Watch out, New Orleans and ELCA Youth Gathering—Biking Bishops coming through! Earlier in the spring, a small group of ELCA World Hunger staff members attended an introductory community organizing event here in Illinois. At this event, we had the pleasure of making many great acquaintances, but this post is about Bishop Jeff Barrow.

Bishop Barrow is bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA, but you know what else? Bishop Barrow is a father, a husband, a baseball lover and a dog owner. He’s a real guy doing real work, because he’s called to it. We met Bishop Barrow in passing at the event, and then had the chance to share lunch with him. We wanted to learn more about him, but in the end, he ended up learning a lot about our stories, too. We’ve been Facebook friends ever since!

This week, we are preparing to head to New Orleans with the ELCA National Youth Gathering. We wrote Bishop Jeff asking if he was available and interested in rustling up a few BF’s (Bishop Friends) and coming over to ELCA World Hunger’s 100 Wells Challenge space for some friendly “Bike Pump” competition. Bishop Jeff and 23 other ELCA bishops, including Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, are ready to ride to help us raise awareness and work toward clean water for all! So, this post is dedicated to leaders in our church like Bishop Jeff and the other bishops who will be along for the ride with us:

Thanks, to all!

The best part of this story for me is that this is what our church is about. This is what networking is about. It’s about the relationships we make by sharing our stories with one another and inviting and encouraging each other—even in small ways—to keep up the good work.

Want to make sure to see your Bishop riding the bike pumps for the 100 Wells Challenge? Follow me on Twitter (@MikkaMusic) for updates! See you at the Gathering.

Mikka serves as program director for constituent engagement and interpretation with ELCA World Hunger. To join the network and for more information on how you can get involved, write us at