Twenty-some years ago, while heading the Greater Madison CVB, I was part of the team that created the Madison Marathon. While there was general community support, Downtown Clergy were opposed because of the hardship a Sunday morning event would produce for their parishioners. My church, at the time, was nowhere near the course, so I wasn't nearly as empathetic as I should have been.
Years later, I would join the church whose Lead Pastor was the most vociferous in his opposition to the event. And, he was right.
Yesterday, I was scheduled to read the Scripture at the 9:00 service. We set out 45 minutes earlier than normal, just in case we had to work around the barricades of the Madison Marathon. We never made it. Not even close.
I guess Pastor White was more right than I ever realized.
And, it causes me to wonder...how many other parishioners (with weekly offering in hand) could not access their church? How many didn't know that there was a Marathon yesterday morning and that this year's route would ensnare Downtown churches? They only reason that we had an inkling was that we saw "No Parking Sunday" signs along our street on Saturday. What about those that don't live along the route? It's not like Madison media has ever covered the event. And, what if one doesn't follow Madison media?
My point to all those who schedule destination events: Think beyond your destination partners, organization and event participants. Consider the unanticipated consequences of a great idea.
Even if it is as "insignificant" as not being able to go to church.