On Sunday, August 16, I will again be running the 49K Ultra Marathon of the Big Wild Life Runs here in Anchorage. And just like last year, my plan is to do it again as a prayer run.
Because the distance I will be running (49 kilometers) is equivalent to 30.44860 miles and there are 28 United Methodist Churches under my care as Superintendent of the Alaska United Methodist Conference, I will be dedicating a mile for each of these churches. As I run each mile, I will prayerfully hold the church assigned to that mile, their pastor/s, lay people, missions and ministries. The remainder I will dedicate to conference-related ministries.
Last year I found this especially helpful for me as a rookie Superintendent to mentally wrap my mind and spirit around the task before me. The prayer run helped me spiritually "walk" or "run" through the different ministry settings to prepare me for the season of Charge Conferences, consultations and appointments that came soon after. My goal is to stay healthy and fit enough to do this every year during my tenure as Superintendent.
So I am doing it again. And this time around, I feel that I have a deeper knowledge of each of our ministry contexts and their specific needs having visited all but one setting at least once during the past appointive year.
Here's a mile-by-mile breakdown of my prayer run:
- Mile 1: Aldersgate UMC, Juneau
- Mile 2: Anchor Park UMC, Anchorage
- Mile 3: Anchorage Korean UMC
- Mile 4: Christ First UMC, Wasilla
- Mile 5: Community UMC, Nome
- Mile 6: Douglas Community UMC, Juneau
- Mile 7: East Anchorage UMC
- Mile 8: First Samoan UMC of Anchorage
- Mile 9: First UMC, Anchorage
- Mile 10: First UMC, Fairbanks
- Mile 11: First UMC, Ketchikan
- Mile 12: Girdwood Chapel UMC
- Mile 13: Homer UMC
- Mile 14: Jewel Lake Parish, Anchorage
- Mile 15: Kenai UMC
- Mile 16: New Hope Methodist-Presbyterian Church, North Pole
- Mile 17: North Star UMC, Nikiski
- Mile 18: Northern Light United Church, Juneau
- Mile 19: Palmer UM Fellowship
- Mile 20: Seward Memorial UMC / Moose Pass UMC
- Mile 21: Soldotna UMC
- Mile 22: St. John UMC, Anchorage
- Mile 23: St. Peter the Fisherman UMC, Ninilchik
- Mile 24: Turnagain UMC, Anchorage
- Mile 25: Unalaska UMC
- Mile 26: UMC of Chugiak
- Mile 27: UMC of Sitka
- Mile 28: Willow UMC
- Mile 29: Ascent Alaska & AK Child and Family
- Mile 30: Birchwood Camp, Eagle River Camp & Hope Retreat Center
- Last .45 of a mile: Alaska UM Conference and the whole UMC
On race day, I may average anywhere from 10-12 minutes per mile. Can I ask you for 10-12 minutes of your time on Sunday to pray for a church in the AUMC? Or perhaps your are a fellow runner or perhaps a walker, a swimmer or a biker. Can I ask you to find time on Sunday to run, walk, swim or bike a mile as you pray for the church you pick?
Will you come run (and pray) with me again?
Your fellow disciple,