Worship music, religious testimonies and Bible verse readings could be heard from Dodger Stadium last Sunday as the Los Angeles Dodgers held their “Christian Faith and Family Day” event after their game against the Cincinnati Reds, marking the return of the religious event since its last occurrence in 2019.
Back in May, All-Star Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw announced on Twitter the return of Christian Faith and Family Day, an announcement which closely followed a controversy surrounding the franchise’s “Pride Night” activities during Pride Month. In June, the Dodgers invited the Los Angeles chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to receive an award in a pre-game ceremony. The invitation was met with protests by conservative Catholic groups as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is an LGBTQ+ charity which uses humor, drag and religious imagery to promote their charity and message surrounding sexual intolerance. The protests led the Dodgers’ to revoke their invite to the group, but protests from the LGBTQ+ community and local elected officials led the Dodgers’ to re-invite the Sisters.
Although Kershaw had commented that the return of Christian Faith and Family Day had been in planning prior to the Dodgers’ decision to honor the Sisters, he confirmed that the announcement of the event was expedited in response to the Sisters’ honoring. According to the LA Times, Kershaw said, “I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up…Yes, it was in response to the highlighting of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence [by the Dodgers].”
Thus, on July 30, baseball fans were met with pre and post-game Christian musical performances by Jeremy Camp, a Grammy-nominated Christian rock artist who provided the worship music for the event. After the game, baseball fans were able to hear personal testimonies of faith from Kershaw and fellow Dodgers teammates Max Muncy and Justin Turner, as well as the Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts. Joining the Dodgers in delivering testimonies was MCU actor Chris Pratt, who had thrown the opening pitch for the game and was accompanied by his 10-year-old son Jack.
Across all testimonies was a similar theme of faith as a source of resilience and joy, with Chris Pratt connecting the story of his son’s premature birth as a defining point in his faith. The service also included readings from the Biblical books of Hebrews and Colossians and concluded with worship music, where Dodgers and Red fans alike worshiped together. Over 1000 people were in attendance at the event following a 9-0 defeat for the Dodgers. Regardless, Christian Dodger fans cheered, clapped and raised their hands in worship during the service as they joined their favorite players in worship.
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