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Bishop on a motorbike

Bishop on a motorbike

The Lutheran bishop of New England cuts quite a figure.

LACONIA, N.H. — James E. Hazelwood is a man with black leather boots planted in two different worlds.

Hazelwood, 54, wears a white clerical collar to work as bishop of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but in his free time he dons a leather jacket, settles his 6-foot-7-inch frame onto a motorcycle, and just rides.

“When I get on a motorcycle, it’s just a great sense of freedom,” he said in an interview Sunday after he delivered a sermon at a local church. “And the open road really does clear my mind. I’ll go for a ride and after about 20 minutes of [thinking about] all the activities and things I’ve got to do, after that it’s just gone, and I’m in another place.”

Jeremy Fox’s article in The Boston Globe focuses on the “energy” that Hazlewood is helping to bring to the church in New England, which is among the least religious parts of the country. What other offbeat approaches are helping to to make the church more attractive to people who have tuned it out?

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