by Kate Ward ’23
Over the past two years I have been engaged in a long-winded legal battle. A decision was finally made and I have lost my church building as a result. Now it’s up to me to find a new place for my congregation to meet, and even worse: It’s Saturday and I haven’t thought of anything. My phone rings—it’s one of my regulars, and I don’t have the heart to tell them I have no idea where we’re meeting. I ignore it and jump on my laptop, and head to the hub of all activity: Facebook. I troll the various groups where no one is offering up a space to worship. I close my laptop with a sigh, scoot back in my chair, and rub my face before getting up and walking to my living room where my cat, Cornelious, is watching one of my favorite films, Field of Dreams. I look at him, into his tired-looking orange eyes. “Corn, what would happen if my congregation and I chopped down a cornfield in order to worship?”
He replies with an unenthusiastic meow, so I continue, now pacing my living room. As the idea strikes me, I hurry back to my laptop and reopen Zuckerberg’s lair. I pull up a textbox and begin to type, my fingers flying furiously as the idea swells in my brain. After five long minutes I rock back and reread it:
I regret to inform you all that we have lost our church building and now I have had to get creative for our meeting place. As we know, we can worship anywhere, but I know a lot of you loved our church building, as did I. I am here to propose an idea. We have been talking about trying to attract new, younger members and I think I have solved that problem along with the problem of finding a new place to worship. It hit me: A Baseball League of Worship. A Field of Scripture if you will. Tomorrow we’ll be meeting at the field at the center of town. Bring sneakers and a glove if you have it. Can’t wait to see you there!
I smile and hit send, closing my laptop once more. I join Corn on the couch and scratch him behind the ears before impatiently pulling out my phone, refreshing Facebook repeatedly until the night grows dark and I get my first reply, a smile with hearty eyes. I sigh, content with my work for the day. As I got ready for bed, I packed my baseball bag and hit the hay, mind whirring.
I dressed the following morning in my usual clothes, substituting my loafers for sneakers. Driving off to the baseball field, I noted as I parked that there were many more minivans than usual. I quickly realized that there was a little league game going on, and I got out of my car, holding my text to my chest as my confused congregation moseyed alongside me like puppies following their mother. I realized I was going to have to be a lot more creative in choosing a new meeting place other than the baseball field. Maybe I could use the small outdoor part of the neighboring pre-K school? I walked to the pre-K and knocked before being let in by a kind older woman who joyously granted us 20 tiny chairs and an equally tiny table. We huddled around the small table, eating Goldfish as our knees hit the table. Before I started, I couldn’t help but laugh at my traveling band of friends.