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A Different Cycle of Prayer

Last night, I met Scott Claassen, a 2011 graduate of the Yale Divinity School.  He was at the home of a VTS faculty member, sharing his mission of a year-long Carbon Sabbath. He is reducing his carbon footprint for the year, touring the United States via bicycle.  Arriving in the Nation's Capital, he is currently at the 6,000 mile point in a 12,000 mile journey. Scott is detailing his exploits on a website (http://carbonsabbath.org/) and plans eventually to write a book.  Check out his work, journey, and stories.

From his website, "The Plan is to minimize my carbon emissions for one year. To begin with, I will refrain from flying, driving, heating or cooling my home, and purchasing items that require shipping, etc. However, the Carbon Sabbath is not about inventing a strict rubric and jumping through hoops I’ve created. Rather, it is an attempt to become more mindful of how my personal behavior affects the earth and those around me. While I intend to stick to this period of rest whenever possible, I will suspend my fast from flying or driving in the event of family emergency or personal injury.

Alongside this mission, I hope to cycle around the United States to initiate dialogue about the relationship between neighbor love (agape/caritas) and ecology. I will visit churches around the country and share thoughts with the people I meet."

I was really impressed by him, his commitment to educate and inform, to teach and preach, to ride the path where Christ leads.  His inspiration may be the kick-in-the-pants I need to fix up a bike and begin riding to do some to reduce my own carbon emissions.  While he spoke, I realized he is engaged in a new and different 'cycle of prayer' as folks he meets sign his bike.  The Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary of Virginia is recorded on his bike frame as "VTS 11-11-11."

God bless you, Scott, on your journey.  And as the song goes, "it only takes a spark to get the fire going."  Spark on, Scott Claassen!