Tour de Harbor: An Episcopal Bike Tour
A few years ago, I attended a conference with Bruce Strade, at that time the executive director of Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries (now lead by our friend Deborah Patterson). Bruce and I spent a lot of time solving the problems of the world, but one comment he made really struck a nerve with us and lead to a lot of discussion. Bruce, from Portland, OR, said:
"We just struggle to get people into church. They'd rather spend a beautiful Sunday morning out on their bikes."
As we lamented the problems associated in ministering to a community that would rather be a part of God's world outside than talking about it inside (ha!), we brainstormed ideas for a bike ministry. This led to my cleverly titled blog post, "Bike Ministry".
Wheels in Motion
Today, I came across a Facebook post from a friend in a diocese where they have captured the exact spirit of our discussion. The Tour de Harbor in Long Island is just the kind of activity we had envisioned for bike enthusiasts. They have described it perfectly at their website Episcopalride:
You are invited to join Bishop Larry and Jeanne Provenzano in celebrating National Bike Month and the start of summer with an invigorating 20 mile bike tour of six Episcopal parishes on Long Island’s North Shore on May 19 (Pentecost Sunday). The Tour de Harbor is a ride from Hempstead Harbor to Cold Spring Harbor.
Commencing at Trinity Church, Roslyn at 2:00 p.m., the route includes visits to St. Luke’s, Sea Cliff; St. Paul’s, Glen Cove; St. John’s, Lattingtown; Christ Church, Oyster Bay and St. John’s, Cold Spring Harbor. The ride begins with a blessing of the bikes and concludes with a brief, contemplative Eucharist at St. John’s, CSH at 5:00 p.m. with a pasta dinner following.
You don’t have to cycle to participate! We also need volunteers at each parish to assist with the pit stops, to help shuttle cyclists, to drive SAG (support and gear) vehicle and to help with dinner. To register for the Tour de Harbor, please fill out this online form: http://tinyurl.com/stjcsh519.
A 20 mile bike ride! A shared meal! A contemplative Eucharist! The bishop is participating! Opportunities for non-riders! Probably the greatest logo ever!
One goal of this blog is to share the really cool things we see happening around the Episcopal Church and hope that they will inspire your own ministries. You might not do this exact same type of bike day, but maybe it will get your own wheels turning and help you come up with something that is right for your community. For one, I am thrilled to see the Diocese of Long Island putting this one into action!
Matthew Ellis is the CEO of National Episcopal Health Ministries.