May 21, 2011 in Washington Voices

Fun, healthy way to celebrate faith

Charlie Finck charlie@libertycross.org
 
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In Citizen Journal, Voice readers can publish their own feature stories and neighborhood news items. Do you have a story to tell? Email your submissions to Voices editor Jeff Jordan at voice@ spokesman.com. Please try to limit submissions to 500 words or less. Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address so we can verify authenticity.

The Run For the Son is a 5K/3.1-mile run/walk through the beautiful horse ranch and farm countryside of Eastern Washington and northern Idaho.

I’m the race director and a longtime runner and triathlete. I thought how good it would be for the community to have a sporting event that glorified Jesus Christ. The event would start in prayer, there would be praise and worship and fellowship, and the community would see hundreds of believers walking and running in a celebration and testimony to their faith. When I shared this vision with Jan Vetter, a local artist and avid runner, and her husband, Bill, they revealed they also shared a similar desire. 

As a result we approached The Church Between The Lakes, a gathering of churches representing the area between Liberty and Newman lakes, to be a part of their vision. Once the decision to hold this celebration of faith was made, finding a suitable location was now the next task.

We wanted a venue that also reflected the values of the Christian community, and when the Rockin’ B Ranch was suggested it became a perfect fit. Scott and Pamela Brownlee, the owners of the Rockin’ B, have been performing a family cowboy supper show for 15 years and graciously offered their ranch for our event. The ranch really was perfect – it has a great deal of parking space, a large barn in case of rain, stands for praise and worship, and a lot of open space for fellowship. Last year the Brownlees, with Sam Mazzola and their performing group, led the praise and worship to the delight of all and to the glory of the Lord.

This collaboration is now entering its fourth year, with participation growing from 60 entrants and seven churches participating the first year to 221 doing the event and 37 churches participating last year – and belief that 2011 participation will be even greater.

The event itself is a walk/run that takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the start to the last person crossing the finish line. The 3.1-mile course through the countryside meanders through horse farms, over little streams, by grazing buffalo, and all surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Washington and Idaho. Along the route volunteers are positioned to assist with directions, a water station, as well as signs with Scripture and encouraging words.

Each year Jan Vetter, race co-director and a skilled and talented artist, designs a T-shirt that reflects the community as well as a Scripture to be a keepsake for each participant. We wanted the T-shirt to be a reflection and a reminder that Jesus is the reason for this event, and will be encouraging all who participate to wear their T-shirts on the following Sunday to their respective church services.

The Run For the Son is held each year in May on the Saturday of the weekend before we celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. What an appropriate time to remember the sacrifice the Lord made for us. 

This year’s event will be at 9 a.m. on May 28.

If it is on your heart to be part of our celebration this year, you will find a registration form at www.libertycross.org.

What a good time to invite a fellow church member or neighbor. 

If you would like to help/volunteer with the Run For the Son please call (509)-255-9244 or email cdfinck1@aol.com.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may glorify your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16


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