Collect ‘Em All!Posted: July 8, 2010
After watching Ben cross himself before coming up to bat in a recent little league game I’ve been pondering the parallels between baseball and church. I won’t bore you with a George Will-like treatment of the game but it has been said that baseball is a form of liturgy. I wonder what this would look like if the corollary was true?
The Rev. Scott Gunn, commenting on my Facebook page, wrote “I have a ‘three strikes, you’re out’ policy with all liturgical ministers. It keeps the acolytes on their toes. Also, the Peace is akin to the seventh inning stretch. MCs are like third base coaches. Finally, the deployment process makes us priests into free agents.”
But I’ve come to the conclusion that the world needs clergy trading cards. Nothing fancy, just an action photo on the front with parish stats on the back. Even though priests are always saying “it’s not about the numbers” we don’t actually believe this. So we should put our numbers where our mouths are and stick them on the back of bubble gum cards.
Some of the info would be pretty basic: height, weight, diocese, wingspan when in the Orans Position. But I’d also like to see statistics such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals performed. As with baseball cards, this should be a year-by-year accounting along with the career totals on the bottom line.
One measure of effectiveness would be to offer a wedding percentage. This would be calculated by dividing the total number of weddings performed by the number of marriages that “stuck.” Thus if your wedding percentage was .750 it would mean that 2.5 weddings out of every ten performed ended in divorce.
Imagine the fun vestries could have as they pondered trading their under-performing curate for a seminarian to be named later. And imagine the joy of a disgruntled parishioner pinning the rector’s card up to the dart board in the family rec room.
They would still be sold in wax packs but rather than a stale piece of gum you’d find a stale wafer.
So collect ’em all! And look for my 2000 rookie card — it might be valuable one day.