Olympic Games Chaplain tells: What they actually do
The Rev. Andrew Wingfield is participating as a Chaplain at the Olympic Games - at the Multi Faith Centre and in Olympic Village. Here he tells "what they actually do".
What a great thrill, and no doubt surprise, for us all to see Steve Redgrave pass the flame at the Opening Ceremony to a regular member of our 6pm congregation at St Andrew's in Oxford – well done Cameron MacRitchie! What a memory to have whatever happens in his rowing career in future.
This sunday (July 29th) I preached at the Chapel Christian praise service.
Based on Isaiah 40. 21-31 I drew out the differences between the athletic race and the Christian race- No superstiton needed just trust in the Lord, No qualification needed just an invitation and a command from the Lord, No competition with others needed just the battle with sin, no drugs needed just the Holy Spirit to enhance performance, No losers – all winners in Jesus.
The service was attended by about 50 people from perhaps 15 countries - we were encouraged by the turn out as competition was already underway.
1) Give thanks for the Multi faith centre at the heart of village life and for Canon Duncan Green who has overall leadership of religious provision for the Games. He has done a great job.
2) Please pray that the international chaplains all of whom have contacts with competitors are able to make those contacts and be an encouragement to them. It is a huge advantage for the UK chaplains that these international chaplains are here as without them every call would be 'cold'. The athletes and officials love to mix and have fellowship across nationalities as believers in an entirely safe, ie confidential, situation.
3) Pray for the safety and well being of all at the Games; and for those in charge of the Games such as Seb Coe on whom there is great pressure.
4) Pray that the chaplaincy team can serve the athletes, volunteers and staff effectively
5) Pray for all of us to be led to the right people at the right time - divine apppointments.
6) Pray for protection from spiritual attack for both are concerned for family and friends back home and that is often where the enemy chooses to attack
Several have emailed me to ask what we actually do!
Basically we are three teams comprising Protestant and totally delightful Roman Catholic priests, and in my team a Hindu lady chaplain and a Jewish Rabbi (both delightful also).
There are also Buddhist and a Muslim chaplains. We serve on a rota so today (Sunday) my team of about 15 was on from 7am till 3pm. Tomorrow I will be on from 2pm till 10pm, and Tuesday not on shift but able to go into the Village if needed.
When not in the village I am helping a bit with my daughter Laura's very ambitious Olympic outreach at Frampton Park Baptist church. I am staying with Laura in Hackney – two stops from Stratford which is very convenient.
When on duty there are Christian Bible studies/prayer meetings/services three times each day which we take turns to lead and we can stamp our own style on them. We also take turns to man the reception desk and a 'Help' desk in the volunteers dining room. There is a daily Roman Catholic mass as well and yesterday a special Polish mass for their team.
A surprisingly large number of people visit the religious centre and we welcome them, guide them to the right religious person, or international chaplain and offer them either a quiet place to pray or someone to pray with them. The whole emphasis is to be a servant hearted spiritual support to those who want it but absolutely no pressure is to be put on any Olympians – I totally support this as to abuse it would a)close the door to future ministry and b) contravene the Olympic charter.
The rest of the time we are free to walk around the Village – Operation Sovereign (our prayer initiative at church when we walk the Parish to pray blessing on those who live and work there) has been good training for that! – and that is where conversations can occur as if by chance.
The international chaplains, and myself to a lesser extent, as I have been out of sports ministry for ten years, know a number of athletes and meet with them individually and in groups by invitation for prayer and Bible study. There are many believers in the Village.
London 2012 Olympics Faith Logo
Source: Anglican Mainstream
Photo Credit: London2012.com
|< Prev||Next >|