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Broncos chaplain to speak at National Prayer Luncheon

Denver Broncos Chaplain Chip Simmons, shown with Colorado Crush Arena Football League team mascot Crush, is the featured speaker at the National Prayer Luncheon 11 am March 11 at the Peterson Club ballroom. Simmons is also president of After the Game Ministries. (Courtesy photo)

Denver Broncos Chaplain Chip Simmons, shown with Colorado Crush Arena Football League team mascot Crush, is the featured speaker at the National Prayer Luncheon 11 am March 11 at the Peterson Club ballroom. Simmons is also president of After the Game Ministries. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Transition. Whether you are in the military or professional sports, transition is a consistent part of life. Handling the stress and uncertainty that comes along with it can be challenging, but the solution is the same regardless of the group you identify with. According to Chip Simmons, the answer is prayer.

Simmons, chaplain for the Denver Broncos and president of After the Game Ministries, is the featured speaker at the National Prayer Luncheon, 11 a.m. March 11 at the Peterson Club ballroom.

"Sports is such a transitional world," Simmons said. "Many wives and kids must be able to adjust to change really well, like in the military. If you don't do change well there's no place for you in sports or the military."

There are many similarities between sports and military life, such as structure, routine meetings, practices and training, Simmons said.

"Everything is so regimented," he explained.

Simmons is going to tackle how to find peace in transition because it is going to happen no matter what.

"You want to be able to find peace in anything you do. In that mix you've got to find peace," Simmons said. "Prayer is the No. 1 fuel that keeps us going in our walk, whatever our faith is. As a Christian man prayer is very important to me."

"With transitions that are difficult in our lives, we desire comfort. Prayer is that comfort to many military members and their family's worship needs during times of discontent," said Staff Sgt. Benjamin Roa, 21st Space Wing chaplain's assistant. "Often, military families can feel uncertain about a permanent change in station or perhaps grief in losing a loved one. Prayer allows many to connect our worship beliefs and our understanding of the world around us. It facilitates personal understanding during a transition; the importance of prayer is in the understanding we arrive at, giving us that feeling of peace in challenging circumstances."

Simmons was selected for the event because of the message he brings, Roa said. His behind the scenes work in college and professional athletics reflect what the Peterson AFB Chapel staff offers.

"We enjoy having someone echo our vision of providing a dynamic religious support team for Peterson AFB," Roa said.

Simmons' involvement in ministering to athletes goes back several years. As a young man in Philadelphia he worked security for the Phillies baseball team. He became a Christian in 1994 and a while after that event a Phillies player suggested he get in touch with Fellowship for Christian Athletes. He provided a contact, but Simmons did not call. After a brief time away from sports a player for the Philadelphia Eagles gave Simmons the same FCA contact information. This time he took it as a sign.

"I decided to call and in December 1997 I joined the FCA staff," Simmons said.

A year later he became assistant chaplain for the Philadelphia 76ers followed by time with the Eagles, The Colorado Crunch arena football team, University of Colorado and now the Denver Broncos.

National prayer events have been celebrated since 1953 when members of the Senate, House of Representatives and President Eisenhower established the first National Prayer event. The purpose of the day is to seek guidance for our government leaders and to reaffirm faith, Roa said.

"Freedom of religion is a constitutional right for all within our great nation to enjoy; we honor this every year with each National Prayer event," he said.

There is a $5 charge for the luncheon which includes a choice of a croissant sandwich, blackened chicken salad or chef's salad.

To attend or for information, contact Roa at 556-4855 or by e-vite.

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