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MichaelRedBeard
04-07-2015, 18:36
I'd like to go to church on Sunday throughout my thru-hike, can anyone provide with some assistance with regards to how I might be able to make that happen? I got the AWOL Guide book but haven't had a chance to see if church information was listed in there. Any thoughts?

kayak karl
04-07-2015, 18:45
if you are in town on Sunday do an internet search.

johnnybgood
04-07-2015, 19:25
Inquire at the local grocer during resupply . Do an internet search in advance .

4eyedbuzzard
04-07-2015, 19:32
The AT goes through or near a lot of small towns. Pretty much all have churches, but obviously not all denominations are going to be represented, especially in different regions. Even so, scheduling your hiking around actually being in one of those towns on every Sunday will probably be difficult. For example, you wind up in a town on a Thursday and the next town is four trail days away. Going to church EVERY Sunday while thru-hiking would require a lot of advance planning and support by folks willing to pick you up and shuttle you from road crossings. Try a google search on churches for all the various trail towns, but keep in mind that your schedule is going to be very fluid and will constantly be changing as well. Best of luck on your hike.

scrabbler
04-07-2015, 20:31
If you have good cellular service and a data plan, you can certainly stream services. An AM/FM radio can likely pick services up too.

Spirit Walker
04-07-2015, 20:49
For much of the trail, it isn't that difficult to get to a town that will have church services - sometimes Sunday a.m., sometimes Sunday evening. sometimes Saturday evening. If you want specific denominations it can be a bit more difficult, but if you're open to new experiences, going to church along the AT can be really interesting. I went to church frequently - Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentacostal . . . Some services I liked, some were rather disturbing, but I thought it worthwhile to experience how other people worship.

I met a woman who was Catholic who went to Mass at least once a week. She didn't mind staying over or hitching back to make sure she got to a Saturday or Sunday service. There are a few exceptions - the Smokies and Maine can be more difficult - but even there, you just need to think ahead.

2NewKnees
04-07-2015, 20:54
Sounds like a fun thing to do by just finding a church when you get to town. No particular plan at all.

Rain Man
04-07-2015, 21:49
An entire book was written by a thru-hiker doing just that. Bill Irwin wrote the introduction. If I can find the author and title, I'll add an edit.

swjohnsey
04-07-2015, 22:00
Just about every town has a church. Many of the churches along the way will feed you, to boot.

No Directions
04-07-2015, 22:06
I'm not Catholic but I would love to attend a service at St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpers_Ferry,_West_Virginia). It's a beautiful building and has some rich history.

couscous
04-07-2015, 22:25
An entire book was written by a thru-hiker doing just that. Bill Irwin wrote the introduction. If I can find the author and title, I'll add an edit.

Sojourn in the Wilderness: A Seven Month Journey on the Appalachian Trail by Kenneth Wadness?

Rain Man
04-08-2015, 08:26
Sojourn in the Wilderness: A Seven Month Journey on the Appalachian Trail by Kenneth Wadness?

Yes, thank you. That is the book I am thinking of. It's what I call a "coffee table book," i.e., big with lots of photos.

Tennessee Viking
04-08-2015, 08:43
I would make sure you shower up before attending a service while on trail. Best time would be to attend while in town especially Damascus or at a hostel.

From what I remember, there are a small handful of churches within easy walking distance of the trail on the TN section. But mostly they are going to be a few miles from trailheads. There is Buck Mtn Baptist Church right next to the trail north of 19E. Bob Peoples at Kincora Hostel has invited hikers to Catholic mass in Elizabethton. Around the corner from Uncle Johnny's in Erwin.

There are a few churches in the south that still hold outside services at former church sites or cemeteries in the mountains.

