Monday, February 10, 2014

The World Council of Churches' Winter Olympics: medal round up

Photo credit.
Geneva, Switzerland: The World Council of Churches, tired of the lengthy debates and nuanced discussions of ecumenical work, broke loose and held its first Winter Olympics last week.  Enjoying good sportsmanship and fierce competitive spirit (except for the Quakers), the denominations participated in each sport.  The hard won results are found below.

Alpine Skiing 
  • Downhill  Gold: Lutherans, Silver: Southern Baptists, Bronze: Reformed
  • Slalom  Gold: Roman Catholics, no silver or gold because all other competitors diverged off the path

Biathalon, Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Coptic Orthodox, Bronze: Byzantine Rite Catholics

Bobsleigh, Gold: Lutherans, Silver: Methodist, Bronze: Prebyterians

Cross Country Skiing, Gold: Pentecostalism, Silver: Roman Caholicism, Bronze: Evangelical Christians

Curling, Gold: Quakers, Silver: Unitarians, Bronze: the Amish

Figure Skating,
  • Mens, Gold: Russian Orthodox, Silver: Anglicanism, Bronze: Ukrainian catholic
  • Womens: Gold, Russian Orthodox, Silver: Ukrainian Catholic, Bronze: Roman Catholic
  • Ice Dance Pairs, Gold: Russian Orthodox, Silver: Roman Catholic, Bronze: Antiochene Orthodox

Freestyle Skiing (Moguls), Gold: Unitarians, Silver: United Church of Christ, Bronze: Episcopalians

Ice Hockey: Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Presbyterian, Bronze: Lutheran 

Luge: Gold: Seventh Day Adventist, Silver: Messianic Jews, Bronze: Jehovah's Witnesses

Nordic Combined: The WCC convened and decided they had no idea what Nordic Combined was.  While an attempt was made to create an ecumenical discussion on the definition of the sport, it was decided this would be even more difficult than finding a common definition of the eucharist/Lord's Supper and everyone decided to head to the chalet and have a reconciliatory fair trade cocoa instead. Competition cancelled.

Short track Speed Skating, Gold: Evangelical Christian, Silver: Jehovah's Witnesses, Bronze: Baptists

Skeleton, Gold: Reformed, Silver: Lutheran, Bronze: Presbyterian

Ski Jumping: Gold: Roman Catholicism, Silver: Pentecostalism, Bronze: Willow Creek

Snowboarding,  Gold: Spiritual Not Religious, Silver: Unitarian, Bronze: United Church of Christ

Speed Skating,  Gold: Roman Catholic, Silver: Greek Orthodox, Bronze: Russian Orthodox

In general, it was a good Olympics for the Catholics, who traded on their endurance, liturgical elegance, and ability to adapt, the Russian Orthodox, who train like heck for any sporting event and brought a deep beauty to every event, and the Lutherans, since Luther's small catechism required facility in winter sports for confirmation (the little known reason for Lutheranism's long standing popularity in Scandanavia).

The surprise of the games was the weak showing for the Baptists, who do make up a significant percentage of Christians worldwide, but the president of the Southern Baptist Convention reminded people that Baptists typically shrink and die north of the Mason-Dixon line, and perform better at the Summer Olympics.

Ecumenical dialogue begins again starting March, after the bragging rights have died down.


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