Local church getting into the Seahawks spirit

BOTHELL, Wash. -- In honor of Seattle's playoff run, one local pastor will trade in his church robe for a Seahawks sweatshirt during Sunday's sermon.

Pastor Ryan Meeks has faith in the Seahawks. He doesn't worship football, but he is canceling Sunday morning services at most of his Eastlake Community Church campuses and plans to complete his own sermon by kickoff.

"I promise the message will not go overtime," Meeks said.

Instead of a standard service, Meeks will bring in tents and coolers and Eastlake will become "Beastlake" for a congregation tailgate party.

"It's not even a strategic decision," Meeks said. "Frankly, as soon as they won that game I was like, 'I want to watch that game,' so we didn't get a committee together and think about it, we all want to watch the game."

The congregation, which happens to include a few former Seahawks, will get the message this weekend that faith is a lifestyle, not an event. Meeks believes people can follow football and God at the same time.

"Churches will be full of people this weekend who are there because they would feel guilty watching the game," Meeks said.

If the Seahawks win on Sunday, the following weekend's game has a noon kickoff, so it shouldn't interfere with Sunday morning services.

The church canceled services for the Seahawks once before when the team played Chicago in the 2011 playoffs.