A message from the Priest
Dear Friends in Christ,
As I write this, the Bishop and his fellow bike riders will be rolling into Ashtabula, having ridden from Euclid after visiting Epiphany overnight. It took many people to make their visit a success. It took people willing to open up their homes to strangers and new friends to offer them a bed for the night. More people opened up their homes during the afternoon for the weary and frankly sweaty riders to shower before dinner. Others still arrived with food, fellowship, and the ability to run the dishwasher and made sure that all were fed - riders, support drivers, and their hosts. And early the next morning, the church was opened up once more, the overnight guest gathered in the parking lot, and after a prayer were on their way.
Before they rode our way on Sunday, the riders received the sobering news that the husband of the Bishop of El Camino Real had been killed the previous day in a bicycling accident. Just five miles out of Euclid, we passed one of our own with a blown-out tire, being helped at the roadside by a fellow rider.
If we say that we take our lives in our hands, riding the roads literally and metaphorically, it is equally true that we are in one another's hands, and it takes many caring hands to help each of us through life's winding roads. It takes care and attention; it takes hospitality, nourishment, care for our bodies and tender care for the grief and joys of our souls.
We believe that our times are in God's hands, and yet God has handed so much of our care back to us, to one another. In the stories of creation, God entrusted the humans with the care of creation and of all creatures; including ourselves and one another.
One of the spiritual disciplines of the Bishop’s Bike Ride is accepting hospitality, placing ourselves in the hands of one another. Another is offering hospitality; paying attention to the needs of others, spoken and unspoken; it even changes the way that we drive (for a day or two, at least), looking out for our cyclists on the road.
I pray for you a safe summer full of opportunities for the giving and receiving of hospitality, the spiritual practice of being one another’s keeper, the creatures designated by the Creator to care for the world in which we live, knowing that each time you do so, you are doing the work of God.