Work Retreat held at Sioux Spiritual Center
By Thomas Lefaive
Members of the Association of Commissioned Lay Ministers were invited to attend a working retreat held at the Sioux Spiritual Center during the week of June 26-30. The goal included a wide range of jobs that were completed to provide improvements to the retreat center and facilities.
Thirteen people participated and a total of 15 projects were worked on. A total of 366-man hours of labor were donated by the team with a value of $7,280 in addition to the equipment hours and value. Several pieces of equipment were brought in to help with project efficiency including a backhoe, small loader tractor and a lift bucket tractor with an extended bucket capability.
One of the main projects was moving a 500 lb. statue of Mary to a new location. That included stump removal, ground leveling, construction of a pergola, and a block retaining wall. This project was finished, and the new location is along the walkway to the chapel.
“We have had the Mary statue for a couple years. It was purchased with financial gifts from several people. One of those donors also donated the wood for the pergola. The retaining wall concrete blocks were recycled from another building that had been taken down,” said Carole Brown, director of Sioux Spiritual Center. “Most of the other projects were done with materials that we already had on the property. The big thing was the labor given by the volunteers, and the equipment that they brought with them, and did not charge us for it. They were a huge blessing to us.”
A second major project was the removal and salvage of materials from a storage building. Hardware and materials were saved for use in future projects. The third major project was the removal of dead and dying trees as well as removal of trees and limbs from the border fence followed by fence repair to keep cattle from straying onto the property. Several other projects involved improving the safety of steps, ramps, and clearing walkways.
The team came from all over western South Dakota and worked well together using their talents, skills, and abilities to accomplish God’s work at such a unique facility.