Pumping Past Gas Prices
Watch This Video
As the rest of the nation feels the sting of high gas prices, she pedals right on by.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson/United Methodist Church, Los Angeles Area: “30 years or so, I’ve been riding my bicycle to work.”
Mary Ann Swenson is the “bicycling bishop” – top executive of the United Methodist Church in the Los Angeles area.
On phone: “Hello, this is Mary Ann Swenson…”
And an avid cyclist.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: “I see the world differently from how you would see the world on the freeway. I see the communities, I see where people live, I see how people live. I see what life is like in the neighborhoods where the people live that I serve.”
She doesn’t even own a car…doesn’t have a clue what it costs to fill up a tank of gas.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: “Most of the time I don’t even notice gas stations. I have begun to look for gas stations as a place to get a bottle of water.”
Swenson’s husband, Jeff, often rides tandem with her. They pedal nearly everywhere they go. She’s been known to pedal a hundred miles to deliver a sermon.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: “Sometimes people worry about me. I have had a pastor who said, ‘Oh I don’t think you should ride your bicycle in my community. We’ll send somebody to pick you up and give you a ride.’”
But fear has never been a factor – because this is how the bishop fills up her tank, so to speak.
Bishop Mary Ann Swenson: “I pray when I pedal. It’s my time to be in prayer, to experience God’s creation. The amazing thing is that something interesting and unusual happens all the time.”
For Bishop Swenson, life’s a gas…and it doesn’t cost her a cent at the pump.
The bishop and her husband have even attended formal events on their bike, arriving completely outfitted in tuxedo and evening gown.
For more information contact: The California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.