Trillium
04-08-2015, 08:44
FedEx who thruhiked in 2007 attended church services almost every single weekend of his hike. Being Catholic he mostly attended Sat evening or Sunday mass but if no Catholic Church available in a particular town, he attended a service at a Christian church. You can check out his trail journal at TrailJournals.com

Traveler
04-08-2015, 09:10
To provide a different look at this, given the environment you'll be in, can you bring along some readings that can be used when you come across scenic areas or quiet places? I have always considered the forests a church of sorts, and this may provide the ability to feed the soul without either adding to miles or creating "hurry ups" to reach a specific town by a specific day/time.

tim.hiker
04-08-2015, 09:12
Matthew 18:20 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A20&version=ESV) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Find a few other hikers and have a on the trail Church if you cant find a building.. I think a lot of hikers talks to God sometimes while on the trail..

Another Kevin
04-08-2015, 09:52
There's nothing that brings forth the trail magic like asking someone in town where they worship, and do they welcome travelers to service? People jump all over themselves to shuttle you, give you a place to get cleaned up, and otherwise squire you about.

Of course, it works better if you actually want to worship, and doubly better if you believe in paying it forward. What goes around comes around, and as it goes it grows.

Another Kevin
04-08-2015, 09:53
To provide a different look at this, given the environment you'll be in, can you bring along some readings that can be used when you come across scenic areas or quiet places? I have always considered the forests a church of sorts, and this may provide the ability to feed the soul without either adding to miles or creating "hurry ups" to reach a specific town by a specific day/time.

I have a Bible on my smartphone. They're readily available for free.

Tipi Walter
04-08-2015, 10:10
You'll be outside backpacking the Appalachian Trail. Meditate under a tree and you'll be in Church.

BirdBrain
04-08-2015, 10:36
I go to church regularly while off the trail. Romans 1:20 suffices for me on the trail. If you go to church while hiking, take 2 baths before you do. When my wife met me in Norwich last year, her 1st words were "you stink". I bath every day on the trail. I wash my clothes most days. It is not enough. It was not enough. When we stopped to fill the truck with gas, she demanded I bath right there at the gas pumps while she filled the truck. She had brought a cooler filled with hot (now cool) water, soap, wash cloth, and a towel. She had been through this before. She was ready this time. I obeyed... right there. Mind you, my wife loves me more than any other person on earth. She accepts me as I am more than any other person on earth. My stench was unreasonable even to her. Gratuitous story to drive home a point. Most that go to church don't stink like a thru. Yes, God accepts us as we are. Yes, they should too. Yes, you should do every thing you can not to offend those that won't understand. Church is not a hostel.

Starchild
04-08-2015, 10:48
There's nothing that brings forth the trail magic like asking someone in town where they worship, and do they welcome travelers to service? People jump all over themselves to shuttle you, give you a place to get cleaned up, and otherwise squire you about.

Of course, it works better if you actually want to worship, and doubly better if you believe in paying it forward. What goes around comes around, and as it goes it grows.

This is what I was thinking, along with calling the church and telling them you will be passing near by and if anyone could perhaps pick you up (and offer a shower).

Jeff
04-08-2015, 11:13
Bismark and Hopper have been hiking the AT for several years in a row and attend church regularly. If you would like their email just PM me.

Studlintsean
04-08-2015, 11:37
I would recommend you read "Hiking Through" by Apostle. It would probably be right up your alley. I am not a very religious person (I am a Christian) and it was the best AT book I read.

Alleghanian Orogeny
04-08-2015, 12:30
While returning home to NC from western Montana in 2010, I arrived in Lexington, KY on a Sunday at about noon and proceeded to head down I-75 to US 25 at Corbin, KY, to there cut through the remainder of the Cumberland Plateau and reach I-81 in upper East Tennessee. More for variety than anything else, I switched the pickup's radio to AM and started surfing for sermons. I was rewarded with 3-4 hours of some mighty fine preachin' delivered in a style I don't often hear. An abundance of old-style gospel singing, too. It was a genuine treat and it fit perfectly with a pickup truck traverse of the Southern Appalachians.

A friend used to spend Saturdays at his vacation home in Ashe County, NC driving around looking for rural churches. Once he found one he liked which posted on which Sundays services were held (often small churches use circuit-riding ministers and don't meet every Sunday), he'd return on Sunday for services. He was always welcomed.

