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The Diocese of Ohio is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion represented in the United States by The Episcopal Church.


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Mission Ride & Bishops' Bike Ride

The diocesan cycling adventure returned in June with a new format where the rides were split into two events: the Mission Ride from Wednesday to Friday afternoon, and the Bishops’ Bike Ride from Friday evening to Saturday.

The Mission Ride format arose from the rides of the past where Bishop Hollingsworth and volunteers would cycle between parishes in the diocese, assisting with projects as they went. In between rides on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, the cyclists worked on service projects at St. John’s, Cuyahoga Falls and St. Luke’s, Cleveland. Cyclists stayed at the parishes for the night, and each evening they gathered for singing and Compline.

On Wednesday, staff from Bellwether Farm brought the Bellwether Food Trailer to St. John’s to provide dinner to the riders. Afterwards volunteers helped outside with a prayer garden. Thursday, after spending the morning riding, cyclists met at St. Luke’s to assist with a project to beautify the grounds. In tandem with the Mission Ride, Old Spokes (a ministry of St. Mark’s, Shelby) sent 20 donated bicycles via the Greater Cleveland Food Bank truck to be distributed to community members.

On Friday participants started arriving at Bellwether Farm for the Bishops’ Bike Ride. Over dinner cyclists recalled stories of past rides, including a round-the-clock adventure riding with Bishop Hollingsworth from General Convention in Anaheim, California to The Episcopal Church Center in New York City. The Rev. Daniel Orr facilitated a brief discussion on how group bicycle rides can mirror the community building aimed for in our churches and the evening concluded with Compline and a bonfire.

On Saturday cyclists were given the option of a 20-mile round trip ride to Christ Church, Oberlin or a 40-mile round trip ride to St. Andrew’s, Elyria. Delicious lunches hosted by the churches awaited both groups at their turn around points. Long-time participant Rebecca Montague generously provided car support. People were enticed to stay on the farm for the final bicycle to arrive safely with the promise of freshly made ice cream and farewell conversations.

The Bishops’ Bike Ride featured multiple bishops, with a final goodbye ride for Bishop Hollingsworth side-by-side the welcoming ride of Bishop Jolly. Bishop Williams and Lynette Williams joined riders at Bellwether for meals and conversation. Two camp counselors, freshly off a plane from Ohio’s partner diocese in Belize, also completed the ride.

The overwhelming feedback from these and past events has emphasized the relationships built, which have led to friendships and ministry opportunities. Sandy Woosley summed up the four-day journey with these words: “In the biking and in the sharing of worship, work projects, sleeping space, and great meals, we became (if only for a while) a true Community.”

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