Archery and Christianity don’t typically come to mind in the same context -- something the Prince Albert Alliance Church is aiming to change.
“As we’re teaching kids how to shoot a bow, they’re at the same time learning principles about Christianity,” pastor Craig Hollands said. “So, shooting a bow almost becomes a reminder of those principals of Christianity.”
Renowned Birch Hills-based archer Ernie Skaar was the man with the plan, having discovered the Minnesota-based Centershot Ministries.
With teachers coming up from the United States later this month to train local instructors, they hope a group of 28 participants begins shooting arrows with God’s word in mind by next month.
Christianity can be lined to many things, Skaar said, but it’s a particularly snug fit with archery.
“The basis are is that there are 11 steps or disciplines you should learn to basically be successful in archery … and they tie that into the fact that there are disciplines that one has to learn and develop to live the Christian life,” he said.
With each step of archery connected with a Christian principle, archers have much on their mind while settling into a proper stance or drawing an arrow back
What singles archery out as the perfect sport to tie Christian lessons is the fact that, like Christianity, everyone is welcome.
“The prerequisites to partake is a pulse and one arm,” Skaar said with a laugh. “Due to the nature of the archery -- the arrow -- I’m projecting a minimum age of either seven or eight.
As we’re teaching kids how to shoot a bow, they’re at the same time learning principles about Christianity. - Pastor Craig Hollands
“It’s very easy to set individual, attainable goals in archery,” the holder of 27 Canadian target archery records added. “The results correlate to the amount of effort that you put into it.”
The program will be set up in nine block increments over nine weeks -- an initiative Hollands joins Skaar in looking forward to starting some time next month.
“We’re really excited about it, and the potential to not only teach a sport of archery, but to be able to connect to people in the community in a different way,” Hollands said.
“The church is always looking for opportunities to connect with people in the community, and one of our goals of the church is to help people understand the reality of God’s love and Centreshot Ministries does a really neat opportunity of allowing people to learn a practical skill of archery, but it does also tie in those very practical teachings about God’s love.”
With archery becoming an increasingly popular sport in Prince Albert, Skaar said that he hopes to see the initiative grow over time.
Registration for the program will take place in the near future, he said, with those interested in joining encouraged to call the Prince Albert Alliance Church at 763-3771.
“Anybody can do it,” he said. “It’s open to absolutely everybody, not just the attendees of the church.”