University Christian Church (UCC) is inviting community members to pedal their bikes to church this Sunday morning, May 3, for a unique service celebrating that earth-friendly mode of transportation, the bicycle.
UCC's Bicycle Sunday -- which marks the beginning of National Bicycle Month -- will feature a bicycle blessing, the first event of its kind in a Seattle church. Churches in other cities hold annual bike blessing services. New York's
Cathedral of St. John the Divine held its 11th annual Blessing of the Bikes on April 18.
The bike blessing at University Christian, at 4731 15th Ave. N.E, at 11 a.m., is a part of the church's regular Sunday service. All bicyclists and their bi-pedal steeds are welcome to ride right on into the sanctuary. An announcement on the church calendar invites bikers to "Come as you are! Sweaty and spandexed," or, presumably, helmeted and wearing rolled up pants and reflective vests. Though if bikers wear cleats, protective covering or a change of shoes are requested to preserve the church floors.
According to the UCC announcement, proxies are even encouraged to attend and "bring a helmet to be blessed, if a family member or a bicycle cannot be there 'in person.'"
Reverend Janetta Cravens Boyd, who bikes to church every Sunday, will bless the bikes and ask for the safety of their riders. Those who have died in bike-related accidents over the past year will also be remembered during the service. Family members of these individuals are encouraged to attend.
"We're doing this to recognize the importance bicycles have in improving our environment, making this a better city and community, and lowering greenhouse gases," Boyd said.
This is a regular Sunday service, so the basket -- or perhaps, in this case, the helmet -- will be passed around, with 100 percent of the collection money benefiting Cascade Bicycle Club. In addition to the blessing, honoring of the dead, and the usual service elements, Will Boyd -- producer of the podcast "Bikeable Planet" and husband of Rev. Boyd -- will offer a message to the bike community.