10 Questions with (Team Chaplain) Rev. David Wood
Tell us a little bit about yourself
Well, lets see. I’m a Edmonton born avid football guy who grew up bleeding green and gold. I’m 50 years old and I’ve been married to the same amazing woman Julie for 25 years, this year. We have two great kids who are both at the U of A. My son is studying to be a teacher and my daughter is in Africa helping with ERDO (Emergency Relief and Development Overseas) doing Micro financing for the mothers and women of the Congo. After playing football growing up and completing my theological training I have served in churches in Ontario, British Columbia and here in Edmonton.
You’ve been the chaplain for sports teams in the past. Which teams?
Mostly, due to the ministry to youth that I have been trained in I was a chaplain for high school teams in London, Ontario and Nanaimo, British Columbia (No I was never associated with the Raiders in Nanaimo.) Hockey teams mostly but some football.
As team chaplain, what are you offering to the Wildcats players?
I would like to offer to the Wildcat players a listening ear. As the season progresses events always occur that will be tough on all or us. As we overcome the challenges that life and football will throw at us this year I hope that I can be someone to talk with. I trust that as we come together as a team we will come together as individuals too. As we journey together, I would just like to offer myself as another listening ear. Someone who you can talk to, who will listen, reflect some feedback and not share it with the world.
Why is it important for a sports team to have a chaplain?
The value in the chaplain is found in the relationships and reflections that happen. Sometimes circumstances and challenges occur that are just way beyond the coaches and trainers job. It is then that someone coming alongside with a word of encouragement or consideration, an arm up, or just a safe place to get some frustration out helps the team to pull together… and together reach our goal.
You are one of the pastors at WECA, which is a pentecostal church. Our players are all welcome to contact you, regardless of denomination. What about other religions or atheists?
Because faith and belief is a personal thing, it is my hope that every Wildcat will see me as a person first and not as something else. I know what I intend to do is to approach everyone on the team with the respect that everyone one of them deserve. Yup, I’m Pastor but I’m a lot more than that and it is my hope that everybody will welcome a chance to contact me. Every Wildcat regardless of background or faith story is a vital part of the team and each part working together is what makes up such a strong squad. Whether on offence or defence teams each one is vital to make up the 2013 Wildcats and it is our differences not our similarities that make us a team.
What are the most common things that teams or players talk to you about?
Life, love and the pursuit of happiness. The bible says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” and that is true when it come to talking. We all have the same desires to know and to be known. To succeed and to be appreciated for our efforts. That is mostly what teams have spoken to me about. The questions of football and tactics we will leave to the coaches. Any questions about equipment we will leave to Big Tom and his team, but pretty much everything else is fair game with me. There isn’t a question that I’m scared of, and very few I haven’t handled in 25 years of youth ministry.
If you were to offer one piece of advice to the players, what would it be?
Common sense…right? Well the one thing about common sense is that it is neither common nor cheap.
Honour is not just more respect but is in fact something way beyond respect. Honour is when you take the wisdom of your leaders to heart. You live it, breath it, believe it, and are willing to go to the wall against anyone who does not honour those who you do. It is here that the teams who only respect their leaders and team members will succeed in their short term goals but fail in the larger ones. Honour means dong the things that you don’t need to do, or should do but the things that men of honour do. That extra weight, that extra rep, and that extra stretch are all examples of how we honour our team. It’s more than obeying and more than respecting.
Obeying is like the team who only runs the ball. You might win a game but never make the season.
Respecting your team is the next level, but it’s like the team who runs and throws but throws the ball to where the receivers are. That team might win the season but will lose the final.
But the team who honours, the ones who choose to have no rights, no demands, but choose for the others first. Choose to completely serve the vision of the guy beside you whether coach or teammate. Choose to honour them by your words and actions. That team is the team who throws the ball to where no one is standing yet. But honour tells you that they or you will be there when the ball comes down, because you honour each other. That team is the one who is singing their song on the last day of the season.
Is there a particular piece of scripture that you would like to share with our players?
1 Corinthians 12:12 -26 We are all a part of one body…together we honour each other.
Are you a football fan? Favourite CFL/NFL team?
Huge. Eskimos yesterday, today and forever. And any team playing Calgary. And the Green Bay Packers only because I love reading about Vince Lombardi
It is an honour (there’s that word again) to serve you guys this year. I choose today to honour you in your game, your passions and your beliefs. Let’s all do that! Let’s honour everyone on the team from the youngest water boy to the head coach and we will achieve something that you will talk about for the rest of your life… we even might win a cup.