Next Saturday our ministry partner Jack Mckee and his team from New Life City Church in Northern Ireland will launch out on a 6 week journey across the US called Cycle CROSS America. They start in Santa Monica, CA, on September 22 and end in Jacksonville, FL. on October 24. Dan Wooding, well known founder of Assist News Services, provided us with the following information.
New Life City Church is often referred to as “The Church on the Wall” as it is located on the main Dividing Wall in Belfast; it’s a church that not only reaches out to both sides of the wall, but to the entire City of Belfast and beyond. And now Jack McKee, the senior pastor of the church, is planning an extraordinary marathon cycling and cross-carrying peace trip across America, to show how Catholics and Protestants can work together under the shadow of the cross of Christ.
“New Life City Church is a large warehouse that literally straddles the 20 foot concrete dividing wall in Belfast, with half the building on one side and half on the other side,” McKee explained. “We have people coming to church from both sides.
“My life has been threatened several times and I’ve been shot at numerous times. I’ve even had my car bombed and destroyed. Our home has been attacked at 3.30 in the morning while my wife and I were in bed.”
Yet despite all of this, Pastor McKee, who has many times risked his life as a peacemaker during the “troubles” in Northern Ireland that claimed so many lives from both sides of the divide, is bringing four cyclists to the US; two from the Catholic side of the wall and two from the Protestant side. The event goes from Santa Monica, CA, to Jacksonville, FL, ending with an event called CU @ the CROSS in Washington DC on Thursday October 25, 2012. Jack will be bringing a 7 foot cross with him that he carried for 40 Days and at other times around the Dividing Wall in Belfast.
Jack went on to say, “Northern Ireland has experienced serious conflict since 1969 during which time over 3,700 people lost their lives, while tens of thousands were seriously injured and maimed. Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, has been a divided city with many concrete walls across the city keeping communities apart. There are genuine aspirations for these walls to come down, but much work still needs to be done.
“Cycle CROSS America will highlight the need for these walls to come down and will encourage Americans to support our efforts in building good neighbor relations that will lead to the pulling down of these walls.”
As part of Cycle CROSS America, and using the same cross he has carried before, Jack will do a “Cross Walk” in several cities across America. These will include Los Angeles, along the length of Sunset Blvd, and then possibly Phoenix, AZ; Las Cruces, NM; San Antonio, TX; Alto, TX; New Orleans, LA; Jacksonville, FL, and the Nation’s Capital, Washington, DC (other places will be added).
In Washington, DC, McKee and the entire Cycle Team will be escorted by “Rushing Wind Motorcycle Ministry” through Washington DC to an event called CU@ the CROSS (www.cuatthecross.com) when Jack McKee will do a final Cross Walk close to the White House (exact spot to be confirmed).
To contact Pastor McKee, you can e-mail him at: email@example.com and more details about the trip can be found at:www.cyclecrossamerica.com. Hope Builders International is handling contributions for the trip and for Jack’s work in Northern Ireland. Gifts can be given on our website or by check to Hope Builders International, PO Box 5465, Charlottesville, VA 22905.