Why “Hope Springs Eternal”?

I played baseball for nearly 20 years. It was driving force behind my formation as a person, and continues to guide my formation as a priest.

The lessons in baseball are many, and I think we in the Church have a lot to learn from sports.

The title of this blog comes from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Man, but maybe you’re more familiar with the phrase from Ernest Thayer’s Casey at the Bat.

The Outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We’d put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.

In baseball, hope indeed springs eternal. In the Church, too.

Opening Day always comes around the same time as Easter, and this quirk of the springtime calendar seems appropriate to me.

So, who am I?

I’m a priest in The Episcopal Church. I’m also co-founder of Missional Voices, and organization that seeks to spur the Church to a conversation about the future.

I’m also a husband, a father of two young boys, and a baseball fan.

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