'Bike to Church Sunday'

Wearing jeans and a T-shirt, Allen Cowgill pedaled his bike to church for Sunday morning worship.

When Cowgill's pastor, the Rev. Brad Laurvick, saw him riding to church on his bike, Laurvick created "Bike-to-Church Sunday" at Highlands United Methodist Church in Denver. Church members were encouraged to get their bikes out of garages or storage areas and put them to good use. Laurvick said that 60 to 70 percent of the members live one to one and one-half miles from the church.

In July 2014, more than 24 men, women and children – ages 2 to 70 – rode their bikes for a community bike ride after worship. The children rode to a nearby school and played in the park with their parents while other adults rode five miles to a lake. After the rides, they all gathered for lemonade and Popsicles in the church.

In addition to the bike rides, Laurvick, Cowgill and church members are proud that Highlands is certified as a green church. As they celebrated a Season of the Creation liturgical program last autumn, they were inspired to form a green team to help the congregation become more aware of preserving God's world.

"We started composting, did green Bible study which was centered about caring for the environment, switched to natural cleaners and other things," Laurvick said. He added that biking is environmentally friendly. "It doesn't cost anything, and it's also forming good habits," he said.

Laurvick and Cowgill plan to lead the efforts in inviting Highlands members and others for bike rides in June, July, August and September this year. "It's a great way to do things together as a community and get know each other," said Laurvick.

AT A GLANCE Highlands United Methodist Church | 3131 Osceola St., Denver, CO 80212-1476 | 303-477-5857 | brad@highlandsumc.com | www.highlandsumc.com | Rev. Bradley Laurvick | Average Attendance: 95 | Rocky Mountain Conference

Christine Kumar is a freelance writer and administrator, Baltimore Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference.