Human Interest
Typography

End world hunger.

It’s a phrase heard in Sedona from time to time, but the scope of the mission is so broad that many people dismiss taking it on, considering it too big, too hard, too vague or too distant.

Yet, three Lutheran pastors wearing spandex and helmets and pedaling the world’s first and only bamboo bicycle built for three are trying to pedal that goal into the realm of possibility.

Tour-De-Revs-1-7-10Called the Tour de Revs, their mission began at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America headquarters in Chicago on May 13. Their goal is to travel 13,000 miles and visit 65 cities in 100 days, ending in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Sedona is on their itinerary, arriving on Sunday, July 19, when they’ll be joined by the Verde Valley Cycling Coalition for a 15-mile ride from Christ Lutheran Church on State Route 179 to the Village of Oak Creek and back, beginning at 1:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., the public is invited to join the pastors and cyclists at the church where they’ll tell tales from the road and show off their Calfree-built bamboo triplet bike.

Following that, at 4 p.m., the pastors will make a 15-minute address to the congregation and anyone else who’d like to attend in Fellowship Hall, followed by a very short presentation by a representative of the Verde Food Council.

Immediately afterward, a taco salad bar and cookies will be served.

Averaging 60 years of age, the three pastors are friends, all of them with parishes in West Virginia.

The Rev. Dr. Fred A. Soltow Jr. has been pastor of the Shepherdstown Lutheran Parish since 2001, ordained in the Metro New York Synod in 1975.

“I think most people have an awareness of world hunger, but not a definitive concept of what it means, and what we can and should do about it,” Soltow said. “We bring [to the tour] a very scriptural awareness of how as children of God we have an obligation to feed the people.

The Rev. Ron Schlak has been pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, W. Va., and was ordained in the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1977.

“The single most useful thing that folks can do to alleviate world hunger is to remember that money talks, but don’t ever forget the power of the pen,” Schlak said. “As citizens of the United States, each of us has a powerful option we make too little use of. I am talking about our right to contact our governmental leaders and express our opinions and concerns. Sometimes we forget that our governmental representatives, who cannot possibly know everything about every subject, depend on us for advice and direction. Often, a phone call or snail mail or e-mail, coming from you or me to our elected representatives will do a lot to change the lives of others for the better.”

The Rev. David A. Twedt is pastor of the Capon North River Lutheran Parish in Wardensville where he was ordained in 1992.

“Except for two self-imposed seven-day fasts and an ill-prepared bicycle ride that sent me searching in trash baskets for partially consumed burgers, I haven’t personally experienced hunger,” Twedt said. “I have, however, seen it in impoverished people in several U.S. cities and Latin America locations. Beyond that, I’ve been involved with several relief and development organizations that work to alleviate poverty and injustice both domestically and internationally.”

The pastors hope to raise $5 million for the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.

“I would like to raise $1 for each pedal stroke of our journey,” Soltow said. “I estimate that to be 5 million pedal strokes.”

Another of their goals is to stimulate the ELCA’s 65 synods and 10,448 congregations to formulate and implement realistic plans to eradicate hunger, and to make wellness a higher priority in the church.

The triplet bamboo bike the pastors are riding complements their message.

Businessman Craig Calfee was the first person to use the natural material during a bicycle building publicity stunt in 1995.

So popular was its smooth ride that employees, friends and family demanded their own bamboo bikes, becoming unwitting test pilots and ultimately sending the model into limited production.

In the meantime, Calfee remembered three things he’d noticed during a trip to Africa in 1984: There was a lot of bamboo. People used bikes and didn’t have enough of them. People needed jobs.

He wondered if those same people could build their own bamboo cargo bikes.

With funding from organizations and individuals, he set the project in motion in Ghana and some people are now making their own bikes.

“Cycling is the most advanced transportation a lot of hungry people can afford,” Schlak said. “Whether it’s a modern American city or a small village in Africa, many people ride bikes because they cannot afford a vehicle with a motor. People in Ghana are lifting themselves out of poverty by harvesting locally-grown bamboo and forming it into bicycle frames and attaching the necessary bike parts.”

Those who feel moved to make donations may do so at the church or to the tour directly.

More information on the pastors’ visit to Sedona and Christ Lutheran is available from Dawn Bershader at 204-9914.

More information on the tour is at: http://www.tourderevs.org.

 

Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 129, or e-mail sjohnson@larsonnewspapers.com

 

End world hunger.

It’s a phrase heard in Sedona from time to time, but the scope of the mission is so broad that many people dismiss taking it on, considering it too big, too hard, too vague or too distant.

Yet, three Lutheran pastors wearing spandex and helmets and pedaling the world’s first and only bamboo bicycle built for three are trying to pedal that goal into the realm of possibility.

