Bike Blog 2015.8: Reflection

IMG_0059guest post by Peter Buckland (profile)

Our ride gave me a lot of time to think about our relationship to the creation. Talking with new friends like Joyce, Ben, and Pam or respected elders like Dorothy and Jon brought me to think so much about the good of the long game of justice and creation care. On my solo ride from State College to Brunswick, Maryland I saw light glimmer on ululating creeks, passed the remnants of the early 20th-century iron industry , and watched a pileated woodpecker fly over power lines into the canopy . The air surrounded me and graced my brow. I was in the planet, in the creation. I need this place to be whole.

Whether you are a Buddhist, a Mennonite or a Catholic, a Jew or a dyed-in-the-wool atheist, you are dependent on the creation working more or less as it has for the last 10,000 years. The stable climate of the last several millennia has basically made civilization possible. This world is a gift and we should treat it as one. Continue reading Bike Blog 2015.8: Reflection

Bike Blog 2015.7: How did those meetings go?

10458433_628364826179_3002541480113022917_nGuest blogger: Joyce Eveleth

11150692_10155701689230105_1978107928440337604_nOn the final eve of our trip we scattered across the Washington area to sleep (in my case) in a super comfy bed with a super awesome friend. With the encouraging words of friends at IPL, free cheese and wine, and some nifty handouts (warning: bad puns ahead) we were prepped to tackle another kind of Hill. The next morning we switched gears (told you) to trade spandex for suits and dresses and talk to our Pennsylvania representatives about the passions and beliefs that led us to pedal over 200 miles to speak with them.

We separated in 3 groups to speak to our 18 representatives and 2 senators to lobby specifically for some important legislation regarding climate change action.  While each team had a different day, I can speak for mine in saying that while each meeting had a vastly different climate, on the whole our messages seemed relatively well-received. One bi-partisan Continue reading Bike Blog 2015.7: How did those meetings go?

Bike Trip 2015.1.5: Sendoff remarks

11159563_628104662549_5620297101948816150_n - Version 2Thank you for joining us today.  We are here to bless these bicycle riders and wish them Godspeed for their journey.  And, in a moment, we will ask every one of you to help give them our send-off.  But first, we want to share the news about what we are doing.

Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL), like other IPLs across the country, is a community of individuals and institutions of faith joining together in response to climate pollution and climate disruption as people of faith.  Different faith traditions disagree on a lot, but we share a calling to care for creation and to care for our most vulnerable people.  By responding to climate change in our daily lives, within our congregations, and through our conversations and prayers, we can do both.  In fact, when we act together in hope, our responses allow us to exercise our faith muscles — blurring the lines between worship and secular life and growing the expression of our faiths in action. Continue reading Bike Trip 2015.1.5: Sendoff remarks

Bike Blog 2015.6: Arrival! (and real pillows!)

IMG_6924[1]We made it! On a warm, but beautiful day we arrived in Washington, D.C. Everyone is safe – tired and sore, but safe. But we cannot quite rest easy yet as we prepare for our all-important visits to our Congressional representatives tomorrow.

The day started unusually for us, waking from comfortable sleep in beds with real pillows! It’s amazing how luxurious it feels after just a couple of nights on the floor. I got up fairly early, as Continue reading Bike Blog 2015.6: Arrival! (and real pillows!)

Bike Blog 2015.5: team changes, American history, and so much more.

IMG_6863[1]It’s 9:30 p.m. and I’m only now getting to write this; it’s been a full, wonderful day. We started it in Hagerstown, waking to the smells of coffee, eggs, fried potatoes, and sausage from Christ’s Reformed Church member Tommy van Metre. After breakfast, we packed up, put our cots away and hit the road. Already at 9 a.m. it was 60 degrees – a perfect day for biking!

As Dorothy mentioned in the last blog post, our group changed a bit, adding Pam’s daughter Fiona and Fiona’s husband Tony, but also saying goodbye to Karl and Eric. As leader of the group, I had to get used to looking out for different people (and not worrying about where Eric was – the recumbent bike is always a little hard to see).IMG_6867[1]

We were also on the lookout for Peter Buckland, who was due to meet up with us along the way. You see, Pete wanted a bit more of a challenge, so he left State College at 5:30 in the morning to try and do 150 miles in one day. Sure enough, I got a text message just before we left: Pete was already in Orbisonia! What took us a day and a half took him 3.5 hours! Continue reading Bike Blog 2015.5: team changes, American history, and so much more.

Bike Blog 2015.4: Crossing to MD— and a swim!

Guest blogger: Dorothy Blair (profiles: 2015, 2014)

IMG_6819[1]Sunday Morning in Orbisonia: At 6:30AM Karl Raynar roused us out of our sleeping bags with the smell of coffee brewing. Pastor Ed Seeley and his wife Lisa and their cooking crew soon arrived with scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes, home-made maple syrup, yogurt, coffee cake, fruit and juice. I must have been stuck in REM sleep, because I just couldn’t wake up for a while, but their good humor, plenty of Pastor Ed jokes, and the smells of breakfast soon had me pushing the air out of my mattress and chowing down with the rest of the hungry bikers.

IMG_6820[1]The early morning service at Orbisonia Methodist consists of songs of praise and adoration – words projected on an overhead screen, while the congregation is led in song by the Huntington high school music teacher, his harmonizing companion and a small band of musicians. We were invited to join the congregation in taking communion, and afterwards were doubly blessed by Pastor Ed, who Continue reading Bike Blog 2015.4: Crossing to MD— and a swim!