Church community adapting to serve Mississaugas of the Credit during pandemic

MISSISSAUGAS OF THE CREDIT — A local church on Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation has been finding creative ways to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic while still reaching out to serve their community.

Ken and Sonya Sault, who lead the ministry at New Credit Fellowship Centre, have brought their congregation together during the provincial lockdown by hosting through drive-in church services in the parking lot and home food delivery through their church-run Food Share program.

“During this time, our team has worked hard to maintain a safe place while keeping our doors open through our drive-in and outdoor services and adapting virtually via our live streamed services,” said Sault.

Ministry driven initiatives across the province are a niche of essential community services that have had to adapt through the pandemic to ensure the people who need them most, often in the throws of a crisis, can still reach out.

“We have noticed that the need has tripled during the lockdown measures which began in March 2020, including increased mental health supports, addictions, and suicide crisis prevention,” said Sault.

The Fellowship Centre offers regular outreach services to the community — including regular visits to Iroquois Lodge, youth groups and bereavement support — all of which had to be adapted to cooperate with pandemic protections and lockdown measures. In First Nations communities, where community needs often exceed the funding provided by the federal government for essential services, community organizations like the New Credit Fellowship Centre can fill the gap.

Now the Sault’s ministry is adapting, offering virtual outreach where they can and providing contactless food supports to the community.

“Being an active resource in our communities has always been our heart. New Credit Fellowship Centre exist to extend a helping hand to anyone that would benefit from our outreaches & supports,” said Sault.

Those supports include providing sanitary supplies and food relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Food Share or any of our programs are open to anyone. We are also open to any food item donations, including fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and eggs to further benefit those who need it. It’s our greatest honour to serve our community, we are always available with 24 hour support,” said Sault.

Sault says they are now planning for the future to ensure the services they provide to Mississaugas will be able to grow.

“We are currently working to build a new facility to house our growing outreaches, and have plans to build a youth centre and an outdoor bandshell to continue to gather safety outside no matter the weather or circumstance,”said Sault.

Anyone interested in getting assistance through the Food Share program at the New Credit Fellowship Centre can contact the church on their Facebook page @NewCreditFellowshipCentre. Folks can also view the live-streamed drive-in service at the same page every Sunday at 10:30 a.m..

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