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News and Events
Greetings to the Sarah Jane Johnson Church community of faith,
Today I am using this space to give a special thank you to a special man – August Mueller.
Nearly fifteen years ago he took a call from what he describes as “a local church social worker who was running a summer program” – Augie was referring to Sarah Jane Johnson Church and one of the children & youth programs we were operating at the time. The dilemma was getting kids to the program. Bicycles might be the answer. The program director made a proposal to Augie – if she could get 100 old bicycles donated, would he lead a program to refurbish them to give to program participants. Augie figured she might get 10 bikes, so he agreed. He describes being surprised when, two weeks later, she had 115 donated bicycles. “I took a big gulp, and then we went to work,” he recalled.
Augie was not counting on the promise we have in 2 Corinthians 9:8, And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
And abound in this good work he did. Since that first year, thousands of bikes have been shared with folks of all ages from children to senior citizens, including people being released from jail and those completing rehab programs. Some use their bikes for transportation to work or school and some just for recreation. Children of all families have the opportunity to experience the rite of passage of bike ownership.
In an article with pressconnects, Augie describes why he’d kept up with it, “the satisfaction of seeing smiles on these kids who could in no way afford bikes.” In that same article he said, “Seven years later, about five of us are still doing the deed and have given more than 1,100 bicycles with no end in sight.” Well, that article was from more than seven years ago now, and I’m sad to say, for Augie, his time with the bike give-away has seen its end.
A few weeks ago, Augie Mueller turned over his key (well really his fob) to a group of his friends who will carry on his legacy of repairing donated bikes for give away. We have re-purposed one of the arts-n-crafts areas in the basement of the church to serve as a bike repair shop and the youth chapel into be a bike showroom. Augie’s friends are hoping to honor the legacy that he is leaving – as Augie himself described to me once, “getting bikes under butts.”
Well done, good and faithful servant.
Lord’s Table Community Meal is available every Tuesday 5-6 p.m.
Hearts Up to God, Hands Out to Others
Sarah Jane Church has been serving Johnson City since 1890.
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