Bells will be ringing … and ringing … and ringing … at least by one Presbyterian here.

Ryan Althaus, founder of the Team Sweaty Sheep ministry, will compete in The Salvation Army’s bell ringing contest which began today at noon EST. Althaus is one of 24 contestants across the country attempting to set a world record for longest continuous hand bell ringing by an individual.

Althaus is used to endurance activity — he won a recent half marathon in Louisville — but he isn’t sure how he’ll do in his attempt to stand for more than 36 hours constantly ringing a Salvation Army Bell.

“Talk to me at noon on Friday after I’ve stood for 24 consecutive hours,” he said. “I’ve never done anything like this — we can only drink water, Gatorade or juice — and we get only one 10-minute break every four hours to use the restroom.”

Atlhaus’s ministry in the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery, through its Ecclesia Project initiative, is “about Christianity on the move” and “getting people to play together in the name of God. We want to create a movement of new worshiping communities that show church in broad terms.”   

He decided to be part of the 2011 Salvation Army World Record Bell Ringers because he likes the idea of bringing people together during the Christmas season.

“To support the mission of The Salvation Army in serving people in need appealed to me,” Althaus said. “I want to be part of a movement in the Presbyterian Church that begins to reach out to and work with various groups in ministry to impact our cities and communities.”