It sounds like a Biblical narrative, but the Christians of this story are 21st century Episcopalians, families and individuals aged 8 to 80, from the Northern Miami Valley Episcopal Cluster (NMVEC), which includes Church of Epiphany in Urbana and the Church of Our Saviour in Mechanicsburg. On a perfect August evening they filled more than 40 seats in a section behind first base at Fifth Third Field and watched the Dayton Dragons beat the Bowling Green (Kentucky) Hot Rods 3-1.

The baseball outing was the idea of Ed Hardin of Epiphany. He spotted the August 18 special $10 ticket price and surveyed the two congregations for interest. Twenty-eight folks signed on immediately and Ed announced, “the game’s afoot” (apologies to Arthur Conan Doyle). Before game time, another 13 people bought the $10 ticket which guaranteed a reserved seat and a Dragon’s baseball cap. Popcorn, peanuts and soft drinks made the traditional summer pastime fully authentic with the Dragons’ 3-1 win a satisfying bonus.

At church the following day, the still-spirited participants agreed that it will be hard to top this Cluster venture, but Ed said other intriguing possibilities are already being considered. Many of the Cluster events and outreach ventures have been Ed’s suggestion, e.g., an Easter egg hunt, Christmas crafts and games and several swimming parties each year for community families. 

The Cluster is served by our Priest-in-charge, the Rev. Donald Duford. The parishes function independently but come together for special worship services, outreach ministries and gatherings of families and friends to expand and unify the faith community and strengthen esprit de corps. 

Photo, above: A capped and smiling Ed Hardin, center, recruited 41 folks from the Northern Miami Valley Episcopal Cluster for an evening of fun at a Dayton Dragons’ baseball game. Next to Ed is Ron McFarland and in the row above are, l to r, Cathy Murray, Isaac Waddell and Angela Murray. Seated at the top are Todd, Sophie and Will Boeck; mother Amy Beck was taking the picture.

 Submitted by Sally Johnson, Church of the Epiphany, Urbana

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