Spiritual and physical health merge for one group dedicated to improving their overall health.
Saint Luke’s Lutheran from Prosperity consists of 25 people studying the Bible, exercising and being together while embracing the ups and downs of life.
The team is called Run for God and is lead by St. Luke’s Pastor Jason Schafer who leads the Bible study while Jenni Shealy helped organize the running part.
The study lasted 12 weeks and culminated with 24 members participating in the Prosperity Hoppin’ 5K race. While the 12 weeks is officially over, Schafer says that the team will still unofficially continue as there are a couple to participate in a half marathon in Charlotte, N.C.
Schafer hopes that the study will continue next year. The program and study is part of a bigger program and anyone may opt to lead the group.
The group met three times a week for the running or walking part and then on Sunday for the Bible study.
Aside from studying the Bible, the St. Luke’s team also covered training and how to train along with nutrition advice, running shoes and even preventing injuries.
Since the church is out in the rural area, Schafer says they went down a road and marked mileage increments for every quarter mile so that people knew how far they have come.
As for the members who participated, there was a wide age range from teenagers to older adults. They all worked out together and did the same Bible study all at once.
Schafer says that a goal for the group was to increase faith and enjoy the fellowship they had together.
When in the Bible study portion on Sunday, the group really delved into the scriptures and lessons from Sunday school held earlier.
Schafer was impressed with the interaction and how the group pulled through, especially with meeting four times a week for 12 weeks.
While Schafer notes that the first week was not easy, as they had to work hard and deal with accidents and rainy weather, they persisted and worked together.
The study and training program was started by Mitchell Hollis from Georgia who has a passion for running as well as for God. By combining the two, he began Run for God which is specifically a 5K program.
Anyone may become an instructor and even Hollis is not a pastor or scholar. He just has a passion.
That’s exactly what the St. Luke’s Lutheran group has - passion - and it was on display at the Hoppin’ 5K.
For more information about Run for God, visit their website at www.runforgod.com.