Chaplain tackles Mount Kilimanjaro

. 1 min read

A story about a member of our own Susquehanna Annual (regional) conference:

The Rev. Karen Meeker is between peaks in her career. Really, really tall peaks. Lt. Col. Meeker, an Army chaplain and United Methodist ordained elder, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa which, in case you are wondering, is 19,330 feet.

“Why choose a retreat that includes meds for malaria, altitude and diarrhea? The extreme challenge of going from sea level with minimal training will require a singular focus to push through the altitude and weather. Sounds perfect to me!” she said.

Before embarking on her journey, she told United Methodist News Service, “I go to the mountain confessing my sins, praying God’s forgiveness and asking all things not Christ like would be purged from my life. I go to the mountain to receive vision and a renewed desire to serve. I pray God will strengthen me in body, mind and spirit for the next assignment.”

Meeker enlisted in the Army in 1986 and has served in many locations since becoming an Army chaplain, including serving with the Joint Task Force 101 in Afghanistan as well as other overseas assignments. She has received numerous awards and badges for distinguished service over the years, and was the first female chaplain assigned to the Army Special Operations Command. She is also a master parachutist, one of the few female chaplain jumpmasters. It is nothing for her to get up and run several miles before she preaches on Sunday morning. She just shrugs and says she has always wanted to be active.

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By Kathy Gilbert, United Methodist Communications