From your Sabbatical Minister
Even if you don’t follow football, you might have heard that the Philadelphia Eagles recently won their first Super Bowl. You probably heard that they were the underdog’s underdog. Their star quarterback was injured at the end of the regular season, as were many of their talented players. Moreover, the team had been through a pretty rough decade, and generally got little respect from fans and commentators.
When my brother in law first lured me into becoming an Eagles fan I was warned that it was a path of heartbreak and disappointment. Sure there were some good years with quarterback Donovan McNabb and coach Andy Reid, but our hopes were dashed in a agonizing defeat to the New England Patriots in the Superbowl back in 2005 and it had been pretty much downhill ever since.
So when the Eagles won the Championship game and we realized we were going to be facing the Patriots in the Superbowl again- the patriots who have won 5 Superbowls as recently as last year- I was afraid to hope. The day of the big game, all the Eagles fans in our family were texting hopeful sentiments back and forth. I did not want to hear it. We supportively work our Eagles Jerseys, and made cheese steaks in honor of the occasion, but even so the game was a stressful white-knuckle experience. Even when the Eagles were ahead, I didn’t hope- I’d seen the Patriots come back from behind too many times before. And when the clock finally ran out and the Eagles had retained their lead, even as confetti fluttered down and the coach was doused with sportsdrink, I still couldn’t believe our team had really won.
Sometimes, especially when we’ve been disappointed, when we’ve had our hearts broken, we are afraid to hope. I wonder why that is? What does hope cost us? Why was I unable to enjoy the Eagles second-ever Superbowl appearance?
Fortunately the players were not afraid to hope. Fortunately the whole Eagles team- players, coaches, front office- gave it their all. All through the postseason players told reporters about a sense of team unity and spirit. They say that team sprit was what made the difference in the end.
You, the members and friends at UUCB, have also arrived at an important moment for your congregation. This capital campaign is an important opportunity to shape your future together. Are you afraid to hope? Are past disappointments making you wary that an ambitious project might not turn out the way you dreamed? Fortunately you have a good team. As I read the carefully prepared highly detailed reports from the Capitol Campaign committee, I know that you have done your homework, addressing practical issues, preparing for a variety of outcomes. As I join your Board for their monthly meetings I am impressed with their inclusive and thoughtful process. May your team spirit carry you through this exciting time, and may you not be afraid to hope.
Rev. Darcey Laine
Rev. Laine is available by phone most days at her home study. (Monday is her day off).
Call 607-220-4152 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any questions about the sabbatical ministry? Contact Sabbatical Team Liaison Catherine Rosso.