I have often wondered why God omitted giving me the gene for team sports. What an omission given that I had to grow up in a culture every bit as fanatical about team sport as the US - but for us it was Rugby and Cricket, not American Football (didn’t it used to be called Gridiron?), and Baseball. God did not leave me completely defenseless in a sports mad culture, he endowed me with the God-like gifts of a track athlete, a sprinter to be exact.

Fast forward to Superbowl Sunday. I watched the game in the firm belief that this time, the spirit of my transformation into a US citizen would usher me into the sacred company of football worshipers. Well, the spiritual life is full of disappointments. Nevertheless, even I can appreciate the Patriots achievement as something to be celebrated. I have been struck by how many commentators explain their evident success on a commitment to tight team and gamesmanship discipline and an egalitarian team spirit. Tom Brady may be the David Beckham of American Football, but as Bill Belichick is always quick to point out, he has 80 men on whom the team’s success rests. Discipline and equality are two spiritual values I can appreciate.

Following a wonderful Annual Meeting two weeks ago and a successful Vestry team-building last Saturday – no I didn’t make them build a suspension bridge out of matchsticks – we move forward into 2019 with confidence and expectation of good things to come. The season after Epiphany is one of those elastic ones that stretches and contracts as needed to fit in with the wandering date of Easter, this year mercifully a later point in the Luna calendar cycle. We have five weeks until the first Sunday in Lent which gives us some time to explore several Christian Essentials in Sunday’s adult forums. This last Sunday, 21 of us crammed into the Stearns Room for a take no prisoners – head-on the encounter with the questions: what and who is God? After each session, you can find the handout from the sessions on the Adult Formation page of the website.

On the theme of formation, this year’s Lent Program will be A Life of Grace for the Whole World which will explore pastoral teaching on the environment from the House of Bishops. More details will follow but this year we will run the program in our traditional Tuesday evening format with community supper and also on Sunday mornings in the Adult Forum time so that parents with children for whom Tuesday evening is an impossible time will have an opportunity to participate as we explore a pastoral and theological focus on the current environmental crisis.

This Sunday coming, we will have someone from ECC (Episcopal Conference Center) to speak at announcement time. ECC has an ambitious development plan that among other things includes a solar farm which will eventually benefit parishes with a reduced price of electricity.

Don’t forget Evensong at 4:30 pm this Sunday.