AO

Son Driven
04-08-2015, 12:46
Our Lord provided me with wonderful fellowship throughout my 2013 thru hike. I purposed in my heart to be flexible and open to a wide array of spiritual experiences.

perdidochas
04-08-2015, 15:17
I go to church regularly while off the trail. Romans 1:20 suffices for me on the trail. If you go to church while hiking, take 2 baths before you do. When my wife met me in Norwich last year, her 1st words were "you stink". I bath every day on the trail. I wash my clothes most days. It is not enough. It was not enough. When we stopped to fill the truck with gas, she demanded I bath right there at the gas pumps while she filled the truck. She had brought a cooler filled with hot (now cool) water, soap, wash cloth, and a towel. She had been through this before. She was ready this time. I obeyed... right there. Mind you, my wife loves me more than any other person on earth. She accepts me as I am more than any other person on earth. My stench was unreasonable even to her. Gratuitous story to drive home a point. Most that go to church don't stink like a thru. Yes, God accepts us as we are. Yes, they should too. Yes, you should do every thing you can not to offend those that won't understand. Church is not a hostel.

Just sit in back away from people. I'm a Scout leader, and often go to Sunday Mass on Sunday morning straight from a campout. Not quite thru-hiker stench, but stench regardless. I just sit in the back away from people (except of course the wife).

peakbagger
04-08-2015, 19:49
I would be challenge in Maine

johnnybgood
04-08-2015, 20:54
I would be challenge in Maine

A lofty piece of ground with a view will do just fine. To commune with nature is to worship with god. Spirituality is not confined to four walls and knows no boundaries.

kayak karl
04-08-2015, 21:23
A lofty piece of ground with a view will do just fine. To commune with nature is to worship with god. Spirituality is not confined to four walls and knows no boundaries. technically if it has no boundaries then the lofty ground, view or nature is not needed.

Trillium
04-08-2015, 21:52
If you are unable to get to a church, here is a url for daily readings:
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/ (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/)

Odd Man Out
04-08-2015, 22:36
Matthew 18:20 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A20&version=ESV) For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Find a few other hikers and have a on the trail Church if you cant find a building.. I think a lot of hikers talks to God sometimes while on the trail..

We had a pastor at our church who would paraphrase this one. "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there will be an offering plate among them.” - A pastor with a sense of humor.

Pastor Bryon
04-08-2015, 23:06
If you find yourself in the Buena Vista, VA area (near where the AT crosses 60) or just south in Glasgow around a Sunday feel free to message me and there are churches in both towns that you'll be welcome in. Will be glad to help shuttle as well.

tim.hiker
04-09-2015, 07:13
We had a pastor at our church who would paraphrase this one. "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there will be an offering plate among them.” - A pastor with a sense of humor. lol :) that is a good one..

Madpaddy
04-09-2015, 07:17
You'll be outside backpacking the Appalachian Trail. Meditate under a tree and you'll be in Church.

Well said Walter!!! I was raised Irish Catholic..alter boy..the whole deal. I haven't felt more at home or more at church when I am hikin'.

Crazy Larry #1
04-09-2015, 07:45
I'd like to go to church on Sunday throughout my thru-hike, can anyone provide with some assistance with regards to how I might be able to make that happen? I got the AWOL Guide book but haven't had a chance to see if church information was listed in there. Any thoughts?
I haven't kept up with this thread too much but I got Circuit Rider staying with me tonight and I will talk to him to see if we can come up with a plan for you, or at least part of a plan...

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:18
FedEx who thruhiked in 2007 attended church services almost every single weekend of his hike. Being Catholic he mostly attended Sat evening or Sunday mass but if no Catholic Church available in a particular town, he attended a service at a Christian church. You can check out his trail journal at TrailJournals.com

Just washed me with a wave of excitement.

