Announcing the Tour de DioMil
Some of you have heard about this already. But here are a few of the developing specifics. As a part of my sabbatical, I intend to spend the better part of two weeks biking the "perimeter" of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee. The purpose of this ride is threefold:
1. My own personal benefit. After rediscovering biking last year, I have reconnected with my love of the outdoors and the sheer fun I have getting from place to place aboard two wheels and pedals. I'm not a racer. I'm not an extreme sports kind of guy either. In fact, most of my friends know me as more of a couch potato/book worm type. But I wanted to set a goal and then work toward acheiving something that is both reasonable and challenging for me personally. Between now and the end of August, I will be working to ride an average of 75-100 miles each week (either outside on my bike or inside on various bike substitutes). But as I post my weekly totals or several of the longer day trips I plan to take between now and then, I wanted you all to know the context for all of this pedal pushing.
2. To call attention to the ministries of (mostly) smaller Episcopal Churches that have their being on the outskirts of the Diocese of Milwaukee. This diocese is essentially the southern one-third of the state and most of the congregations are concentrated in the greater Milwaukee area. The parishes in small towns are often overshadowed by larger Roman Catholic and/or Lutheran congregations, even though these parishes do remarkable ministries within their communities, often without the benefit of "full time" clergy presence. My hope is that at each stop, I will be able to meet with parishioners of the congregation, hear their parish story and learn about their ministry in the particular context in which they are located. I also hope that this venture will serve as a way of calling attention to the fact that in the Episcopal Church, "the Diocese" isn't an office building, but people in parishes, serving Jesus in cities, villages and towns.
3. To raise at least $50,000 for three very worthy causes -- The Haiti Project of the Diocese of Milwaukee ($20K); The clean water initiatives of Episcopal Relief and Development (15K) and World Bicycle Relief (15K).
The days and route of the tour are as follows (and for you non-Wisconsin readers, I recommend checking some of these towns out on a map!):
August 30: St. Simon the Fisherman, Port Washington to St. Mark's, Beaver Dam
August 31: St. Mark's, Beaver Dam to Trinity, Baraboo
September 1: Trinity Baraboo to St. Barnabas, Richland Center
September 2: (Rest Day)
September 3: St. Barnabas, Richland Center to Holy Trinity, Prairie du Chein
September 4: Holy Trinity, Prairie du Chein to Trinity, Platteville
September 5: Trinity, Platteville to St. Andrew's, Monroe
September 6: (Rest Day)
September 7: St. Andrew's, Monroe to St. Paul's, Beloit
September 8: St. Paul's, Beloit to St. Matthew's, Kenosha
September 9: St. Matthew's, Kenosha to St. Simon the Fisherman, Port Washington (with midday stop at the Cathedral of All Saints' in Milwaukee)
A website is presently under construction and I'll let you all know when it's completed (hopefully in the next week or two). In the meantime, I hope those of you who live in the Diocese of Milwaukee will consider helping me promote this initiative and join me on the tour for a "leg" or three! I am excited about this project and I can't wait to see how it will unfold. Thanks for reading! Thanks for praying! Thanks (hopefully) for giving! :-)