I had cause to tell someone recently that when I was a senior in high school, I was elected “Commissioner of Spirit and Athletics.” In retrospect, this was excellent preparation for ordained ministry, especially the episcopate.
I do still enjoy sports; and the Arizona Diamondbacks playoff run has been marked by friendly wagers with the opposing team’s bishops, resulting in donations to diocesan ministries. So the Diamondbacks’ victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers meant Bishop John Taylor of Los Angeles made a donation to our Veterans and Military Ministry, and our win over the Philadelphia Phillies resulted in a donation to Cruzando Fronteras from Bishop Daniel Gutierrez of Pennsylvania.
I’ve been seeking to fulfill the D-backs playoff slogan: #embracethechaos
I’ve set up not one, but two wagers with Texas bishops for the World Series against the Rangers. Bishop Scott Mayer of Northwest Texas is a diehard Rangers fan, who reportedly carries his episcopal vestments in a Rangers garment bag. And Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas has geographic oversight of the actual Rangers’ stadium. The three of us are all in.
So: WHEN the Diamondbacks triumph over the Rangers, I will be inviting my episcopal colleagues to make a donation to our Campus Ministries. Our ministries at ASU, NAU, and the University of Arizona are critical lifelines to young adults exploring their faith and identity, critical opportunities for continued faith life for young people who grew up in the Episcopal Church; and critical chances to introduce a new generation to the worship, theology and welcome of the Episcopal Church.
And if the outcome of the series is not what we hope… I’ll be supporting ministries in Northwest Texas and Texas.
And if you want to join us in the wager… you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter (X)!