Area church challenges community to help others by getting healthy

cmuccigrosso@lakewyliepilot.comMarch 5, 2014 

— A Lake Wylie church is challenging its community to spend Lenten season helping others.

During the season of Lent, which ends Easter Sunday April 20, Good Samaritan United Methodist Church is asking others to help through The Upside Down Challenge.

“Typically, Lent is a time of self reflection and getting ready for Easter,” said church pastor Jason Everson. “We’re challenging our congregation to live upside down during Lent and turn our focus outward. We’re challenging people to go out there and do something for someone else.

“And, we’re going to help them do that,” he said.

Everson said if someone is passionate about feeding the hungry or helping to stop cancer, here’s a chance to make a difference. For every mile walked, run or cycled, the church will donate 25 cents to a charity of the participant’s choice locally or globally. For every pound lost and every day someone stops smoking during Lent, the church will donate 25 cents to a chosen charity. The church will challenge up to $5,000.

“The key principle of our faith is to be generous and to live for somebody else in the name of Jesus Christ,” he said. “I’m excited about the possibilities and seeing people doing something for someone else.”

Everson, a marathon runner who also shares his passion by hosting Run for God programs at the church, thought of the idea during a morning run.

“There’s an app called Charity Miles and it donates to a list of charities,” said Everson, who had chosen Wounded Warrior Project that day. “I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if the church can do this?”

According to Charity Miles Facebook page, the free app “enables you to earn corporate sponsorships for charity whenever you walk, run or bike.”

There are 22 charities on the app.

“We believe a small group of committed people can change the world. So we made an app for that,” according to Charity Miles Facebook page, which has more than 100,000 likes.

Everson presented the local version to the church leadership, “who wanted to open it up to everybody.” Unlike the app that keeps track for you, the church challenge runs on an honor system with participants tracking their miles, weight, and days not smoking.

“There are a lot of charities we don’t know about and we’d love to be involved,” Everson said.

Forms to participate are available at the church office at 5220 Crowders Cove Road and online at goodsamumc.org.

“Everything ends on Easter Sunday, but forms can be returned up until a week from that,” he said. “We believe God can do amazing things.”

For more information, call the church at 803-831-0304.

Catherine Muccigrosso •  803-831-8166

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