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"Walk to Jerusalem" Planned for Lent

Mary Chase-Ziolek is encouraging people to Walk to Jerusalem during Lent.

CHICAGO, IL (February 24, 2009) – Mary Chase-Ziolek is encouraging people to Walk to Jerusalem during Lent.

Chase-Ziolek, the director of the Center for Faith and Health at North Park Theological Seminary, says anyone can join the community in its goal to travel the virtual 6,205 miles between Chicago and Jerusalem. Students and staff will record the miles they walk, run, and bike during the six weeks of Lent.

“The intent of the walk is to encourage the community to be more physically active and to reflect on the world,” says Chase-Ziolek. “Global awareness will be emphasized through learning about the work of the church around the world and encouraging prayer for the people who live along the path of the imaginary journey. The concluding celebration will fittingly be a Middle Eastern dinner.”

This is the second time the seminary community has made the trip. In 2006, they logged more than 7,000 miles. “It was a great community building event that engaged the imagination, got people moving, and encouraged a positive practice as a Lenten discipline,” Chase-Ziolek says. Participants will record their miles on the project’s blog.

North Park Covenant Church, where Chase-Ziolek is a member, is planning its own Walk to Jerusalem that will include participants of all ages. The church is using their weekly Wednesday evening Faithbuilders program to highlight destinations along the way, which will include New York City, the Atlantic Ocean, Spain, Greece, and Jerusalem.

Participants may walk in families, groups, or on their own, and the youth group will be in charge of tracking the weekly mileage. The Walk to Jerusalem program is a walking program developed by St. John Health Parish Nursing in Warren, Mich. Program materials can be ordered here.

For more information, contact Mary Chase-Ziolek.