The author with his niece in 2014, a few days after she was born.

Godparent, without the God part

When my sister was pregnant with her third child, I received an ultrasound image in the mail. Attached to it was a handwritten note: “Would you be my godfather… er… sponsor… ah… special person? You know what I mean.”

RNS photo by David Yonke / Toledo Faith and Values

Racing reverend puts faith into 750-horsepower dragster

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (RNS) Until his recent retirement, the Rev. Dale Schaefer spent most Sunday mornings wearing vestments and leading worship services at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. Whenever he had a day off, the soft-spoken preacher would slip a helmet over his gray hair, don a racing suit, and climb into the cockpit of a 750-horsepower dragster he built from the ground up. By David Yonke.