If someone asked me to participate in a 5K, I might laugh. Not because I have an aversion to 5Ks, but because I am not the most athletic person.

As you may know, Trinity United Methodist Church (near Forest and Patterson Avenues) invited us to participate in their annual Mission Footprint 5K. Mike Clingenpeel asked me if I would be the staff liaison for the venture since a lot of the tasks are communication-related, and I have learned that I don’t need to be a 5K expert to help plan the event. Granted, I learn something new about the 5K-process at every meeting, but it is not intimidating at all.

The 5K is being held on Saturday, September 7 at Trinity UMC and winding through a nearby neighborhood. There are approximately 40 volunteer opportunities for the day of the event (non-5K runners or walkers), and the committee decided to split volunteers in half between each church – this means we need at least 20 volunteers from River Road. This is where the non-athletic people, like me, can find a way to be involved in an activity. You can view a list of opportunities and sign up to volunteer by clicking here.

If you can’t be there race day, or if you own/work at an establishment, there is room for you too! Most charitable events are successful from donations and “corporate” sponsors. As a corporate sponsor or a post-race prize, your company’s logo will go on the t-shirt and other promotional materials. You can also donate as an individual contributor.

You may be asking, “what is the purpose of this 5K?” The proceeds from the event will be split between CARITAS and CrossOver Ministry – two very prominent organizations that we support here at RRCB. It is also being asked that participants bring a jar of peanut butter or a can of tuna for the Central Virginia Food Bank.

Aside from the explicit benefit of the race, there is something under the surface as well. This is an opportunity for our church to expand out to the community even more. Trinity UMC is new to us, which is a good thing. Being ecumenical is one of River Road Church’s highest values, and this 5K is a way to embrace our identity; support mutual, local causes; and make new friends with our neighbors. We can be a real-life example for our Vacation Bible School theme this year: Neighbors are Friendly, Neighbors are Giving, Neighbors are Bold, Neighbors are Forgiving, and Neighbors are Welcoming.