Bishops bet on Super Bowl outcome

The Rt. Revs. Marc Handley Andrus and Eugene Taylor Sutton have each placed bets on their local National Football League team competing in the Super Bowl on February 3.

Regardless of what either bishop will say, one team has to win, and the other has to lose. If the San Francisco 49ers somehow lose, Bishop Andrus will send a gift basket that could include a combination of wines and olive oils from the Napa or Sonoma Valleys, locally made chocolate, Anchor Steam beer, fresh sourdough bread, some tie-dye clothes (maybe vestments), a burnt-out clutch, or some patchouli.

In the (unlikely) event of a Baltimore Ravens loss, Bishop Sutton will send local Baltimore and Maryland favorites, including Old Bay® seasoning, Berger cookies, crab cakes, National Bohemian beer, a pink beehive hairdo wig for the bishop to wear as a miter, black-eyed susan flower seeds, and season one DVD of The Wire.

The football teams and bishops won’t be the only winners from the Super Bowl. In addition to the gift baskets, the losing bishop will make a donation to Rebuild Haiti in the name of the winning team’s diocese as part of The Episcopal Church’s and the Dioceses of Maryland and California’s ongoing commitments to Haiti and the work of the Gospel done there.

Bishop Sutton initiated the bet on behalf of his diocese when he called Bishop Andrus and said, “The winning bishop will call the other after the game to offer condolences, spiritual comfort, and grief counseling.” The wager grew from there. Bishop Andrus said, “Besides the anticipation of receiving some Maryland blue crabs and other Maryland booty for the deserving DioHouse staff when the 49ers win the Super Bowl, we’re happily in agreement that the point is to help rebuild Haiti.”

The Episcopal Diocese of California serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 27,000 people form 80 congregations in seven counties. If you’d like more information about this topic, please call Joseph Mathews at 415.869.7820 or email him at josephm@diocal.org.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is a Christian community of 22,000 households in 111 congregations covering 10 counties and Baltimore City; our purpose is to sustain our community of churches, congregations and ministries while living into our Baptismal Covenant to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ, seek and serve Christ in all persons, and strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being. Please visit www.episcopalmaryland.org  for more information. Contact Sharon Tillman, director of communications, 410.467.1399, stillman@episcopalmaryland.org.

The Episcopal Church is a community of 2.4 million members in 100 nationwide dioceses, 10 overseas dioceses and six extra-provincial territories; www.episcopalchurch.org. The Anglican Communion is a global community of 77 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces, including The Episcopal Church; www.anglicancommunion.org.