[Episcopal News Service] The Very Rev. Barkley Thompson, dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, Texas, did some dressing up on Halloween – but it wasn’t the costume he’d been hoping to wear. That’s because he lost the World Series bet he made with his counterpart at Washington National Cathedral when the Washington Nationals beat the Houston Astros on Oct. 30 to win the World Series.
According to the terms of the wager Thompson made with the Very Rev. Randy Hollerith, dean of the National Cathedral, whoever’s home team loses the World Series has to wear the winning team’s colors during a Sunday service. So, in a video posted on Oct. 31, Thompson took off his blue-and-orange Astros stole and modeled the Nationals-red one he’ll wear on Sunday.
View this post on Instagram
What a game, and what a series! While the Houston Astros vs Washington Nationals MLB World Series didn’t go the way we hoped here at Christ Church Cathedral, we still have so much to be thankful for. Dean Barkley Thompson’s wager with Dean Randy Hollerith and the Washington National Cathedral has demonstrated how friends can disagree with respect and love. We couldn’t have asked for more fun and gracious opponents. And now…. go Nats?!? #wscathedralchallenge #cccathedraltx
“It was a spectacular and hard-fought seven-game World Series,” Thompson said, “and unbelievably, it did not turn out as we in Houston and at Christ Church Cathedral had hoped.”
With an expression of anguish on his face, he spoke the words he never expected would leave his lips: “Go Nationals.”
The National Cathedral, meanwhile, was going all out in its celebration of the home team, projecting the Nationals logo onto the façade, inviting mascots up to the pulpit and ringing the bells for a full hour.
We don’t give thanks for winning a ball game; we give thanks for the @Nationals bringing joy and unity to a city in desperate need of both. #babyshark #natitude #wonthefight pic.twitter.com/YbhWk0ZktK
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) October 31, 2019
We’re pretty sure that’s what they mean by Bully Pulpit.
— Washington National Cathedral (@WNCathedral) October 29, 2019
But of course, at the end of the day, it wasn’t a real rivalry at all. Instead, as Thompson said, it was “a friendly wager … that demonstrated to the world how friends can disagree with respect and in love.”
“We don’t give thanks for winning a ball game,” the National Cathedral tweeted. “We give thanks for the Nationals bringing joy and unity to a city in desperate need of both.”
– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.