We were their second to their last destination
when the 2nd annual United Church of Christ's 2005 Bicycling
Adventure rode into town last Thursday afternoon. Little Brown
Church of Sunol members graciously provided a delicious meal,
hot showers and a place to lay their head for the night as they
hosted the group from several UCC churches.
Sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto,
organizers Russell and Sheila Stevens embarked on this very
same journey last year when they developed the idea to raise
funds and awareness for UCC's Our Church's Wider Mission program.
The group travels from church to church encircling the entire
bay on their one week journey.
Russell said," It's magical! One thing I noticed last
year is definitely true again this year and many of the new
riders this year have noticed that you sign up for this because
you are interested in going on a bicycle ride and what you find
out is that the bicycle ride is really secondary to what's happening
on the trip. What's happening is that you are meeting these
people that are welcoming you into their churches and their
homes and you are building relationships. Not only does it allow
our riders to experience what its like to have a Christian community
welcome you but it also gives each of the Christian communities
we visit the chance to do that welcoming and both of them feel
Their journey this year brought together eight adults and four
youths for this bicycle adventure. After receiving a "blessing
of the bikes" at their Palo Alto church on July 31, they
traveled 40 miles to St. John's UCC in San Francisco, the next
stop was 35 miles to Fairfax, then 50 miles to Sebastopol, 60
miles to Vallejo and 55 miles to the Little Brown Church. They
then traveled from Sunol approximately 60 miles to San Jose
and then the last 25 miles to where it all began, ending in
Palo Alto on August 6. The bicyclists were also treated to special
luncheons with stops in Woodside, Sonoma and Danville. They
traveled a total of approximately 325 miles and visited eleven
churches, all in seven days!
More Fire News---I received some interesting information from
Guin Van Dyke and her son Treg whose home was very near to the
recent grass fire. Guin tells me that she was out of state,
in Louisville, Kentucky to be exact, attending daughter Sarae's
Acrobatic Gymnastic National Championship competition when she
received a phone call from a friend alerting her to the fire
and asking if any other family members were home and offering
assistance with the family's animals.
Guin said her husband Korbin, daughter Katie and son, Treg were
home but had stepped out for a few moments when the fire struck.
She said thankfully that the fireman went into her home and
carefully placed her cats in a back room and covered the outside
rabbit hutch with throw rugs to keep them safe. When Guin's
family had arrived back home there were three fire trucks in
the driveway and several firepersons on the lawn protecting
Treg wrote, "The closest the fire got to my house was
just on the other side of the road. The fire got within 20 feet
of our neighbors propane tank. Luckily no people or homes were
harmed." He added, "I must admit I was very surprised
with the prompt arrival, seemingly large force and effective
methods shown this day by the firefighters. Thank You."
As for Sarae's competition, she placed 6th after previously
taking home gold medals for the California State Championships
and Regional Championship. Eleven of the forty teams competing
in Kentucky were from California. "We are very proud of
her" said Guin.