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Creativity and Connection at MacNab Street PC
   Christina McCarthy, Director of Children and Youth Minis- try, MacNab Street Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, Ont., on a field trip to Niagara Falls.
The Rev. Steve Baldry makes a special appearance as a knight.
travel across the country to learn about a new province, learn to sign a memory verse in ASL, and meet members of their communities that they wouldn’t normally have access to, such as athletes and a television actor—all from the comfort of their own homes, and in a manner that was easy to fit into their family’s schedule.
The biggest success was how this program brought people together in an unprecedented time. Congregants from both churches were eager par- ticipants in guest segments for cook- ing, space exploration, story times,
learning about marine wildlife, etc. The fact that two churches of dif- fering denominations, hundreds of kilometers apar t, were able to come together to share talents, ideas and resources in an effort to minister to a segment of the church population that is often given second thought is remarkable.
Through Cross Country Kids, we were able to demonstrate the love of God to children in a new and exciting way, and what at first seemed like a very challenging time turned out to be a time of incredible blessing for everyone who participated.
By Christina McCarthy, Director of Children and Youth Ministry, MacNab Street Presbyterian Church
in Hamilton, Ont.
Like everyone else, we at MacNab Street Presbyterian Church in Hamil- ton, Ont., found ourselves wondering how to minister to our children, and to the children of the community over the course of Summer 2020. Mac- Nab had already shifted services on- line, and was offering a live, weekly story time via our Facebook page. We wanted to do something a bit more extensive over the summer. As a youth minister, I am a big fan of Va- cation Bible School, but as a parent, I knew that providing engaging content online for long periods of time is very tricky. Enter the Rev. Steve Baldry, minister of MacNab Street Presbyte- rian Church.
Steve approached me with an idea that he just wanted to “throw out
there.” He asked what I would think of the possibility of partnering with his daughter, Kendalyn Mazur, who is the youth minister at The Crossing Church in St. John’s, N.L., and work- ing together to create short, daily videos that would air through each church. It was a brilliant idea, and out of it, Cross Country Kids was born.
Cross Country Kids was designed to be an interdenominational pro- gram that was easily relatable for children regardless of their location, easily accessible for their parents and flexible in nature. It was delivered daily through July and August. Each week had a central theme, a memory verse, Bible lesson, snack, craft, special guest and an activity, such as a game or field trip. For exam- ple, Pirate Week was used to teach kids that our true treasure is found in knowing Jesus. Our memory verse was Matthew 6:21, and our special guest was “Captain Greed,” aka Da-
vid Milmine, MacNab’s clerk of Ses- sion. We made pizza treasure maps, hunted for treasures and played pi- rate games.
Daily videos were 15–20 minutes in length. MacNab aired the videos on our Facebook page for the gen- eral public, and a Google Classroom was created for members of both congregations. Segments including both churches were filmed via on- line Zoom meetings, and separate segments were filmed and edited by each church. The Crossing Church was fortunate to have two summer students, Rachael Currie and Jacob Ossinger, who also assisted with the creation of content and editing of vid- eos.
It is safe to say that Cross Coun- try Kids was a success on multiple levels. MacNab’s Facebook analyt- ics showed that each video received an average of 80 views. Through this program, children were able to
next door.
COVID-19 pushed more Canadi-
ans into food insecurity. According to the York Region Food Network, in the first two months of the pandemic, food insecurity rates increased by 39 percent. That means one in seven Canadians is now facing food inse- curity. This pushed St. James to take action. A contractor was sought in August to build the pantry. When that failed, St. James pushed on, and an appeal was made on Facebook.
That’s when the project took off. Schell Lumber, the local Home Hard- ware franchise, offered to supply and
Teaching a pirate (David Milmine) about the Bible.
 Learning to sign a memory verse with Kendalyn Mazur and Richard Evelyn.
   Food Pantry in Downtown Stouffville
By Jim Mason, St. James Presbyterian Church in Stouffville, Ont.
On Oct. 6, St. James Presbyterian Church in Stouffville, Ont., took its love for its community to the streets of downtown Stouffville (or at least to the sidewalk) with the unveiling of a new Little Free Pantry on the front lawn of the church.
The congregation was well aware of food security issues in the com- munity. Worshippers regularly do- nated items to the church’s dona- tion bin for the local food bank, and people in need often asked for help at the church offices. A pantry was first considered two years ago when the congregation looked at plans to de- velop the empty lot St. James owns
deliver the material needed to build the pantry—free of charge. A local family, the Dekkers, offered to build it—at no charge. Within two weeks, the Little Free Pantry was being in- stalled on the church lawn by vol- unteers. As they worked, passersby stopped to ask how they could sup- port the project. Amazing.
The mayor, ward councillor, and representatives from the local food bank and other service organiza- tions, including Stouffville churches, attended the unveiling. The youth of the congregation filled the pantry with food donations. The hope is that
the pantry will manage itself—as items are taken, they will be replaced by residents in the community.
Want your own Little Free Pantry? Start here: The website includes the plans, material list and cutting guide used by St. James Presbyterian Church. There are also photo galleries, shopping suggestions, tips on locating your site and maps showing existing pantries.

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