Katie’s Bay View – I See Great Things in Baseball

Dear Ones,

I’m on vacation now. After all, it is late July/early August and it’s the quietest time of the year in church life. Even though the congregation is much more active in the summer months than in the generations past, still the church calendar is not so chock full of events as during the rest of the year. So, this is my customary date for time away from church responsibilities.
It’s a time for me to catch up with my family. I’ll be taking a trip to see my daughter perform and compete at Hip Hop International, held in Las Vegas. It’s a huge event that literally welcomes crews from 40 countries in competition. It’s multi-cultural and loud; it’s friendly and encouraging. After a few days, I find I’ve gotta’ leave and make my way home since I take in a little too much beat-boxing, dub-stepping and too many specialty-shaved Mohawk haircuts, but the minute I’m gone, I miss it. Natasha’s crew is fabulous and dynamic. They’re a blast to cheer on.
I may choose to make a last minute trip home to Michigan to visit my father. He has had a rapid mental decline this past year. Sadly, his wife has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, and is undergoing treatment. It’s been a difficult time for them.
Before and after trips away I will spend some time with my husband attending the local baseball games. We have become even greater fans than ever of our east bay major league team, and find ourselves enjoying each other’s company when we are staring out at the field sending hope and prayers for the team sporting the white shoes.
You’ll get to experience a baseball worship service, as member Chris Selig leads worship the first Sunday in August. Baseball and religion is a thing that goes together well. For us clergy type it a regular topic of conversation. It is a shared non-church passion.
An Episcopalian theologian (and baseball fan) reminds us that for some it is the experience of being at the baseball park, for others the very possibility of being in the right place at the right time (that walk-off home run, the no hitter). It’s that very same thing that happens at church. Sometimes, we can be in a special sacred moment, and sometimes, we’re just there to be in that wonderful place.
Last week at the ballpark, the woman in front of me read the entire issue of the latest New Yorker despite the fact that we were winning the game, and the next time out, three young dudes behind me conversed without a voice break about their conflicted relationship, about every important book read since college, and how it felt to be fans of teams other than the ones playing. Every once in a while they glanced at the scoreboard and were surprised.
I hope you’re in that special peace that is summertime, and I send you more peace for all of your traveling journeys. I’ll be back on the 14th of August.

Blessings and Love,