Kankakee, IL to Mclean, IL
"Race to Respond" lead cyclist Jim Angelus talks with the Rev. George Pyle, pastor of Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church, during a stop in Champaign, Ill., on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The Rev. George Pyle, pastor of Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church in Champaign, Ill., addresses parishioners during an event on Saturday, Aug. 10, while "Race to Respond" cyclists (from left) Konstantin Kanelis and Jim Angelus listen.
Kankakee, Ill. (IOCC) A night in the big city of Chicago led to a day in the country for the "Race to Respond" cycling team on Saturday, Aug. 10.
The five volunteer cyclists rode past the farmlands of central Illinois to Bloomington, Ill., ending Day 8 just southwest of Bloomington in McClean, Ill. In the evening, they attended a reception at Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church in Champaign, Ill., where the Rev. George Pyle is pastor.
The cyclists are riding 3,500 miles in 25 days to raise awareness and support for the people served by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).
The church had a 5 p.m. vespers service and a 6 p.m. dinner reception, organized by parishioner Heather Zydek. The cyclists then held a question-and-answer session with those in attendance.
"We really believe in the work of IOCC," Fr. George said. "We were really delighted when we heard (the cyclists) were coming through, and we wanted to support this wonderful endeavor. We certainly wanted to expose our people to as much of IOCC's work as possible."
Among those at Saturday's event were parishioners of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Mission in Urbana, Ill., where the Rev. James Ellis is pastor, and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Decatur, Ill., where the Rev. Theodore Vaggalis is pastor.
Students from the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana also attended.
During remarks at the reception, cyclist Konstantin Kanelis of Munich, Germany, noted that the challenges of riding cross-country on a bicycle are nothing compared to the hardships faced by the people served by IOCC throughout the world.
On Aug. 11, the cyclists continued through Illinois while several members of the team attended Divine Liturgy in St. Louis. In the evening, lead cyclist Jim Angelus and support crew members attended an event at the Orthodox Mission in Quincy, Ill.
The cyclists began their cross-country ride on Aug. 3 from Keyport, N.J., and are scheduled to reach their destination of San Francisco on Aug. 27.