July 06, 2017
Matt Hall is the 2017 Appalachian Trail chaplain for The United Methodist Church. He started on June 21, and his last stop in New England is scheduled for Aug. 21. NEAC churches are invited to get in touch with Hall as he makes his way along the 2,181-mile trail. Hall, who lives in Hillsville, Va., will continue until Dec. 22.
Hall's fellow thru-hikers will call him "Trigger."
It's the name of Roy Rogers' horse, Willie Nelson's well-worn guitar, and the figurative pressure points he was taught to identify during his treatment for addiction. Hall thinks everyone can benefit from knowing their triggers and how to avoid them.
In March 2017 Hall told The (Nashville) Tennessean:
"A trigger's often something that leads to change, and maybe I could just be that for the day for someone," Hall said on a recent trip to Nashville. "My main goal is not a life-changing experience on the trail, but maybe if I can encourage them just that one day, that might change their life further on down the road." Read more from that story
Hall may be available to speak at your church (schedule permitting), and in the past churches along the Appalachian Trail Chaplain's route have offered support to the chaplain. Help may include a place to shower or stay overnight, a ride to laundry facilities, a meal, and other forms of "trail magic" (unexpected acts of kindness along the trail).