Crossroads Community Church in Mayerthorpe is very small, usually less than 25 people. However, our members are open to reaching our community in various ways. The Valentines Cakes was an example of one outreach we did.
In October or November of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, one of our members was thinking about the residents in long-term care—how they were so isolated. A lady who makes beautiful handmade cards made one for each resident in Extendicare. These cards were then personally signed, with “thinking of you” messages written by the people in our church. This was mentioned to a couple of teachers at our schools, and we started receiving handmade cards from kids of all ages. (I work at Extendicare as in pastoral care and had the pleasure of distributing these). There were even cards made for the staff.
At Christmas time a couple of our ladies wanted to bake cookies to give to people in our community who were going to be alone this Christmas because of COVID-19 pandemic rules. People began donating baking supplies and several ladies got together in our church kitchen to bake cookies. Another lady vacuum packed a dozen cookies on each tray and decorated them with ribbon and a gift tag from our congregation. We then had volunteers who delivered 40 dozen packages of cookies to people who would be alone over Christmas.
Also at Christmas, our community usually has a Christmas Carol Sing where community members get a chance to participate. Due to COVID it was cancelled for 2020, so I got the idea of a virtual Christmas Concert. I contacted various friends at schools and churches, etc., and started looking for participants. On December 19 we started recording at 9:30 a.m. To abide by the COVID restrictions it was just the soundman, my husband and me in the church, with 15-minute appointment times for each recording. There were 15 songs performed by children and eight by adults. We closed the recording with a story I read to our grandchildren about Christmas. Our Community Christmas Celebration was shared widely on Facebook.
In January we had the idea of doing something for Valentine’s Day. We decided to bake a cake for couples who have been married for 50+ years. Originally, we thought we might come up with 15-20 names. However a connection I have in town who used to be a newspaper editor and knows this community very well found 36 couples who had been married for 50+ years. Three ladies baked the 8” square chocolate cakes on Friday, then on Saturday, February 13, three other ladies decorated the cakes. Our card maker created a special Valentines card for each couple. On Sunday, February 14, our volunteers delivered the cakes to some very surprised couples. The cards and comments on Facebook about these cakes was amazing.
A gentleman who just started coming to your church six months ago wrote this on Facebook:
“A little late, but wanted to share. I had the best Valentines Day ...Ever. Our church made cakes for all couples in my area who had been married over 50 years. And we got to deliver them and see all the surprised, happy faces and big smiles. There were over 36 couples who had made the roster – a dying breed these days.”
These are just some of the things we have been doing to reach our community.
Pictures courtesy Ruth Lotholz.