This month I am reporting that the Iowa Bishop of the UMC ran the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2017. This accomplishment amazes me enough to yield my space in the newsletter so that you can read all about it. Here an article that was written about Bishop Haller and her reasoning for running. It, along with her regular blog can be found on the web site. —
“I’m a child of God and God made me to run.” said Bishop Laurie Haller, one of the entrants in the 2017 Boston Marathon. “By running in the Boston Marathon,” she added, “and in everything I do, my only goal is to praise God and give thanks.” Bishop Haller may well be the first United Methodist Bishop to compete in the Marathon. “I suspect that might be,” she said. “It’s an endeavor that’s very difficult. It’s not for everyone. It takes a lot of time and effort and perseverance… and that’s exactly why I do it – to test my-self and challenge myself and see how far I can make my body run.”
Running long distances is nothing new for Iowa’s bishop. She has competed in several triathlons, “which is where you run and you bike and you swim, ” she noted. She has won several in her class. She’s even competed in all-day ‘iron man triathlons.’ “I have always gravitated toward longer distances. The longest distance I’ve done in a race is 50 miles…. that was quite a challenge!’
“I like to look at running as wasting time with Jesus.” Bishop Haller said as she talked about how running feeds her soul. “It’s a way in which, since I was in my 20’s, that I’ve been able to get outside, exercise my body, and to be away from everything just to be with Jesus. I can enjoy nature and God’s good creation.”
“It’s a challenge,” she added, talking about how she is able to juggle her training schedule with the many demands of being Iowa’s episcopal leader. ‘Over the years I’ve discovered that the more difficult my jobs are in my ministry settings, the more I need to take that kind of time away.” It helps Bishop Haller to know that after working all day, ‘I’m going to be out there exercising my body and trying to be more of a whole person.” Exercising feeds her body, her mind, and her spirit. ‘It makes me a much better pastor, a much better bishop, and a much better human being.”
When asked if she would encourage others to do something like what she’s doing Bishop Haller responded by saying, ‘Running marathons isn’t for everyone, but most everyone can get outside and take a walk, maybe ride a bike or find another way to get their body moving and some way to use the energy that’s in-side of each one of us to take care of ourselves. There’s a purpose in all that, she adds. “That we can be out there making a difference in the world.'” —Written on April 17, 2017 by Liz Winders, Office of Com-munications, Iowa Annual Conference

You may follow Bishop Laurie and many of her adventures by visiting the conference web site at Otherwise, I’ll see you out on the track!

R. Carol Kress
Gladbrook, UMC

“I consider the whole world as my parish.” John Wesley

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