The musical highlight of the marathon today was hearing Aretha Franklin's signature song played on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's sound system as we ran by. It was a beautiful day for a run, cool and sunny, and despite a lack of training this spring I still managed to finish in 4:35. It's certainly not a personal best, but I'm not complaining. It was a fun day.
One of the things I often notice when I travel around Cleveland is the proliferation of churches. I wonder how we stack up on a per capita basis (and how our city compared when the population was larger). There does seem to be a higher concentration than other cities I've lived in, but of course we know some of the struggles that has entailed.
I also noticed, though, that I never passed a church that appeared crowded and none of them had people outside cheering on the runners. It's such a contrast to the churches that line Summit Avenue in St. Paul during the Twin Cities Marathon - several of their choirs sing hymns and the congregations have a picnic to support the runners. Bethany isn't on the route, of course, so we can't really implement such an idea ourselves. But I'm reminded that we all generally need to continue to seek ways of engagement from our music ministry and our church in general.