“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life … that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1: 1-4
During the second weekend of May 2022 (5/12-15), a fellowship was forged between eight men that camped and hiked at Jones Gap State Park in Greenville County, South Carolina. Legend speaks of Solomon Jones building a toll road through this gap in the Upstate with only a hatchet in the 1800s. We hiked the trails that remain from that effort, as well as a few more, that gave us views that were breathtaking.
“…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
We camped along the Middle Saluda River, and listened to the river running through the gap. Studying 1 John 1 – 5, we talked about the walk each of us takes individually with God and collectively as a band of brothers. Laying down our worldly burdens we hiked several of the trails around Jones Gap. We summited Little Pinnacle Mountain, following the Rim of the Gap Trail, and viewed Pretty Place across the gap from us sitting on the Continental Divide.
“…whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.” 1 John 2:5
The next day, hiking up from the gap below, we heard the water falling for the longest time before walking into view of Rainbow Falls. Standing in the spray from Rainbow Falls we were bathed in the cool mountain waters falling 100’ from above. And although not as tall, we also stood before Jones Gap Falls and let God captivate us with His beauty.
“… I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.” 1 John 2:14
And we ate well. The first night was beef tenderloin prepared in camp and served to the brotherhood of hungry men. The second night was hamburgers and baked beans. Some of the best meals are filled with the smell of anticipation before enjoying each mouthful. Finally, we ate barbecue the third night and watched the stars.
“…whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” 1 John 3:22
Each morning we celebrated with Morning Prayer and each evening closed with Compline. We shared our meals together and celebrated the life that God provides for each of us.
“God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
Five Parishes participated in the 2022 Spring Hike: Old Saint Andrew’s, Saint James, the Cathedral of Saint Luke & Saint Paul (all of Charleston); Saint Jude’s, Walterboro; and Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:4
The next group of Men’s Hikes will be in the Fall of 2022. More information will be posted on the Men’s Hike Ministry webpage in the coming months. If you are interested in joining a Men’s Hike or starting a Hike Ministry in your church, connect with Les Sease. Contact and information forms are found on the Men’s Hike Ministry page: https:// adosc.org/ministries-and-departments/mens-ministry/mens-hikes/
By Les Sease, Christ St. Paul’s, Yonges Island