What do you get when you combine fitness and fundraising? The Maritime Conference Stewardship Committee decided to find out. Here’s what happened.
The Maritime Conference Stewardship Committee asked United Church people around the Maritimes to sign up for the Bluenose Marathon held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, every May. Participants could cover any distance from five kilometres to the full 42 kilometres. The fundraising happened because church participants also signed up as members of Runners United for Change, a Charity Challenge team. This allowed them to use the marathon to raise money for the Mission and Service Fund. The motto of Runners United: “Stewardship of the body and stewardship of the world.”
As people trained for the race—running and walking regularly, pushing their bodies, and taking time for themselves—they discovered it led to surprising results. Many felt closer to God, finding that training time became prayer time. Some confronted grief and anger over past losses, while others felt their self-esteem grow along with their fitness. Through e-mail and Facebook, participants shared how training for the race had helped them grow in faith. All this even before the starting gun went off.
When the final results were tallied, over 25 United Church people had participated in Runners United and over $13,000 was raised for the church’s mission and service. So what do you get when you combine fitness and fundraising? Faith—and a whole lot of fun.
Every gift to the church’s mission and service is used wisely and helps transform lives. Please continue to give generously.