Thanks to everyone else to who has PMed me and written on here. I was not expecting this much of an outpour of answers :)

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:19
There's nothing that brings forth the trail magic like asking someone in town where they worship, and do they welcome travelers to service? People jump all over themselves to shuttle you, give you a place to get cleaned up, and otherwise squire you about.

Of course, it works better if you actually want to worship, and doubly better if you believe in paying it forward. What goes around comes around, and as it goes it grows.

Amen Kevin :)

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:23
Mind you, my wife loves me more than any other person on earth. She accepts me as I am more than any other person on earth.

I love the way she tells you how it is too! Great woman!

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:32
technically if it has no boundaries then the lofty ground, view or nature is not needed.

Ha Ha Ha you ********. I love ********s...ha ha ha ha :) That beard rocks too brother!

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:33
We had a pastor at our church who would paraphrase this one. "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there will be an offering plate among them.” - A pastor with a sense of humor.

Ha Ha Ha! Hilarious!

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:33
If you find yourself in the Buena Vista, VA area (near where the AT crosses 60) or just south in Glasgow around a Sunday feel free to message me and there are churches in both towns that you'll be welcome in. Will be glad to help shuttle as well.

Just messaged you.

MichaelRedBeard
04-09-2015, 11:35
I haven't kept up with this thread too much but I got Circuit Rider staying with me tonight and I will talk to him to see if we can come up with a plan for you, or at least part of a plan...

Thanks Crazy!

BirdBrain
04-09-2015, 12:14
I love the way she tells you how it is too! Great woman!

Real men seek out strong willed women that are bold and confident. Insecure men seek out doormats and call me whipped. We are a team. I am not sure what to call them. I guess sad will suffice.

Drybones
04-09-2015, 15:56
You don't need a building and other people to worship, when it's only you and God present the communications may be a little better...just a suggestion.

kayak karl
04-09-2015, 17:14
You don't need a building and other people to worship, when it's only you and God present the communications may be a little better...just a suggestion. but that is not church (which is what the OP asked) that is individual prayer. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

BillyGr
04-09-2015, 18:36
Just sit in back away from people. I'm a Scout leader, and often go to Sunday Mass on Sunday morning straight from a campout. Not quite thru-hiker stench, but stench regardless. I just sit in the back away from people (except of course the wife).

Another thought (if one was looking for a Catholic church) - most will have masses at least some weekdays. Those would likely draw less people, making it easier for a hiker to attend while being not as fresh & clean.

LIhikers
04-09-2015, 23:11
If you do decide to be in town, for church service, each weekend, that may slow down your hike making it tough to get to Maine in time.
If that's the case, don't rule out a flip flop hike. Maybe even start from Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

Rolls Kanardly
04-10-2015, 14:36
You'll be outside backpacking the Appalachian Trail. Meditate under a tree and you'll be in Church. +1
Seems like you could find a nice quite over view, do your thing, look up when you are done and say "Thank you, Boss". I think you will be heard.
Rolls

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2015, 15:05
Thanks Crazy!
I did not get to talk to him, he was visiting Mala who is in the VA hospital. You all might want to pray for Mala......

Trillium
05-19-2015, 18:09
http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Lexington-fugitive-captured-after-six-years-on-the-run-304214461.html
Bismark and Hopper have been hiking the AT for several years in a row and attend church regularly. If you would like their email just PM me.I wonder if he is the same Bismark who was arrested in Damascus during Trail Days on Saturday.

10-K
05-19-2015, 20:24
I shuttled a couple last year who intended to make it to Mass every Sunday - you can imagine how much work that was in the South. They made it past Erwin - not sure what happened to them.

LittleRock
05-20-2015, 07:32
No need to find a building - the trail itself is a church.

WingedMonkey
05-20-2015, 10:14
http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Lexington-fugitive-captured-after-six-years-on-the-run-304214461.htmlI wonder if he is the same Bismark who was arrested in Damascus during Trail Days on Saturday.


Same guy...?


30777

Bismarck and Hopper

Not he can go to church every Sunday.......