Because Emma rides farther and farther each day and Sara, like other mothers of tweenagers, watches her go with love and a desire for protection surging in her heart. Because Richie and Brandon and others ride their bike to work most days, turning the daily commute into a courageous act when one lives in a city without many bike lanes. We bless bikes to honor the joy on Eva and Jiri’s faces as they ride to church most Sundays—following their papa who steers while holding his mandolin case in one hand. We bless bikes to honor Mikal Beth and Iris who ride to the community garden to take care of their plants— and carry home radishes and other first foods they have grown for themselves. And to celebrate Jen and Catherine who ride whenever they can as they gracefully navigate busy professional lives to honor other stories we don’t yet know…
Why bless a bike?
Because ultimately Jesus calls us into new ways of life. And to follow in the Jesus way is to continue to be open to new practices—not just fresh ways of thinking or believing, but literally new ways of moving in the world. In blessing bikes we bless people who are being sweet to our earth and good to their bodies by choosing this mode of transportation when they can.
This Sunday as part of our “Fresh Encounters” worship series we are hosting a playful interpretation of a “Blessing of the Animals” liturgy, often held in honor of St. Francis. While somewhat unorthodox to bless bikes rather than living creatures, I wonder if St. Francis might get it. Riding a bicycle can broaden a narrow and constricted view of the environment (which riding in a car allows us to more easily preserve) and connects us to our living world and our neighbors. It opens our eyes to our position in what Francis called the “web of all creation.”
Oak Cliff is hopping with bike friendly energy. This is another reason to bless bikes, and invite others who ride them to join us. Because it is one way that we can be part of our community. To draw a ring around the holy work we see already happening and in our midst.
If you are a bike rider, please ride your bike on Sunday. Or if you can walk, walk. Strollers and tricycles also welcome to be blessed. And seriously, consider inviting a friend who you think might enjoy it.
If you are coming in four wheels– Bring a bucket! And some rags! And a lawn chair. There will be more than enough bike blessing to go around as we partner with Viva Oak Cliff to clean up some of the bikes they collected recently in order for them to be shared with children in the neighborhood. What if you don’t like amateurs touching your bike? No worries, bring your own tools and do a demo of how to clean and tune properly. Several new bikers would like to learn.
In a world where things can get polarized and sadly being “green” can be reduced to a label in the realm of identity politics this is one simple thing we can do together as a multi-generational faith community to honor earth friendly choices, even if we don’t bike ourselves. So all are welcome: bikers and non bikers, believers and questioners and questioning believers.
Join us as we turn ourselves inside out and forgo the protection of walls and familiar worship structure to instead squirt some degreaser and wipe down a frame. My prayer is that it might remind us that we do not generate or contain God’s efforts to heal our bodies and our earth but rather we are invited to do our little part to participate in the unfolding Good. Come pump up a tire. Say a simple prayer as you tie a blessing around a handlebar. Come to laugh and play and drink iced tea and be so bold as to imagine that God might meet us there– on the front sidewalk of the Kessler Theater.
PS Urban Farm Picnic and Weedpick was Rescheduled for Tonight! 6:30-8pm. Come to eat, tour, and get muddy as we help out on the Food for Good Farm at Paul Quinn College. (3837 Simpson Stuart Rd Dallas 75241). Join us for Church on the Farm next week, June 5th.
PPS New Testament Summer Bible Study also launches tonight. Almost full! Please contact Teri for details firstname.lastname@example.org
After last week’s service we have collected $1,457.32 toward the $5,000 needed for our Heifer Ark! We are inspired by our youth and grateful for the generosity of friends as we work together to enable struggling families around the world to lift themselves out of poverty. Checks can be made out to Church in the Cliff with “Heifer Mission Project” in subject line and dropped in offering plate or mail to PO Box 5072 Dallas TX 75208. Please spread the word and thank you. We will keep you updated about progress toward our Ark. an’t make it Sunday but ready to donate now?Can’t make it Sunday but ready to donate now? Make checks out to Church in the Cliff and put “Heifer Mission Project” in subject line and drop in mail to PO Box 5072 Dallas TX 75208. Thank you! We will keep you updated about progress toward our Ark.