaplains United.
Unfortunately, second quarter for us saw a 25% giving decline from the same time last year. In addition, Soccer Chaplains United lost a key donor to start the 3rd quarter. The deficit is something that the Board of Directors and I talked about at length in our most recent board meeting (July 20). While difficult to forecast — Soccer Chaplains United may only be able to come in at 60% of forecasted donations this year. Challenges to meeting also make new support development a challenge as well.
Despite the current difficulties, Soccer Chaplains United has had some important advances in the past couple of months including the El Paso chaplaincy placement and a few other placements that are currently in the works. Additionally, the chaplains that are part of the group have had several good zoom meetings to collaborate on supporting the athletes, coaches, and staff of the teams and organizations that we serve. From issues of unemployment, to ethical and moral implications surrounding virus testing, to controversies surrounding the national anthem, and more — our chaplains have never been busier in offering pastoral and spiritual care to those we serve. Whether offering guidance on responding to culturally explosive topics, or praying for healing in the racial and social divides, to working through reconciliation issues having to do with ethnicity and race, and helping sustain one’s faith during such uncertain times — Soccer Chaplains United have been working overtime (and socially/ virtually distanced, no less) to serve.
For supporters and followers of Soccer Chaplains United, we need your prayers desperately during these next few months. As Major League Soccer and National Women’s Soccer League come to the end of their respective tournaments and as the United Soccer Leagues play in different markets — please pray for our chaplains on the front lines supporting those in soccer. Pray for their other vocational work (the churches and ministries and organizations where they serve). Pray for Soccer Chaplains United’s financial needs for 2020 to be met. Pray for the continued work of growing chaplaincy in soccer as it continues, no matter what the format for the remainder of the year and into next year. Pray for the health and safety of those athletes, coaches, and staff that are traveling and interacting with others. Pray for wisdom amongst the leadership and executives of the different teams and leagues. Pray for the small, Christian colleges and universities that are wrestling with their own financial needs and situations which may mean shuttering programs or changing the way they do school.