Blog post written by trip originator Jon Brockopp.
Friday, for the seventh time, we begin our 200-mile trek to Washington, D.C. If you’re in State College, please join us for the blessing and send-off at 4 p.m. from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County But wait… there’s more! If you’re in Philadelphia, you can send the riders off in style on Sunday, May 13, 1:00 p.m. at the John Heinz Wildlife Refuge.
Yup, the trip is growing. In addition to 13 long-haul riders from State College, we will have five riders from Philly covering 163 miles to D.C. Astonishingly, we have already raised over $12,000 toward our goal of $15,000 – thanks to the 125 of you who have contributed! Your gifts allow PA Interfaith Power & Light to reach out to more people of faith who want to respond to the challenge of climate change.
From Pope Francis to Republican representatives (yes, 35 are members of the Climate Solutions Caucus), more people realize that climate change is a serious issue that requires our attention. The faith voice is a crucial part of the broad coalition of folks who are acting now to own up to our history of carbon pollution. It is great to be part of an active group doing something to change the world for the better.
Tonight, the cyclists are packing their bags, making food for the pot luck, and peering anxiously at the weather forecast. So many volunteer hours go into this trip: folks preparing to host us along the way; the drivers of our support vehicles; as well as many hours training for the ride. PA IPL staff and board members have also been preparing for months, ensuring that everything runs as smoothly as possible. This is a huge operation!
I am especially grateful to Rev. Ben Wideman and Rabbi Nathan Martin who are leading the effort to expand the trip to Philadelphia. I can’t wait for our two groups to meet up on Tuesday in Washington – it will be so much fun to compare stories and then go together to speak with our Congressional representatives.
The riders are the heart of this venture, of course. Over the past six years, 34 individuals have made this trip at least once, and this year, 10 new riders are taking six days from their busy lives to be part of this trip. If you haven’t, please read their stories. We are such a varied group, representing many faith traditions yet agreeing on the need to respond to climate change as a moral issue.
As we begin this trip once more, we are all so very thankful for our SIX corporate donors, for all those who support us along the way. AND, we are grateful to all of you for joining us on this trip, supporting us by your thoughts, prayers, and your donations to PA IPL.
Donate online to PA IPL in support the PA-to-DC riders (or send a check, memo: bike 2018 to PA IPL 243 S. Allen St. #337, State College, PA 16801)
to our 2018 SILVER sponsor Sun Directed,