While most of you who read this tend to worship at SJUC around 11am on a Sunday morning, you can always check out our 9:30am service at Wellington too.  Wellington is a smaller “family sized” congregation, and the second church that I serve as the minister of our “pastoral charge”. 

In church speak, that means both congregations share a ministry in providing for myself and our fabulous Admin Asst Susan Dekker-Inkpen. 

One of our traditions at Wellington is to ask if there’s anyone or any particular place we’d like to name before we share the prayers of the people.  When you’re a group of 25-30ish, that’s a lot easier to do than the size of SJUC – which is why you see us use the prayer wall and why we often light candles as a prayer practice.

One of the unexpected requests that came forward was to pray for the Superbowl.  No, Wellington folks didn’t show up in Red for Atlanta or Red White and Blue for New England (although some who shall remain nameless, get rather excited when the Blue Jays hit the World Series). 

Everyone was very conscious of the unrest and strife in the lives of our southern neighbours. Given the enormous stage on which the Superbowl unfolds, we hoped that the evening would end without violence, racism, or intolerance of any kind. 

What unfolded was an incredible surprise (or upset if your an Atlanta fan), but there weren’t any overt acts of violence that I’m aware of.

I confess I’m not much of a football fan.  It takes way too long for so little to happen in my opinion.  But it was an intriguing game.  Lorna and I stayed up long enough to watch the half time show, and then we turned in, thinking we’d seen all we needed to see.  Were we ever wrong!

I’m going to draw an awkward line here, but I couldn’t help but notice not only how many people watch the Superbowl, but how many different kinds of people tune in. 

I don’t like watching football – and yet here I am Lord.  Some folks watch for the commercials.  Some folks watch for the halftime show.  Some only watch a part.  Many wouldn’t miss even a minute.  There aren’t a lot of preconditions here – everyone who wants to participate can do so.

And that’s what made Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta’s performance so powerful for me.  If you haven’t read this, than I encourage you to check it out: The Provocative Faith of Lady Gaga in the Washington Post.

Lady Gaga is an enigma for a lot of people.  Anyone who wears a dress made of meat will probably cause a fair bit of collective head scratching.  Consider this:

“But some conservative Christians reject her as heretical. The dancing alone is enough to damn her. The secular left doesn’t know what to make of religious progressives, so they largely ignore her Christian identity.

But what then do we make of Lady Gaga? The result is that her strong religious and progressive convictions get ignored.

Yet she seems content to hold her faith and LGBT cards in the same deck. She’s posted several times on Instagram about attending church and came under fire for supposedly feigning religious convictions as part of a publicity trend.

She responded to her critics, “We are not just ‘celebrities,’ we are humans and sinners, children, and our lives are