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SED February 2020

February, 2020

Dear South East District Friends,

Go Chiefs!!

Please excuse my excitement but I have waited, along with my fellow Kansas City Chiefs fans, a very long time to be able to say we are Super Bowl champions so I think I am going to say it a few more times!

Team sports define much of our community life, don’t they? Perhaps you remember the sports you played as kids: mine were softball and basketball. The importance of perfecting your position as an individual alongside playing as a team member. Stepping up to the plate but also stepping out of the limelight when necessary. Allowing others the room to do their part and taking responsibility for your part too. Celebrating together the wins and crying together over the losses.

Over the weekend, many Chiefs fans were nervous as the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl began. Those who were watching the game with me said I was unusually “grumpy and silent” as I watched a lackluster performance. I thought our star player, Patrick Mahomes, just wasn’t going to show up to play that night. Then he did. It was awesome.

Later, after the trophy had been lifted (both the Super Bowl trophy and the MVP trophy for Mahomes), and the celebrations had taken place, the players and coaches settled in for the press conference interviews. Mahomes was asked what changed the game. His answer, “Our defense.” He did not take credit for scoring 21 points in less than eight minutes. He did not talk about the incredible passes he made or his poise in leading his team down the field. Instead, he praised the KC defense. Without them, he never would have had the chance to throw the ball. They needed to stop San Francisco first before Mahomes could work his magic.

This is our work, isn’t it? Doing our part and allowing others to do theirs. Praising the way others make our work possible and reciprocating when the opportunity arises.

Sisters and brothers, I have been a part of many conversations lately that begin with “I” and end with “me.” I am hearing less about “us” and “we.” Do you remember when you had a toddler in your home? Two year olds say “Me, me, me!” As we grow, we learn to understand the concept of “we.” Spiritually, it is possible to be a two year old that focuses entirely on what we want for ourselves and our need to be “right.” As God works in us, we learn the art of living together and living as a team in the communion of God’s creation. We each do our part, often not understanding exactly how God calls us to “win.” Yet we are confident God calls us to live together, work together, serve together.

This weekend at our District Training Event we will hear from my friend, the Rev. Magrey deVega, how to live as Wesley taught us to live – focusing on God first. I invite us to come together, our South East District “team,” to learn, train, grow and worship together.

Hope to see you there. And again, Go Chiefs!

In Christ’s love,