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On Sunday evening, January 27, 2002, Olympic gymnasts Mary Lou Retton-Kelley, Kerri Strug, and Bart Conner appeared on the Celebrity version of the TV Reality-Game Show “The Weakest Link,” along with five other famous Olympic athletes. [http://p208.ezboard.com/fccmchatfrm1.showMessage?

topicID=1657.topic]. Mary Lou won the Women’s All Round Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and Kerri Strug aced the Team All Round Gold Medal for the US at the 1996 Atlanta Games when she scored a 9.712 on her second vault after falling on her first one and badly spraining her ankle.

Kerri was “voted” off by her brother and sister athletes as “The Weakest Link” in one of the middle rounds that evening, and Mary Lou, Kerri’s inspiration to become a gymnast, also affirmed Kerri was “The Weakest Link.” That caused hostess Anne Robinson, known as “The Queen of Mean,” to comment, “Mary Lou, what about loyalty to someone very much like me?”

Even in the Church we tend to bond more quickly and easily with people that seem to be “just like us.” Notice how at our Lenten Services during the fellowship time members of each congregation in our Cluster will eat with friends from their own group rather than “mix and mingle” with people from our sister Churches.

Such tendencies are natural; we feel more comfortable with people we already know rather than being thrust into an uneasy position of making conversation with total strangers. However, oftentimes we miss out on blessings God wants to share with us because of our fear of marching into new and unfamiliar territory and making new sisters and brothers in Christ.