Over the last few years, Gloucester Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, ON, grant recipient of the Creative Ministry with Children and Youth Fund, has embraced a new vision of connecting with neighbours. Believing that God put their church in the local neighbourhood for a reason, the congregation educated themselves about who lives there and the needs they face. Then, they prayerfully began the work of discerning how to meet those needs.

One way that the church is living out this new vision is by blessing the two local schools, and the families that attend the schools. This past Sunday marked their fifth annual “Thank God for Neighbourhood Schools” community service to honor and bless the staff and volunteers from the schools.

Two principals and a vice principal participated, along with more than a dozen teachers and staff. The bible message focused on God’s love, which is mirrored in the joyful welcome that Sandra, the local crossing guard, extends to kids and parents every school-day morning. Throughout the service, the congregation honoured teachers, crossing guards, custodians, bus drivers and administrative staff, who received gifts of flowers or chocolate. The service concluded with an international feast, featuring a potluck lunch with flavours from around the world.

From its tiny beginning five years ago, the vision has grown into a thriving and exciting ministry. The congregation hopes to continue to seek new opportunities to serve and bless their neighbours, and to share the great news of God’s love in Jesus.”

To learn more about Gloucester Presbyterian Church, visit http://gloucesterchurch.ca.