30 Days of Catch: Day 24 with Charles Cantrell

by | Aug 24, 2023 | 30 Days of Catch to Strikeout Hunger, Pastor's Blog

Before the heat index is predicted to rise above 100, I played a game of catch with a bearded woodworker. No, I didn’t play catch with Jesus, but I did play with one of his followers! Charles Cantrell is a member of my church, Castleton UMC, and a woodworker. He met me before the temperature spike on his way to his woodworking shop. 

Charles and his wife have a booth at the Indiana State Fair, so I suppose the heat isn’t an issue for him. They have been at the fair every day, which just closed this past weekend. It was great to see them both at the Fair a few weeks ago when my family went for a visit. We were able to see their great craftsmanship and skill at work in everything they made to present and sell at the Fair. 

As we tossed the ball back and forth, I asked him about playing baseball. He got out his nice-looking, dark brown glove and remarked that he bought it when his kids played Little League. We got into our rhythm quite easily as we threw the ball back and forth in the church yard. 

Charles also serves on the board of Trusted Mentors, which is a mentoring program with a proven track record for helping the homeless stay housed, felons re-entering society stay from re-offending, and youth aging out of foster care. We have even highlighted the work of Trusted Mentors at our church this year. It’s important work. In fact, it all goes back to relationships and community building. If you want to learn more about Trusted Mentors, check out their website here: https://trustedmentors.org/

Some of my goals for this 30 day catch playing challenge were to build deeper relationships and make community connections as we played catch and raised money for Gleaners. That has definitely been the case as I have played 24 games of catch so far. I have gotten to know my catch participants and have watched as a simple game and activity can open the door for conversation. 

I had to ask Charles if he had a favorite baseball team. He immediately said, “The Indianapolis Indians.” I always appreciate those who support the local teams, especially since I grew up cheering for the minor league team in South Bend. Charles has memories of his dad taking him to the old Bush Stadium off of 16th Street northwest of downtown. That was the home of the Indians from 1931 to 1996 until Victory Field was built downtown. Today you can still visit Bush Stadium which is now the Stadium Lofts. You can live in the old stadium in converted apartments with a view of the playing field. It sounds like home to me! 

It was great to play a game of catch with Charles! My goal is always around 10 minutes and as we wrapped up, I remarked on how 14 minutes of playing catch just flies by. It might be hot out today, but always a good day to find a way to play, to have fun, and to enjoy the day that God has given us. 

Here is an update on the financial fundraiser for Gleaners. We are at $17,916, less than $100 from $18,000. Can you help me get to my new goal of $20,000? Let’s keep it going! 

If you feel moved to share a financial donation for my Gleaners fundraiser, use the link below. 


Also, don’t forget to invite family and friends to join me for my Final Day of Catch Party behind the main church building near the playgrounds on Thursday, August 31st from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. We will welcome Rowdie, the awesome mascot from the Indianapolis Indians, and will give out free popsicles. Join us for the celebration! 

Here is the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1226246214719825/?ref=newsfeed

Get outside. Play catch. Find something that brings joy and a smile to your face. 

Thank you for supporting Gleaners and following my 30 days of catch!