Plagues and Pedals: Cyclists Take Inspiration from Faith

This piece, written by Jonathan Brockopp, was first published in the Centre Daily Times on April 21, 2016.  Read more about the bike trip, and link to profiles by each rider at Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.43.47 PM

For the fifth year in a row, I am riding my bicycle to Washington, D.C., to urge Congress to act on climate change. It is not easy. The trip is 200 miles and takes more than four days; my friends and I carry all our supplies with us, staying overnight in churches and homeless shelters.

But the physical demands of the trip are nothing compared to the mental and emotional strain. At the same time that our Earth continues to warm at a frightening pace, our political system is deadlocked: No one seems to be able or willing to do anything, and some prominent political leaders still deny that climate change is happening.

So why do I do it? Because I have faith, and the heart of faith is fiercely holding on to hope in a time of despair.

The bike trip is sponsored by Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, an organization dedicated to a religious response to climate change. We represent Christian, Jewish, Unitarian and Baha’i congregations all over the commonwealth that are taking action to reduce their carbon footprint and to leave a better world for future generations.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.43.57 PM

Religions offer many examples of holding on to faith in the midst of despair, but Friday is both Earth Day and the beginning of Passover, so it seems appropriate to take a closer look at the Exodus story.

The plagues of that story are mirrored in our world today: our state tree, the hemlock, is dying; diseases such as the Zika virus the rest at the Centre Daily Times

Donate online to PA IPL in support the PA-to-DC riders 

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)

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