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From the Rev: Where Are They Now?

Apr 28, 2013

Players don’t just need a chaplain during their playing days. Often it is in the years that follow when life has more challenges – from aging parents, to raising a family, to creating a new career – there is often place for chaplains to be an encouragement and support.

Recently, the Colorado Rapids re-introduced members of its gallery of honor. These former players have made major contributions to the Rapids organization and were collectively recognized during the Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders match. The reunion was also marked by a few events leading up to the game. Events such as these often pique the curiosity of fans into wondering where did their favorite players of yester-year actually end up.

For myself, one of the important parts of ministry and work with the team as chaplain is keeping up with the players, coaches, and staff even as they go beyond the doors of the organization into other endeavors in life. It is part of my hope and belief to be available to these people for life – even long after their professional days with the team come to a close. Part of this philosophy of ministry was encouraged in part by a reading of the book Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul. The memoir of Tony Hendra introduces a homely priest who continues to speak into the troubled life of Hendra throughout the years. The priest, Father Joe, consistently and gently points Hendra back to love of God and love of others throughout the various trials and failings of his life.

As I continue to serve as a chaplain to the Rapids, there are many former players and staff who re-enter the door. Sometimes in a role with the club, sometimes as part of another organization or team, sometimes in a moment of honoring an achievement of the past. In truth, not all former members of the club see me as a “Father Joe” type figure, but there are some that do. There are some that come back, years later, and they have questions about God, about life, about family, or about some burden that they carry heavily in their heart and soul. For me, as chaplain, these are some of the most fulfilling moments – to be able to serve, to be able to share, to be able to help in pointing people back toward God.

It takes a lot of work sometimes to stay even loosely connected to the many that have been part of the organization before. But when you can answer the question, “Where are they now?” And you can help some of them get a little closer to God – it is worth it all.

Blessings,

Rev. Brad Kenney

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