Long time readers of my blog (Hi Liz!) know that I often refer to riding to church, either on Sunday mornings or, since the beginning of September, on Wednesday evenings for choir rehearsal. I rode to church as recently as a week ago Wednesday, my first real studded snow tire ride, 14 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes and sweating like the Dickens in 20 degree weather, overdressed as many novice cold weather cyclists are. I've been out of town for a few days and now the horserace that characterizes the runup to Christmas for a church music family with houseguests coming is underway and I probably won't ride much in the next week or two.
As Christmas approaches, I'd like to invite you to church. Not Christmas Eve or Day, particularly (though of course you'd be welcome!), but to our Festival of Lessons and Carols. It will be Wednesday night, December 21, at 6:30 with a dinner following at Saint Luke's Episcopal Church at 46th Street West and Colfax Avenue South in Minneapolis. This is an event we've run before at other churches, but is the first time we've done it here since Karla only started as Music Director in January. It is nine readings from the Bible interspersed with carols and hymns of the season. There's no sermon or communion or speaking in tongues or snake handling or anything like that. Dinner is our Medieval Dinner, or that's what we call it, spiced tomato soup, roast pork with cherry sauce, minted peas, rice, salad, pumpkin rolls, mulled wine (alcoholic) and cider (not) or punch followed by a selection of desserts. I do a lot of the setup, a bunch of the cooking and my share of the singing and you'd even get to hear me sing a brief solo in Spanish! What could be better? Henry and Geneva, my offspring, made famous in the Riding to Duluth episodes, will also be participating. We're asking for RSVPs as this is not a cheap dinner to put on and we'd like to know more or less how many people are coming. We're also asking $5 a person for the dinner, more if you can afford it, nothing if you can't.
Will I be riding there? Nope. I have to haul over all sorts of stuff. If you do ride, the bicycle parking situation isn't brilliant (there's a railing next to the church you can lock up to) but if you ask for me and bang the worst of the snow off your bike we could bring it inside. If you do drive a motorized vehicle, our church parking lot is behind Java Jack's at 46th and Bryant or you can park in the street, depending on the Snow Emergency status. Most of the Number 4 buses also run up and down Bryant if you're a transit person.
I know some bike bloggers are not fond of Christians. Believe me, there are some Christians I'm not much fond of either! As time has gone on, I care less and less about the institutional detritus of organized religion and more about the core message; love thy neighbor as thyself. I'm not going to try and convert anyone, your spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) are your own business, you won't get on any mailing lists or have brown-suited pairs of clean-cut young men (often on bikes!) show up at your front door, it's readings and music done by one professional (my wife) and a bunch of amateurs and then a meal, all on a Wednesday night, the shortest day of the year. Come and join us.
You can read about it at the web site: Saint Luke's Festival of Lessons and Carols. If you would like to come, please RSVP at Lessons and Carols RSVP so we have enough food! Thanks!
And if I don't write again before then, have a great Christmas!