Take me out to the ball game

While the bishops are attending the Lambeth Conference, life is not all Lambeth all the time for your baseball loving Episcopal Cafe´staff. The Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, Wisconsin reports on St. Alban’s Episcopal Church Sunday morning service in the parking lot of Miller Park before attending the Brewer’s baseball game. Is a baseball game a little taste of heaven?

The Rev. Deborah Woolsey stood near the altar she and her St. Alban’s Episcopal Church parishioners set up in the parking lot of Miller Park Sunday morning and proclaimed a truth that all of us this summer have suddenly come to know.

“There is,” said the good reverend, having just finished saying mid-morning services amid the tailgaters and bean bag tossers, “baseball in heaven. Absolutely.”

I should have realized that when, right in the middle of the service, a kid playing catch with a baseball right next to the St. Alban’s congregants committed a grievous error, if not exactly a grievous sin.

Susan McTaggart, the Sussex church’s director of music, became perhaps the first person ever to get whacked in the back with an errant throw right in the middle of Sunday church.

The drubbing continued, unfortunately, inside the stadium where the Astros somehow rose up from the netherworld.

I guess that’s what the preachers mean when they say the last shall be first. At least for an afternoon.

The beauty of baseball, of course, is redemption is always just a sunrise away.


Edward Kohlweiss is 82 years old, has lived in Milwaukee his entire life and knows how rare it is, this sort of excitement.

“Twice in a lifetime, if you’re lucky,” said Kohlweiss, fairly skipping into Miller Park on the other side of the stadium from where the St. Alban’s group had gathered.

He just hoped, he said, “the good Lord stretches my life out to see a World Series here.”

They’ll have to play better than they did Sunday, but maybe.

We can at least now feel maybe.

Maybe, too, the question at the ballpark isn’t really whether there is baseball in heaven. It’s whether right now there’s a little glimpse of heaven through baseball.

Rev. Woolsey stood in the parking lot before the game Sunday as the smell of charcoal wafted across a bright sky nearly as blue as the ever-growing sea of Brewer T-shirts.

This, she assured us all, “is a taste.”

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