We don’t normally report on Christian youth conferences here on PITB, but that’s because this is a Canucks blog and these conferences typically don’t generate Canucks-related stories. However, on Friday one did, as The Passion Movement, a Christian organization aimed at “uniting students in worship and prayer,” visited Rogers Arena. During the service, Pastor Louie Giglio held up a blue Canucks helmet and led over 10,000 people in a prayer for the healing of Daniel Sedin’s recently-confirmed concussion.
Now, if you find this video a bit strange, you’re not alone. Over at Puck Daddy, Sean Leahy said what a lot of people must have thought upon viewing the clip: “What better way to get your fans in the city you’re touring even more behind you than holding a mass prayer for the quick recovery of one of their hockey stars?” Meanwhile, some of the commenters said the same thing, albeit much more ignorantly: “Nothing like bible thumpers playing their same ol’ tune, and trying to hitch their wagon to a fan favorite to legitimize themselves…….pathetic,” said one.
But Giglio wasn’t pandering to the home crowd; he was making good on a prayer request from Paolo Aquilini, one of the three brothers that make up the Aquilini ownership group, which controls both the Vancouver Canucks and Rogers Arena.
Keep in mind that Giglio isn’t just praying over some random blue Reebok helmet; the one in his hand actually is one of Daniel Sedin’s. Considering you can’t just walk into the Canucks’ dressing room and bless the equipment, it stands to reason that someone must have let Giglio in there. That someone was Aquilini, a born-again Christian who invited the Passion Vancouver team to hold the event at Rogers Arena.
Aquilini discussed his faith two years ago in an interview with Canadian Christianity:
I grew in a Catholic church. But for me, I never experienced a true relationship with Jesus. For me, Jesus was just a figure; we didn’t have a relationship. I just went to church once a week, and that’s what I did; that’s part of the way I grew up.
But then I opened the Bible – and basically, I had a conversion on the spot, as I was reading. I just picked up the Bible, and as I was reading, it said:“Behold, the kingdom of God is at hand.” And I just remember saying, “Jesus is God, Jesus is God” – and my whole life changed at that point. It was a profound experience.
Earlier in the day, Giglio, who resides just outside of Atlanta, joked that his city had already given Canada two hockey teams, but he wanted to give something to Vancouver and the Aquilinis specifically, in return for their hospitality and friendship. He asked if there was anything be could pray for in respect to the Canucks’ owners, and with Daniel Sedin having just flown home to Vancouver with brain trauma, it was an easy answer.
(For the record, while it sounds like Daniel wasn’t informed they’d be doing this, it’s not like there isn’t support inside the Canucks’ room. David Booth tweeted his appreciation for the event, and Dan Hamhuis would likely have been in attendance if the team wasn’t in Colorado for a game.)
Regardless of what you believe, the prayer request should speak to just how concerned the Canucks are about Daniel’s health right now. We aren’t at the stage where it will take a miracle for the Canucks’ winger to get better, but we have reached the stage where it sure couldn’t hurt.
One final note: Keith Ballard may have caught some residual miracle, as the concussed defenceman began skating again Monday afternoon.concussion, Daniel Sedin, I'll be surprised if we ever use this Passion Movement tag again, prayer, The Passion Movement