With the real estate on airwaves and newsprint getting harder to come by, most religion stories that get published or broadcast deal with politics or major social drama. But some of my favorite stories are the slice-of-life depictions of congregational life. Unlike the impression you may get from the media, it isn't all about fighting over doctrinal issues . . . there are other fights, too! For instance, my church's softball team and our rivalry with the dastardly First Baptist softball team. Seriously, after cheering on a few games of the Alexandria Church Softball League, I've decided there is nothing more fun than religiously based sports cheers and taunts Or, take this church battle in Wichita:
Let's get ready to ruuuuumble... religion style! In this corner, from the downtown Wichita corner of Third and Topeka, the house of worship that claims it is the city's first church: St. John's Episcopal Church.
And in the other corner, from Broadway, near Central, the one that claims it is the city's first church: First Presbyterian Church.
Tonight, the two churches will settle their "dispute" in what they're calling the First Annual First Church in Wichita Bible Bowl.
Last year the Wichita Eagle quoted St. John's priest as saying her church was the oldest in Wichita. Her friend, the pastor of First Presbyterian, noted that her congregation also claims the title.
Rather than hard feelings, though, they decided that there would be a First Church in Wichita trophy and an annual Bible competition to declare a winner. Questions will be posed to pastors and laypeople.
The story had the perfect tone for the playful rivalry between the two church's. Hopefully we'll have a follow-up on who won!