Saturday afternoon, June 6, 2015, over 100 parishioners, each wearing distinctive red “VOLUNTEER” t-shirts, returned home after an exhausting day that began at 5:00 a.m. With each “goodbye,” all shared a smiling moment of pride in a job well done.
The story: Our Stewardship Committee sought to accomplish an annual event to draw the public to our campus, and raise funds for outreach. We organized a bike ride, the “Incarnation 100: A Benefit for Homeless Services” (incarnation100.org).
Each year, over 200 cyclists from near and far pay a fee to ride 100, 65, 45, or 30 mile routes through beautiful Sonoma County. At ride’s end, they are rewarded with a sumptuous feast. Over the three years, $50,000 has been distributed to our three outreach ministries: Sunday Open Table, St. Andrew’s Food Program, and The Living Room. Most fulfilling has been how this event draws together over 150 parish volunteers each year, many of whom had once been strangers to those attending different worship times. Considering that this lay-driven event was accomplished during a transition period with our clergy, our resounding and continuing success in this endeavor has been most gratifying.