“All around town,” writes the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Klingaman, “the clergy are throwing their ecumenical weight behind the Ravens.” So know we know who to blame for the Giants’ loss to Philly last Sunday besides Eli and Col. Coughlin — Jersey preachers have to start pulling their weight.
“I’ll work the Ravens into my sermon, even though there’s a lot going on,” said the Rev. Kristin Dubsky, assistant pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in the Inner Harbor. “There’s the [presidential] inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. Day – plus, I need to work Jesus in there, too.”
The Ravens aren’t the only ones in the game needing guidance, Dubsky said.
“We should really pray for the officials on Sunday,” she said, mindful of the questionable decision that gave Pittsburgh the winning touchdown in the teams’ last meeting. “They better not mess it up like last time.”
Not everyone in his pews will be pulling for Baltimore, said Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s Rev. Erik Arnold, the Catholic priest whose Howard County parish includes a sect of Steelers fans.
“We have a lot of Pennsylvania transplants whose faith lies there,” he said. “Last time we played the Steelers, I extended my condolences to Pittsburgh in advance – and I had to eat those words.
“Tomorrow, at the end of Mass, I’ll offer some banter and give those Steelers fans a hard time again. Next week, hopefully, I can tell them to ‘wait till next year.'”
What Arnold won’t do during the service is pray specifically for the Ravens.
“With little kids there, you need to be careful what you say,” he said. “You don’t want children to come back with, ‘Well, we prayed for them to win and they didn’t, so what is God doing?'”