Dena had the check in running smoothly. Sweet SK Banner.
Between SK’ers, EMS, and GPD, there were plenty of volunteers.
The SK Endurance Team looking tough.
Pre-Start of the Race.
Last Minute Check In.
And they are off!
Phase 3 start with me hoping on the bike far left.
Great Trail shots from Melanie.
Sovereign King Church and the Garner EMS recently announced their partnership organizing the Garner EMS 4 Hour Endurance Ride. The idea is to gather mountain bikers from across the state at the Garner Trail, accept donations, and raise money for the EMS to buy workout equipment for their facility. So far, interest has been high and enthusiasm even higher.
Some of the riders (and perhaps a few of you) have wondered why in the world a church would help coordinate a bike ride. As to other churches’ motivations, I can’t speak, but as to Sovereign King’s, I can.
Our motivation goes back to a question that was asked to my wife and me when we were at church planting training. We were asked, “If your church shut its doors, would your community notice?” The question haunted us for the remainder of the conference, and the thought began to influence us as we planted SK. A few months later, I was reading a book entitled, “Church of Irresistible Influence” by Robert Lewis. He offers that whether or not the people in your community attend your church, the prevailing attitude should be, “I don’t know what we would do without them.”
Through these and a few other influences, we began to think about what it meant for a church to be faithful the Bible, proclaim Jesus, while being intensely practical to its community. From that, Sovereign King Church was born with the vision of Creating Community and Engaging Community for the glory of Christ. We sought avenues of service within Garner and the surrounding areas that eventually led the Garner Police and Garner EMS Chaplaincy. Though I serve as chaplain, the entire church loves and cares for these two populations through meals, prayers, and gifts.
When approached about partnering with the EMS for the Endurance ride, there was no question we would participate. Helping them get workout equipment and any other thing they may need for their facility is honoring to the name of Christ and easily within our mission/vision. God’s grace is often displayed through these folks’ hard work, and our caring for them is what we want to do.
For any church member, staff, or pastor that may read this, I would encourage you in this way. Bike rides and such don’t necessarily fall into the mission of every church. However, each church’ mission should practically benefit the community in some way. Yes, every church should be built on the foundations of giving glory to Jesus and fulfilling the Great Commission, but ask yourself practically what makes your church unique out of 1,000’s of others doing that exact same thing. Ask what unique gifts and strengths does your church possess that would better your neighbors. What would make your city thankful that you exist? Answer that question, and hopefully you will find new practical ways to love your community.
One of the privileges I have of being the Garner EMS/GPD chaplain is that they often ask me and Sovereign King to participate in the various community activities that they undertake. Recently, a few members of the EMS began organizing the Garner 4 Hour Endurance Ride, and we are privileged to take part in it. Fortunately, this is an event that you can take part in as well.
The goal is to gather local mountain bikers at the Garner Recreation Park Trail at 1:00 pm on September 20th. Individuals and teams will ride for 4 hours to help raise money for the Garner EMS as their station needs some workout equipment for their living quarters. Doing the job these incredible folks do, they have to attain/maintain incredible physical fitness. The equipment will enable them to do their job better.
Here is the awesome news: You don’t have to raise a dime to help!
Money will be gathered by donations only. So if you are going to ride, donate what you want to the cause. If you want to get others to donate, great, but no one is under any obligation to go door to door asking for pledges. If you just want to give to the cause ad not ride, you can. The big idea is to get local bikers together for a crazy, fun afternoon ride, and any money taken in will benefit the station. Riders can hit the trail solo or on a team to cover the grueling 4 hours.
Sovereign King Church is going to support the ride by offering a fleet of volunteers for guidance on the trail, and we will also be handing out needed water and nutrients to riders when they take breaks. We are also going to get the word out to folks who we know might be willing to donate to the cause.
If you want more info, you can find it at the Garner 4 Hour Endurance Ride Facebook Page. Feel free to email me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can also email Raleigh Firefighter/Garner EMS Tech Dena Ali at email@example.com.
Whether you bike or not, showing up on the 20th is a great way to support the riders and the Garner EMS. SK and the EMS will be there, and we hope to see lots of you there as well.