Monday Devotional
August 2, 2021
Dear Friend,
 

It is one of the feel-good stories of the current Olympics. Mutaz Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy are friends competing against one another in the high jump.  Just this week the two friends were perfect in their jumps. Eventually, they were the only two remaining competitors. Both athletes successfully jumped 2.37 meters (about 7 feet, 8 inches.) The bar was raised to 2.39 meters.

Each athlete has three attempts to clear that height. Despite their best efforts, neither had a successful jump. Tamberi was the last to try and when he failed, his friend Barshim came up and hugged him. It had been a great competition, but there was no clear winner.

As the two embraced, an Olympic official came to them and explained that they could have a jump off to determine who would receive the gold medal. Before the official could explain what it would entail, Barshim asked, “Could we just share the gold?” The official explained that it was possible.

That was all it took. The two friends and competitors shook hands with enthusiasm and then began to celebrate their shared victory. Both athletes have very animated personalities and there was much leaping and shouting and rejoicing. It was a beautiful Olympic moment.

In the years to come, each will be able to show their gold medal to friends and family and recall their exploits in the summer Olympics. But more than that, the two friends will have a great story to share, recalling how friendship was more important than competition and how their sportsmanship made it possible for the other to share in a lifetime of memories. 

I hope their example will inspire us and continue to bring out the best in all of us.  

Peace,
Howard
 

We are looking for helpers for the childcare ministry of our church. If you or someone you know is interested in this, please call or email Jen Riddle at the church office.

Beginning on August 8th, we will offer a more comprehensive Sunday morning schedule. We begin with a brief service in the Chapel at 8:30 a.m. and concluding by 9:00. Our Faith Formation classes begin at 9:00 a.m. with opportunities to learn and grow through study and education. Our primary worship service will continue to be at 10 a.m. and can be viewed online or in-person. The return of Fellowship Time begins at 11:00 in the church library. Please note that some adult education classes will be at 9 a.m. and some at 11:00 a.m. so check your class to see which hour they are meeting.

The selection for the August book club is “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones. In a powerful fashion, the author addresses issues of love, injustice, hope and forgiveness. You can join the discussion of this novel on Sunday August 15th at 6:00 at the church or join us via zoom.

We are delighted to announce that Janie Gordon has offered to serve as an interim Director of Music. The Chancel Choir and Chancel Ringers will begin practicing soon. If you would like more details or are interested in participating please contact Janie at janiego@comcast.net.