Week of May 19, 2019

This past Spring I coached for the first time a roller derby team, the Regulators. They were a brand-new expansion team for Fountain City Roller Derby, a league in Kansas City. Before my retirement I played for another team for FCRD, the Usual Suspects, who ironically would win the championship after I left.

As an expansion team, we had a disproportionate number of novice skaters, rookies would might not have even been drafted other years, but had a chance with the larger number of opening. Most of them had never skated in a bout and their skills were sometimes lacking. The team was blessed with a small number of veterans, and my job was to put together groups of players that would work well together and be as successful as possible out on the track.

You might think that I would think of my job as being about putting together “weak” players and “strong” players, so that the strengths of some would cancel out the weaknesses of the others. But while I did mix the two groups—veterans and novices—together, it was with an eye towards which groupings would have every player contributing towards the whole. This is because you cannot have veterans just carrying other players; the game doesn’t work that way. Everyone is interdependent upon every other player. Everyone has gifts, everyone contributes, everyone benefits. And over the year, the team played every game better than the last.

Now aside from my deep enjoyment of talking about roller derby, I’m talking about this because when Bishop Bascom comes to visit, one of the things she may be talking about is her plan to create “minsters,” parishes that will build relationships with one another. It’s a very English term—think “Westminster” or “Yorkminster.” But the vision is not one of strong and weak parishes, but rather parishes that can go out there on the track and support one another interdependently, combining gifts and talents to build up the Kingdom of God.

Some of the institutions Trinity may be grouped with in what I’m calling the “Kaw Valley Minster” will be familiar partners in ministry, e.g. Canterbury House and Bishop Seabury Academy. I’m asking you to pray diligently for this vision of a shared ministry in the Diocese of Kansas, and in that conversation with God explore ideas about gifts, opportunities, and the stumbling blocks that can but should not impede our ability to come together.

Thank you for your continued support of faithfulness and service,

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Rob+