Hockey Team Receives Spiritual Guidance

( [email protected] ) Jan 30, 2004 02:10 PM EST

WICHITA, TENNESSEE -- The Rev. Doug Fletcher 36, pastor of Riverlawn Christian Church in Wichita, expresses his joy in inspiring guys who are passionate for hockey with the passion for Jesus. He has been with the Wichita Thunder hockey team for a year as the team’s chaplain. Fletcher is currently serving as chaplain for the Thunder and the Wichita Stealth arena football team.

"It's a way of communicating my passion in Jesus to a group of guys who have a passion for hockey," he said.

At each home game, he gives an inspirational talk as he refers to the Bible. Between games, he is the team's spiritual guidance and friend.

Fletcher is affiliated with Hockey Ministries International, a network of volunteers that has ministered to hockey players, professional and amateur, since 1977.

"There are certain times that everyone has problems in life," Thunder coach Derek Laxdal said. The chaplain brings a "spiritual message that the game of life is more important than the game of hockey."

Ryan McLean, a 23-year-old Thunder forward, explained how Fletcher’s presence helps him in his spiritual life transforming him to have the knowledge of the Bible.

"He ties in the Bible to hockey," McLean said of Fletcher. "He brings out things we would not get otherwise."

Fletcher led the team in prayer, asking for safety and victory, and encouraging them to play "as if it was their last game ever."