In an area of the country where biking is valued, church members who attend The Table, a Christian Reformed church plant in Bellingham, Wash., blessed their neighbors with a bicycle tune-up day. On October 20, 30 church members and neighbors braved the blustery morning to true wheels, tighten brakes, and fix flat tires on approximately 20 bicycles on the parking lot of a coffee shop and arts center.
Don, one of the bike mechanics, repairs a neighbor’s bicycle.
The event, which organizers called “The Shiny Happy Neighborhood Bike Tune-up Day” is one of The Table’s monthly service projects, one of the first planned by both church members and neighbors. Aaron Walters, pastor of The Table said, “It is our philosophy at The Table that ministry is most authentic and impactful when it is done ‘with’ neighbors rather than ‘to’ neighbors.”
Chris Bretl solicited volunteers and helped publicize the event with flyers. “I enjoyed being part of a community building project that got people to come out in the rain and meet their neighbors. It is great to see people coming together to do something for the community,” he said.
The Table recruited two knowledgeable neighbors who served as the bike mechanics. As people arrived with their bicycles, volunteers asked what needed to be fixed. The mechanics addressed these needs and got the bikes running smoothly again. “I personally loved elevating neighbors to the place of authority as mechanics and planners of the day. I believe Christ was glorified and honored in this process of doing ministry with those who don’t know him,” said Walters.
While bikes were being repaired, church members, volunteers, and neighbors enjoyed sipping coffee together and engaging in meaningful conversations. “All in all there were many great connections made, many great conversations about Jesus and church and fun,” said Walters.
This was the first bicycle tune-up day for the church. They hope to make it an annual event.
About the Author
Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.