The highlight of this past weekend was a visit from Evan and Kim Wyly. They live in Dallas, Evan has an ownership interest in the Texas Legends of the NBA’s D League … er, now the G League, and so was in Charlotte for the NBA All Star Weekend Shenanigans.
Evan and I both graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas in 1980 AND THEN he and I both went up to Princeton University for college. We ran in different circles in high school and then some of the same ones in college (Texans and others Southerners HAD to stick together). We even roomed together one year.
A couple of months ago he reached out to me to ensure I’d be preaching on February 17 and when I told him “yes,” he said, “we’ll be there.”
And so they were. Evan and Kim worshipped with our 11:30 gathering — adding exuberance to an already exuberant crowd — and then we shared lunch at church afterwards.
So here are five reflections from first preaching to and then lunching with a guy (and his wife) with whom you share two alma maters.
- He has aged well. As you can see from the photo, Evan is fit and trim and has all his hair. My message on Sunday had to do with genetics, and he must have some good ones … and I think Kim helps him take of it all.
- High School memories are a bit more enduring the college ones. We spent more time talking about classmates from HPHS than from PU. I suppose that’s because of the unique community that is Park Cities, Texas as well as the fact that almost all of us want to hold on to 16 as long as we can.
- Football players might be more popular but tennis helps you get in to a school you wouldn’t otherwise. Huh? Evan played for the HPHS Football Scots and was much more in the middle of the school’s social activities than I was. I was scrawny, kind of shy, and pretty much obsessed with tennis and not much else. On the flip side, he got into Princeton the old fashioned way — great grades, high SAT — while I leapfrogged in over some other people who had better scores because the tennis coach said to Admissions, “let this guy in, please. He has a good serve.”
- Evan and Kim are United Methodists. This I did not know til Sunday. And they’re not just ANY United Methodists … they go to Highland Park UMC, adjacent to the campus of SMU. HPUMC is either the 2nd or 3rd highest attended United Methodist Church in the USA at over 5,000 people per weekend. By comparison, we are about #30 in the USA in terms of Sunday attendance. Not HP, but out of more than 30,000 United Methodist congregations, not too bad.
- Even though they go to THAT church, they were in awe of THIS one. They were captivated by how both Chris Macedo and April Portais led our singing. They laughed at all the right moments in the message (they sat on the second row so I could tell). And most of all, they were overwhelmed by the nature and makeup of the people of Good Shepherd. Here’s how Evan worded it in a note to me:
What a wonderfully welcoming church you have …. Y’all bring insight to serious subjects but with such warmth and sense of humor. We were encouraged and blessed by your message. The highlight of our All Star weekend!