Last year I joined the IPL team for the first two days of the ride from State College to Hagerstown. The ride was beautiful with almost perfect weather as the riders shared a love for the beauty of God’s Creation. On Saturday we met with candidates for Huntingdon County commissioner and discussed transportation issues, especially the difficulties of creating bike lanes and paths in a poor rural areas. On Sunday I met Fernando and Lucas, two international students in their junior year at Mercersburg Academy. Fernando was from Mexico City where his father had a detergent factory. He hopes to study environmental science and find ways of producing greener products. Lucas was from China where his father is an urban planner. He wants to study social sciences to effect changes in environmental attitudes. The positive feeling that I felt about the future after meeting these young men buoyed me the rest of the 55 miles we rode before arriving at a homeless shelter in Hagerstown for soup, sandwiches, and rest.
This year I am planning to ride all the way to DC and meet with our congressional representatives. I will be joined by my granddaughter Carina who will ride with us on Friday and Monday along the less well travelled route sections. It gives me great joy to see young people enthusiastic about bike riding and protecting the environment.
We will proudly represent Trinity Lutheran Church and Trinity’s Care of Creation team. The Care of Creation team promotes responsible stewardship of earth’s resources in harmony with nature based on scripture. Currently we are planting native plants around the church and working with the facilities committee to improve energy efficiency and increase recycling . This past year we arranged for the church to obtain electrical energy from renewable energy generation suppliers. We also had a Care of Creation Sunday with an afternoon family bike ride to raise environmental awareness in the congregation.
I also ride with the Trinity Wheelmen, a mountain biking group begun 15 years ago at Trinity Lutheran Church, to encourage fitness and fellowship. We celebrate the beauty of Creation on weekly bike rides in the Scotia Gamelands, Circleville Farm, Rothrock Forest, Toftrees, and Black Moshannon.
Recently, I attended a Ladauto Si study group to better understand Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on the environment. Pope Francis adopted the name of the patron saint of ecology – a man who united a love and concern for nature with care for the poor and outcast. The encyclical is a response to global environmental deterioration and it’s effect on the poor. The pope draws from the wisdom of biblical accounts to present a blueprint for people of all faiths to join a universal communion where we all live in harmony with creation. In his lines of approach, he suggests “a dialogue for new national and local policies.”
It is with this goal for dialogue in mind that I ride to Washington to meet with our representatives to discuss environmental issues and look for common ground where we can take action.
or send a check, memo: bike 2016 to PA IPL 243 S. Allen St. #337, State College, PA 16801
MANY THANKS to our 2016 silver sponsors Sun Directed, and Beth Richards, KBB Realtor, to our 2016 bronze sponsors the Bicycle Shop and West Arête, and the Rock Ethics Institute for their support! for their support! (Become a sponsor)