“What started off as simple walking program then grew into a journey of biblical proportions.”
That’s the way the Rev. Trey Harper described the eight-week “Walk with Christ” walking program recently completed by the congregation of Eupora First United Methodist Church. During the eight- week period, those participating walked a total of 15, 253 miles or 30,513,014 steps.
The distance is the equivalent of walking from Eupora to Jerusalem and back with extra steps all the way to Sacramento, Calif.
“When we began the program in April, our goal was to make it the 6,700 miles to Jerusalem. After the first two weeks it was apparent we had aimed too low, so our goal became to walk to Jerusalem and back. We never dreamed that not only would be make it, but with over a thousand miles to spare. Our folks really got behind it and we were overwhelmed by their dedication,” says Harper.
The simple pedometer program tracked the steps of more than 120 people. Participants turned in the steps weekly to their Sunday school classes or the church office.
The focus of the eight-weeks were not just steps. “When Frances (Hyde, char of Health and Welfare Committee) and I began talking about the program, we were both very committed to making this more that physical fitness, but having a spiritual fitness element as well,” explains Harper. Each week participants were given daily scripture readings on their steps records.
“Not only were we ‘Walking with Christ’ as we symbolically took the journey to Jerusalem, but we wanted a time to focus on our daily walk with Christ through prayer and Scripture readings,” says Harper. “I pray that it was truly a transformational time for all who participated.”