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Harvard-Epworth is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network and welcomes all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, ability, marital status or financial condition.
A Message from Rev. Barbara Lemmel and Rev. Mitchell Hay
Dear friends and members at Harvard-Epworth UMC,
Grace and peace!
Like many of you, I’ve been captivated by the Olympics on TV this week. Yes, I know there is a lot of controversy about even holding the Olympics this year; yes, it’s odd to have the games held with hardly any spectators because of the pandemic; yes, there have been agonizing moments of personal turmoil as the events have unfolded.
Yet one moment in particular stands out to me as a witness to the positive power of the human spirit. On Monday evening, in a thrilling swimming contest, Ariane Titmus of Australia edged out American Katie Ladecky in the women’s 400 meter freestyle event, winning by only 2/3 of a second. It was tremendously exciting to watch!
What struck me most, though, was the interview Katie gave to NBC immediately afterwards. She was asked about Ariane’s assertion that Katie has served as an inspiration to her to stay motivated during her Olympic training. How did Katie feel about that? She answered: “We’re really friendly. She (Ariane) said she couldn’t have done it without me, and I could say the same about her. She’s really pushed me, and I think it’s great for the sport.”
It made me think of this Sunday’s passage from Ephesians: “I plead with you…(to live) with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
It’s a high calling, and not easy to achieve. Especially, I imagine, when competing for Olympic gold! So I was particularly impressed by Katie’s willingness to show humility and gentleness, to love even her fiercest athletic opponent, no matter what.
Thank you, Katie and Ariane, for showing us what human bodies can achieve. And also for showing us what human spirits can achieve, when determined to be loving and gracious even when the stakes are high.
Wishing you all peace,
(P.S. Speaking of humble consideration, we appreciate how many of you may be staying away from in-person worship this summer to make space available for others to attend. The unfortunate result of such an abundance of humble consideration is that only 5 or 6 people have been present most Sunday mornings. Please, if you are interested in coming to worship, you won’t be taking someone else’s place. And your humble pastors will appreciate your presence! You can sign up HERE)