A Two Month Gap

Picture by Ali Nassiri (2010)

Simply by looking at the bar to the right of the page, my absence from the Jesse Lee project has been extended.    My last post was dated May 9th,  and the gap between updates has now reached two months.

Let me begin by stressing that the gap was intentional.   

May and June were incredibly busy months for several reasons.   First, for the entirety of the second half of May, I was studying in Kentucky at the Appalachian Local Pastor’s School (at Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky) a mission of the Red Bird Missionary Conference.   Returning home after May closed, I immediately switched gear to the final management of Miles for Mission: Mosquito Run 5K held at the New England Annual Conference of United Methodists at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.   As part of the race’s management, I was introduced to a great organization called Fit for Faith, and through their sponsorship of the race, I have been introduced to what could become my next ministry focus.     

So far, the travels have been incredibly rewarding.   In Kentucky, I took four classes (2 Bible Classes – Old Testament and New, Pastoral Care for Evangelism, and Christian Education), and got kick butt grades (A+,A+, A, and A-)!   The experience was incredible, and I am so glad I made the choice to bypass Wesley in Washington DC for this more unique learning experience.   Since I have been home, I have been pushing several of my pastor friends to investigate this unique program.    Further posts will go into more detail about the school, my experience, and my overall impressions of both Kentucky, the southern United Methodist Church, and so forth. 

The Miles for Mission (M4M) run was also a blazing success.   Despite fear that it was going to fall on its face, we had close to 70 runners and walkers, and raised over $3,000 for the Imagine No Malaria initiative of the United Methodist Church.    These Malaria programs have the goal of eradicating Malaria in Africa through the use and distribution of bed netting.   A simple bed net is enough to reduce to controllable levels the spread of Malaria.    As we learned from the Nothing but Nets campaign, these nets cost $10.00 and save lives with each purchase.      The race raised enough money to buy 300 nets, and save at least that many lives.   Not bad for a few hours in the blazing June sun.    For those interested, check out our MilesforMission.org site for more details.  Beyond what was able to be accomplished in regards to our Malaria initiatives, we were able to refocus, many in the church (in a fun way) on the expression of our faith through physical fitness.   There were several great stories from this day, and I will be posting additional details on the run and its impact over the next few days. 

Last by not least, is my introduction to Fit for Faith.   As I said, they were just one of handful of sponsors of the race.     Fit for Faith is a ministry to promote physical fitness in faith communities.    They are small, and exist on a shoe string budget. While I was in Kentucky, I was approached to begin actively working for this group in an advisory role, helping them bring their ministry from the 20th century to the 21st.    This has been slow to start, but I anticipate a great deal of activity to occur over the next few months and into the fall.     I love how this ministry falls so closely in line with my own beliefs on the subject, and I am hoping to help make a difference for this new ministry.    Please check them out at Fit4faith.org 

When the race came and went in the middle of June, I found myself wanting to refocus myself at church and home  (I was positive that all THREE of my girls would forget me if I didn’t!), and took a couple weeks off as a mental health holiday.   At the same time, I was occasionally writing updates to the Jesse Lee Project, but instead of sharing with the world, I filed them away on my hard drive for future editing and posting.     Over the next few weeks, I will begin the process of moving them from the dark recesses of my laptop to the web, and hopefully will have them all cleaned up and posted shortly.

I assure you that over this time, I have been running exhaustively (even in a couple of races!), praying without ceasing, sermonizing to whoever will listen, and coming to epiphanies with each passing day.   Having finally caught my breath, and caught up on my sleep, I am excited to start once again sharing them with whoever will listen…

Thanks, God Bless, and it’s good to be back in the rhythm!  ~Scott.

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