Tour-De-Revs-1-7-10Called the Tour de Revs, their mission began at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America headquarters in Chicago on May 13. Their goal is to travel 13,000 miles and visit 65 cities in 100 days, ending in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

Sedona is on their itinerary, arriving on Sunday, July 19, when they’ll be joined by the Verde Valley Cycling Coalition for a 15-mile ride from Christ Lutheran Church on State Route 179 to the Village of Oak Creek and back, beginning at 1:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., the public is invited to join the pastors and cyclists at the church where they’ll tell tales from the road and show off their Calfree-built bamboo triplet bike.

Following that, at 4 p.m., the pastors will make a 15-minute address to the congregation and anyone else who’d like to attend in Fellowship Hall, followed by a very short presentation by a representative of the Verde Food Council.

Immediately afterward, a taco salad bar and cookies will be served.

Averaging 60 years of age, the three pastors are friends, all of them with parishes in West Virginia.

The Rev. Dr. Fred A. Soltow Jr. has been pastor of the Shepherdstown Lutheran Parish since 2001, ordained in the Metro New York Synod in 1975.

“I think most people have an awareness of world hunger, but not a definitive concept of what it means, and what we can and should do about it,” Soltow said. “We bring [to the tour] a very scriptural awareness of how as children of God we have an obligation to feed the people.

The Rev. Ron Schlak has been pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Charleston, W. Va., and was ordained in the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in 1977.

“The single most useful thing that folks can do to alleviate world hunger is to remember that money talks, but don’t ever forget the power of the pen,” Schlak said. “As citizens of the United States, each of us has a powerful option we make too little use of. I am talking about our right to contact our governmental leaders and express our opinions and concerns. Sometimes we forget that our governmental representatives, who cannot possibly know everything about every subject, depend on us for advice and direction. Often, a phone call or snail mail or e-mail, coming from you or me to our elected representatives will do a lot to change the lives of others for the better.”

The Rev. David A. Twedt is pastor of the Capon North River Lutheran Parish in Wardensville where he was ordained in 1992.

“Except for two self-imposed seven-day fasts and an ill-prepared bicycle ride that sent me searching in trash baskets for partially consumed burgers, I haven’t personally experienced hunger,” Twedt said. “I have, however, seen it in impoverished people in several U.S. cities and Latin America locations. Beyond that, I’ve been involved with several relief and development organizations that work to alleviate poverty and injustice both domestically and internationally.”

The pastors hope to raise $5 million for the ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal.

“I would like to raise $1 for each pedal stroke of our journey,” Soltow said. “I estimate that to be 5 million pedal strokes.”

Another of their goals is to stimulate the ELCA’s 65 synods and 10,448 congregations to formulate and implement realistic plans to eradicate hunger, and to make wellness a higher priority in the church.

The triplet bamboo bike the pastors are riding complements their message.

Businessman Craig Calfee was the first person to use the natural material during a bicycle building publicity stunt in 1995.

So popular was its smooth ride that employees, friends and family demanded their own bamboo bikes, becoming unwitting test pilots and ultimately sending the model into limited production.

In the meantime, Calfee remembered three things he’d noticed during a trip to Africa in 1984: There was a lot of bamboo. People used bikes and didn’t have enough of them. People needed jobs.

He wondered if those same people could build their own bamboo cargo bikes.

With funding from organizations and individuals, he set the project in motion in Ghana and some people are now making their own bikes.

“Cycling is the most advanced transportation a lot of hungry people can afford,” Schlak said. “Whether it’s a modern American city or a small village in Africa, many people ride bikes because they cannot afford a vehicle with a motor. People in Ghana are lifting themselves out of poverty by harvesting locally-grown bamboo and forming it into bicycle frames and attaching the necessary bike parts.”

Those who feel moved to make donations may do so at the church or to the tour directly.

More information on the pastors’ visit to Sedona and Christ Lutheran is available from Dawn Bershader at 204-9914.

More information on the tour is at: http://www.tourderevs.org.

 

Susan Johnson can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 129, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Online Poll

What are your plans for Halloween?

Sedona Gas Prices

Lowest Gas Prices in Sedona
Sedona Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com
Sedona United States Clear (night), 72 °F
Current Conditions
Sunrise: 6:40 am   |   Sunset: 5:43 pm
15%     22.0 mph     28.750 bar
Forecast
Mon Low: 43 °F High: 83 °F
Tue Low: 51 °F High: 77 °F
Wed Low: 43 °F High: 75 °F
Thu Low: 45 °F High: 77 °F
Fri Low: 44 °F High: 71 °F
Sat Low: 41 °F High: 75 °F
Sun Low: 43 °F High: 74 °F
Mon Low: 44 °F High: 72 °F
Tue Low: 41 °F High: 68 °F
Wed Low: 39 °F High: 65 °F