About 50 people participated in a Blessing of Bicycles and Bicyclists on the steps of Christ Church Cathedral on Friday, June 24.

The Rev. Emilie Smith and the Rev. Peter Fischer bless a cyclist on the porch of Christ Church Cathedral June 24. (David Dranchuk photo)

The blessing, an event during Greater Vancouver’s Bike Month, was part of a “Consider the Journey: Transportation and Social Justice” program sponsored by the diocese’s Environmental Task Force, and the Faith and Society Committee  of the BC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

The purpose of the program has been to ask Anglicans, Lutherans, and others to consider how the type of transportation they choose affects the environment.

The short ceremony included the anointing of each bicycle and bicyclist – the bicycles with a drop of 3-in-1 oil on the chain, the bicyclists with a dab of sun screen on the nose.

“As Christians, we are called to be stewards of creation,” said Paige Dampier, chair of the planning committee for the event. “Our personal actions – like whether we drive, pedal, or take public transportation – are linked to environmental justice.”

The Rev. Paul Borthistle told the group that they shouldn’t think of the blessing as “magic.”

“In naming a blessing for riders and bikes, we are not doing magic or causing an action, but rather calling out what we believe already exists, a blessed relationship between the creator and the creation,” he said.

Conducting the blessings were the Rev. Emilie Smith of St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Vancouver and the Rev. Peter Fischer, soon to become pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Vancouver, as well as Borthistle, who is the diocesan Director for Parish Support Ministries.

Anglicans and Lutherans also were asked to consider biking, car-pooling, or taking the bus to church on Sundays during Bike Month in June.


The text of the blessing ceremony can be found here.