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bike, you’re just burning your own calo- ries, instead of fossil fuel,” says Gon- zalez. Some recipients even use parts of the bikes for creative and practical purposes. In Guatemala, for example, people power their cell phones and blenders with bicycle pedals and use the chains to make tools. Outreach projects for September include a bike collection at the Park District of Highland Park’s Autumn Fest, September 23, at Heller Nature Center (see sidebar). Kaplan, who is heading up the Heller Autumn Fest, says he loves being a part of many different facets of the organization. “First and foremost, I am a biker and just enjoy the camaraderie—the people here are very socially conscious,” he says. “I like being involved in the mechanical, outreach, environmental and social aspects, and just representing WBC. But the best part is putting these donations in the hands of people who otherwise would never have a bike.”

Location: 2434 S. Western Ave., Chica- go 60608. Contact: call 773-847-5440 or visit for a complete list of drop-off locations, events, store hours and services.

Carrie Jackson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Evanston, IL. Visit her at

Volunteers from WBC will be collect- ing bikes, answering questions and promoting cycling at these local events.

n SEPTEMBER 17 Hanover Park Recycling Event – 9am- 1pm. Bikes will be collected at the Hanover Park Environmental Com- mittee third annual Recycling Event. Village Hall Parking Lot at 2121 W. Lake St., Hanover Park. Contact: Rob- ert Wachsmuth 773-847-5440.

n SEPTEMBER 23 Heller Nature Center Autumn Fest – 4-7pm. The Heller Nature Center, part of the Park District of Highland Park, will host a bike collection for Working Bikes in connection with their Autumn Fest. Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park. Contact: Leah Holloway 847-433-6901.

Wauconda Spiritual Center Provides Haven

by Carrie Jackson T

he Rev. Patty Pipia, an ordained minister, teacher, healer, inspira- tional speaker and former hospice

chaplain, has dedicated her life to help- ing people find spiritual nourishment and inner peace. Now, as founder of the Chapel for New Thought, in Wauconda, she aims to provide respite and rejuve- nation in a place that can be sacred for everyone. “It’s not a church, but really a spiritual center,” says Pipia. “People are looking for a place to be supported and receive spiritual nourishment.” She wants people to be comfortable

at the Chapel, instead of feeling guilty or pressured, by offering classes and workshops on past life regression, prosperity, bio-healing, spiritual conscious- ness and Tai chi, in addition to a weekly service. Renowned healer Catherine Pellegrino has also visited the Chapel. “On Sunday mornings I offer a lesson that people can use in their lives throughout the week,” Pipia says. “I take the gospels and make them into everyday parables—attraction, giving, receiving, forgiveness and non-resistance.”

Rev. Patty Pipia The Chapel is also a place for people to

“We have to heal

what’s been blocking us.”

unwind. Prayer, meditation and silence are en- couraged to enhance relationships with God, according to Pipia, who says that just knowing about universal laws and truths isn’t enough— they must be put them into practice. “We’re not sinners; we’re just people who have made mistakes. We are loving, kind, compassionate and empathetic.” Pipia also performs marriag- es, spiritual counseling, memorials, baptisms, commitment ceremonies, grief counseling and pastoral care, and advocates the power of good karma. “There’s more to life beyond the physical realm,” she says. “There’s an invisible essence

that has created us, manifested us and is working through us.” She saw that firsthand working with dying patients as a hospice chaplain. “A lot of people can’t handle death, but it’s just the body that dies, not the person,” she says. Her mission is to help people find a unity of mind, body and spirit. Ultimately, Pipia believes in the power of love above everything else—loving God, loving others and loving ourselves. “We have to heal what’s been blocking us,” she stresses. “Everybody has the option to choose to love or choose to fear.”

Location: 349A S. Barrington Rd., Wauconda 60084. Contact: call 847-845- 8818 or visit for a complete schedule of services and classes.

Carrie Jackson is a freelance writer and blogger based in Evanston, IL. Visit her at

natural awakenings September 2011 21

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