Updated June 23, 2007
Rev. 'n Scoot: Confessions of a Scooter-priest
A year ago when the price of gas went up (late summer '06), I took great notice that our Admin. Council Chairperson arrived to one of our meetings in a Honda Spree scooter. What a sight! I laughed my head off and then something in my brain when "click!" Or maybe it was more of a "vroom." I asked him about the cost and mileage and that was it; I had to find out about this. I proceeded to go to the local scooter store, Scooter Street (who have since moved into Portland), and talked to the friendly folks there (Kevin and Paula) who introduced me to the basic do's 'n don'ts of scooter riding and buying. Rule number one about buying: Don't buy a low-end, unbranded, shipped-to-your door, new scooter on the Internet. Rule number two: see rule number one. I took their advice and have never regretted it. The help of a "brick and mortar" store who can service the bike has been invaluable. And at risk of sounding preachy (Imagine that?), memorize those two rules.
So, I bought my first scooter and began to practice for my motorcycle endorsement (required for any scooter/motorcycle over 50 cc's). I began to ride with a parishioner, Dave Randle, who was a real biker and who loved the sport so much that he even allowed himself to be seen with a scooterist (these two groups don't hang with each other I've learned. come to think of it, a priest doesn't really blend that well within the scooter-culture either). After passing the driver's test and getting my motorcycle endorsement, I've enjoyed getting back and forth from the house to the church (~2 miles) ever since. Kevin and Paula at Scooterstreet as well as Andy at Columbia Scooters have demonstrated the kind fraternity of those who love scootering.
Since that initial time, I've had two scooters. The first scooter (TNG Verona 150cc.) got anywhere from 70-99 mpg. Really! I've since moved into a larger scoot from Columbia Scooters and have made it one of my main modes of transportation weather (think rain of any kind) permitting. While the new scooter (Kymco People S 250) has more power, that power doesn't get me 99 mpg, but rather 65-70 mpg. Heck! That's still more than my SUV (Suzuki Grand Vitara) at 23 mpg.
All this is my pretext for the following confession: I now scoot past the gas station with an aire of snobbery and evil pride thanking God that I am not gusslin' all that gas. Forgive me father for I have sinned! Okay, okay, enough moralizing. It is very compelling to fill up the scoot at a cost of $7 instead of the SUV at ~$50. Oh yeah, did I say that it is fun to ride the scooter? Yup! It has done wonders for my attitude. Talk about a way of de-stressing.
Please know that before you decide to go down the path I did, a scooter or motorcycle of any kind is dangerous and can often be overlooked by othe drivers. I know this. I chose this course with some amout of fear and trepidation. I cannot recommend more highly that you visit a scooter store and talk to the friendly people there as well as sign up for a motorcycle safety course. Locally, it is called Team Oregon and can be taken at various locations. If my decision causes you some fear, I simply ask that you pray that God will protect me with his angels and inspire me to drive safely at all times.
Holy Land Pilgrimage 2008 (Updated June 23)
As part of our centennial celebration, we are going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It is an eleven day trip, set for Feb. 10-20, 2008. We will be praying at all the major sites in Israel. This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won't want to miss.
Diana Wuertz, my pilgrimage partner and administrative assistant for the pilgrimage has ut up a page on the parish web site that will give you some more information. The base cast is $2,499 +taxes and other costs. A $500 deposit is necessary in order to secure your initial commitment. A downloadable pamphlet has been created which details more of this trip. If you don't have a current Passport, you must begin now.
If you feel that you would like to make such a pilgrimage, to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, then contact us via our web site or phone (503-357-2989). Space is likely to be limited to 45 people and we already have 40 interested! This pilgrimage will surely fill up soon, so make sure to contact us about you interest. First come first served.
The pilgrimage will be professionally guided by people who know the country well. I plan on offering Mass where ever we can and offer spiritual as well as theological reflections throughout. If you do not have a passport, do not wait any more. Get it now. The Holy Land is the destination that will bring to life the Scriptures like never before. I'll be posting more as information is available.
Fr. William Holtzinger