Piersanti will be installed at Ellicott City Church on Dec. 15.
The HVC Hiking Club organizes monthly Sabbath afternoon hikes to connect with people in the church and community.
The Highland View church in Hagerstown, Md., recently marked the first anniversary of the launch of its HVC Hiking Club.
The monthly Sabbath afternoon hikes, led by members of the Highland View church, have become a popular outing, drawing an average of 15-20 participants, and often more. More than simply a time for exercise and enjoying the outdoors, these hikes also serve as a bridge for outreach.
Pastor Bruno Lorenco sees the hikes as an ideal gateway for connecting with non-Adventist friends. “All you need is a pair of shoes,” he said, emphasizing the ease of participation. Lorenco believes that the casual nature of these hikes makes it simpler for members to introduce friends to the church community without the pressures or preconceived notions that might come with a traditional church setting.
The HVC Hiking Club was launched after a pastoral visit last year. Members Sharlene and Paul McAllister shared with Lorenco about the positive impact hiking had on their marriage. Taking the cue, Lorenco challenged the couple to lead a hiking ministry at the church.
“The most fulfilling aspect [of the HVC Hiking Club] is that we are growing much closer,” said Sharlene McAllister. “We get to walk and talk with people we don’t normally spend a lot of time with.”
After marking the HVC Hiking Club’s first anniversary, the Highland View church is looking for more ways of connecting the church with people in the community. Eager to offer more avenues for interaction, the congregation is in the early stages of launching a photography club as another means of uniting people over shared interests.