It was about 14 years ago when the topic of youth athletics on Sundays was brought to my attention by Cedric Olson, then senior pastor of Central Lutheran Church in Elk River.
I couldn’t help but think what a terrible message we send to children when we place a higher value on sports than religion.
Sadly, I don’t remember the issue being addressed by the community of Elk River. I have heard the question raised now and again, and I have even heard it from coaches who work with our youth.
I’m not foolish enough to think that Elk River, or any town of its size, will stop scheduling sports or tournaments on Sundays altogether. But there should be a way to move beyond the occasional letter, column, conversation, impassioned speech or editorial on the matter.
No matter the program or the sport, house or traveling, I can’t imagine there’s not a solution or a compromise that could send a better message than the one our community is sending our children right now.
I would encourage the ministerial association and the association of children’s and family ministry directors to reach out to athletic organizations and other organizations in town that make marks on our calendars and to do lists.
There are other organizations that get stepped on by our busy athletic, activity and family schedules that could be included in a meeting or two. Scouts comes to my mind, but I’m sure there are others.
It is through dialogue that we will see how close we are in our goals and dreams for kids.
Maybe there’s a modern-day answer that bring kids together for worship and fellowship as Christians and still allow them to continue to play the sports and activities they benefit from and like. — Jim Boyle, editor