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“Power is the most important thing in road bicycle racing like the Tour de France. If you want to move along on a bike at a constant speed, you have to use energy. There are no free rides.”

The main group, or pack of riders, the “peloton” (French, meaning platoon) save energy by riding close, drafting or slipstreaming, particularly behind other riders. And what’s most interesting about “philanthropic physics”, is that although riders compete individually to win the race, they need each other for this very outcome.

The CBWC “peloton” is comprised of 180 churches located throughout Western Canada, and at the Foundation, we intersect with several churches, camp leaders and constituents by providing financial service offerings. We are blessed with a combination of riders either as depositors, borrowers, donors or education grant recipients. And all this to say, we navigate hundreds of relationships and have the privilege of observing the race from a birds-eye view.

Over the past year, many stories hit our radar as we run up and down the sidelines, cheering on team members like Keats Camp, Westhill Park and First Baptist Cranbrook pedaling tirelessly towards the finish line. And although reaching the finish line can be completion of an MDiv for one person and building a new church for another, in all cases, it’s us, one rider in the peloton, aiming to vitalize each other by converting energy, into goals. It is we, noticing that although lead riders interchange, individual success is always a result of collective effort.

On a day-to-day basis, we witness riders whose current reality includes the reaping of God’s grace, simply through geography, history or maturity and who generously forgo a portion of harvest, leaving grain along the fields’ edge. And conversely, we witness riders making first steps in the journey, and simply through age, stage and inexperience, struggle to stay the course. Personally, I love bike riding and although the Calgary riding season is relatively short, spend most sunny days navigating the Bow Valley path system, all the while acknowledging that either the hard climbs or the beauty of downhill coasting is better experienced with a friend.

At the Foundation, we have the privilege of acting as a conduit for both the benefactor and the beneficiary, and as Albert Einstein wisely said, “we can only keep our balance if we keep moving”. And most importantly, we think, our peloton works best when moving together. So, whether you are behind the scenes as anonymous support, are engaging in rigorous training, or lucky enough to be pedaling down the Champs-Élysées, you are but one of the peloton, cycling in the same direction, for such a time as this.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Heb 12:1

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