An historic peace church in the heart of Elgin

All Things New…

notes from Pastor Katie ~ April, 2018

Come Ride with Us

In September 2016, our family sold one of our two cars and used the money to buy a Yuba Mundo (that big green, long-tailed cargo bike you can find on the bike rack in the parking lot most Sundays), on the back of which our two preschool-aged boys ride. From that weekend on, our dabbling in using bicycles as transportation became much more intentional. Indeed, over the past eighteen months, my family and I have become increasingly committed to using active transportation (walking, biking, trains, and buses) because we see it as a more equitable means of transportation for everyone regardless of income level, because of how much we get to meet and chat with our neighbors, because it's a great stress reliever, because it's a great physical, mental, emotional health builder, because it's a lot lighter on our wallets, because it's a lot lighter on our environment, because we think more eyes and feet on the street make our neighborhoods a better place, and because it's just so much fun. Now we want to share that fun with you and with our whole community. 

In April, I want to invite you to hear the story of my family's commitment to these modes of transportation and maybe even to get on a bike and ride with us. On Sunday, April 8, you will have two opportunities to hear from my family on this topic. During worship, Parker will bring a biblical message on "Rolling toward Liberation" and the story of Jesus' resurrected appearance on the Road to Emmaus. Then I will lead a presentation during that morning's 11:00am Cafe Highland session on my family's biking life and community organizing aspirations. In April, my family will be part of hosting three rides community-wide, on which we would invite you to join us. Saturday, April 7, join us for Opening Day of Trails. We'll meet at the Gail Borden Public Library parking lot at 2:00pm for a 9 mile ride (with stop at Van's Custard in Dundee) or a 20 mile ride (with stop at an Algonquin ice cream shop). On April 22, the entire community is invited to a "Bike Elgin Ride," a slow-roll through an Elgin neighborhood that seeks to familiarize riders with their neighbors and the bike infrastructure of Elgin. For that ride we'll meet at 2:00pm at Festival Park. Finally, Parker will host the moderately-paced, 8 mile, April Full Moon Ride on April 29 at 9:00pm, beginning at Advocate Park (179 E. Chicago). 

These rides are part of Parker's work as the chair of Elgin's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and part of our family's work as the founders of Elgin Bike Hub, what we hope will become a non-profit specializing in "revolutions for better neighborhoods." If you want to learn more about Elgin Bike Hub or our adventures in active transportation, I invite you to visit the website ( or find Elgin Bike Hub on Facebook or Twitter. In December, I kept a daily blog about my month-long experiment to leave our family's one car in the driveway, which offers a taste of not only what it's like to ride a bike through the winter with children but also my personal evolution toward four-season bike commuter and equity-minded advocate. 

Some years ago, Parker and I preached our first joint sermon on Isaiah 58. This text has remained close to both of our hearts and has arisen in our conversations again as we seek to "repair the breach" of a built environment that favors some and leaves others behind and as we seek to be "restorers of the streets" by walking, biking, and standing in them with our neighbors. We hope you'll consider hearing our story and riding with us.

Support and a suggestion for healing in the wake of the Parkland school shootings

Church Board letter to School District U-46

In a March 1 letter to School District U-46 administrators, the Board of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren expressed caring, support and encouragement to the administrators, students, and parents, and offered a call to action in the form of a recommendation that high school students and teachers be allowed to join in the March 14 and April 20 school walkouts to be held in support of survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida and their call for a ban on assualt weapons.

The entire letter can be viewed by clicking here.


Sunday worship service at 9:30 a.m.

Fellowship time at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday School Classes meet after church for children, youth, and adults. Click here for more info.

Wednesday Morning Bible Study meets at 10 a.m. each week. We will study the scripture text that will be used for our worship service the following Sunday. Join us for a spirited, open discussion.