Annual bike-a-thon raises funds for St. Michael’s
By Frank Flegel
LUMSDEN, Sask, — A late morning Aug. 11 rain in Regina kept the numbers a little lower than usual but several hardy souls were not deterred, climbed on their two wheelers and made it all the way to St. Michael’s Retreat Ministries in the annual Spirit of the Valley Fund Raiser.
“It was a little tough in the beginning,” said cyclist Rev. Brad Fahlman, who cycled from his Regina home. “It was wet and against the wind but outside of the city and after the turn (off # 11 Highway to Condie Road) it was good.” Barrie Rink said some parts of the Condie road had been re-paved, but it was still bumpy.
The group gathered at Evraz Steel plant on the north side of Regina, then travelled along Highway 11 to the Condie road followed by Friar Kevin Lynch driving a half ton truck with a large sign on the rear warning motorists of the cyclists ahead of him. It took the group about 1.5 hours to make the approximately 30 km ride.
Another group walked, jogged and ran a route from the Lumsden camp ground through the town and up the south side road then down again to the retreat house nestled on a slope on the south side of the Lumsden/Qu’Appelle Valley. A breakfast of fruit, yogurt, bagels and coffee was available for them.
About 50 participants took part in the event and stayed for a prayer service conducted by Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Cindy Halmarson. Franciscan Brother Gerry Clyne played guitar and led the singing for the service and Rev. Catherine Harper, resident Anglican priest, played the organ. The grounds were still wet so the service was held in the chapel.
Halmarson’s homily focused on the Gospel of John, in which Jesus talks about being the living bread sent from heaven. “It is the living bread that never grows old and never grows stale,” said Halmarson. “The bread nurtures us and gives us life. In the hills around Lumsden, here at St. Michael’s we have been fed and not just from the kitchen.” She also spoke of the need for support for St. Michael’s.
All that we are and all that we have comes from God she said. “The money in the offering is thanks to God for the gifts he gives us. It is an offering of faith.”
St. Michael’s is owned by the Franciscan Friars but operates with an ecumenical board of Anglicans, Evangelical Lutherans and Roman Catholics. It will celebrate 50 years of service in 2013.
The amount of money raised won’t be known for a few weeks until all the pledges are in but past events raised around $12,000.00