*All images below were taken with the appropriate Covid precautions at the time
Message from Pastors Leon and Sally
2020 – what a year!
Thinking back, we are reminded of some of the big decisions we had to make last March, as the world began to shut down.
Do we close our doors? Do we lay off the staff? Do we hunker down and wait until it was safe to come out? The resounding answer that rose up in our spirits was……
It was Pastors Leon & Sally’s vision and the brilliance of our staff and volunteers who brought to life this new way of doing church.
Whenever there is adversity, there is always opportunity. And we quickly switched focus and went online. We ramped up all of our virtual content.
Our passion to bring hope into people’s homes was our high priority. Building what would be a strong and necessary culture of “Faith over Fear.”
Church online and the Drive-In instantly became a lifeline for people. It gave them such hope and peace amidst the fear and uncertainty they saw everywhere else.
Sunday, March 15
Our first cancellation of "in person" services
Sunday, March 29
First day of our
Drive-In Church services
Opened up our 725 Sanctuary for worship
Started our Saturday night Drive-In services.
Started with three projector screens.
Upgraded to one massive LED screen.
That screen transformed Drive-In Church, allowing us to do multiple services on Sundays. But we couldn’t keep renting it for months and months. So we gave out the call, and the givers at Springs came through. Within months, we moved from renting to owning our own 30 ft. LED screen!
We are amazed by the givers at Springs. We have many stories of how people would drive to our property during the lockdown just so they could give. They could’ve easily donated online, but there was something special–something faith-filled–about driving onto our property and physically turning in their giving envelopes.
By creatively thinking of ways for people to stay connected and go deeper into God’s Word through these lock-downs, we created
SPRINGS ZOOM GROUPS
A Springs Zoom Group is a small community of people who connect weekly online. Because people are unique, every group is unique, and the intent of each one is to make great friendships, support one another, and grow in the Word as the groups discuss Pastor Leon’s Sunday message. We couldn’t let physical distance keep us from meeting and growing together as a church family.
First Zoom Group Meeting
ONLINE FAMILY PARTIES
When lockdowns started across all of our sites and we couldn’t gather in person, we hosted online parties for families to enjoy from their own home with games, worship, and Spirit Contemporary lessons.
These provided Bible based content for kids at every age through online platforms.
Our Calgary Springs Kids collected approx. 250 shoeboxes, in December, for Operation Christmas Child and our shoebox event was a success, we even had people from other churches bringing their shoe boxes to help.
What a different year 2020 was.
We were in and out of youth because of restrictions but we were still able to bring out regular youth even in the midst of Covid-19.
In June, we were able to open the Friday night zone café for youth to gather. This is awesome, considering the fear and anxiety out there for covid, our youth weren’t phased by it.
Then our youth groups moved online and saw hundreds of views each week.
With us not needing volunteers the same way it was very cool to see our youth volunteers in other places helping the church wherever they could.
During the time we’ve seen a pretty huge response to the teens missing youth. If anything this year was more of a reminder to them to not take youth for granted. They probably won’t ever take it that way again.
From the first cancellation of our “in-person” services on March 15th, the Music teams in Calgary, Winnipeg and Steinbach volunteers all came together and within 2 short weeks put together and recorded several worship sets to bring to our online church.
The music team, with the help of Media (of course), put together Music that would impact people around the world. Everything was a new experience for our Music volunteers as they navigated what was involved in taking our Springs Music teams across the globe for the first time ever.
As restrictions were announced, our service teams worked hard to put in place systems to do church differently.
- We measured out parking lots to get max. car parking spaces
- We started Drive-In church using only 10 staff to volunteer. Weeks later we were able to add our volunteers back into the schedule.
We started Indoor services allowing us to involve many volunteers from our greeter and usher teams.
We started Saturday Night services – our teams were eager to be involved and help pull off both Drive-In and 725 Lagimodiere services.
Our service teams are full of fun, energy and always ready to welcome you to the weekend services with a smile.
We would have had messy, traffic jammed lots if it wasn’t for our incredible Service Team volunteers.
While so many churches remain closed, our 6 coffee shops with their individual restaurant licenses allowed us to remain open. Again, only God could have known what our church needed in 2020 in order to stay healthy and strong.
Our goal throughout the Covid season is to find ways to bring people together and to create community when we are together. Being together and bringing joy and hope to people is making a difference in so many people’s lives. So as the government makes changes that affect our ministry, we find new ways to continue to bring people together.
Some of the events we ran were Super bowl, Family Fun day, Hospitality volunteer appreciation breakfast. These were great events for connecting people.
April was a very different month! All our Staff worked from home but we still wanted to connect with our amazing teams. Our Pastors and ministry leaders spent hours each week making sure to connect and pray for our volunteers. We also created a volunteer appreciation video to stay connected to our teams.
Our café patios proved to be a prefect place to host volunteer hang out groups, zoom groups on the patio while we were still closed inside. We quickly supplied heaters to keep everyone warm in the cool evenings. We also brought in Food trucks every Friday night to add to the atmosphere and fun.
We opened our outdoor patio everyday from morning to evening and for the first time since we originally opened the coffee shops, we opened our cafe doors to the public 7 days a week.
Our indoor cafés opened to 25% capacity. People could now sit inside! On our patios, we hosted classroom time for SCA so the kids could meet in person and also the pre school graduation. We opened Toronto lounge to host our 20 something events and Grade 5 and 6 events.
- With the increase of group size allowance and 50% indoor cafe capacity we were able to hold Canada Day celebration, puzzle nights, trivia night, live music on the patio, ladies nights, Men’s breakfasts, Selkirk and Steinbach lunches.
- We started serving lunches during the week to encourage people to the café during the day. Friday nights continued to be our fun gathering nights with music, food trucks, and games for the kids…
- We saw our awesome team build 3 shelters with barbecues and we began hosting birthday parties for anyone who wanted to use our outdoor shelters. It was an amazing way for our church family to invite guests to hang out in a safe fun environment. We heard many stories of people being blown away by what we provided for them. It was a special way to help families celebrate together in a time of isolation.
- Hosted bigger gatherings like family gatherings and fun groups (singles group, ladies motorcycle group…).
- With the colder weather, we opened an indoor service at 725 and opened up some of our kids classes so we would have room for everyone inside.
- We hosted an outdoor Halloween Scavenger hunt with Mascots, princesses, free hot chocolate and lots of candy. Despite the snow and cold wind, hundreds of families participated in our outdoor activity.
Friday / Saturday Nights events planned (games and contests) were a huge hit
We added Friday night drive-in movies
Our Acts of Kindness ministry continually grew throughout 2020. We started this ministry in order to help those less fortunate and in need of furniture for their homes. Throughout the pandemic, there were so many people desperately in need. Thanks to the incredible amount of furniture we received from hotels, businesses, etc., we were able to deliver to 80 homes throughout the year. It is always such an amazing blessing to be able to bring comfort, joy and peace to people in need. Our Acts of Kindness ministry was able to do that in a HUGE way!
Winter Wonderland is a place that puts smiles on kids’ faces, that encourages the laughter of grandmas and grandpas, and brings peace to the broken and fearful.
Throughout the November and December months, our build team started building an amazing Winter wonderland with a lit-up walking trail, skating rinks and toboggan run. With the beautiful weather between Christmas and New Years, our evenings were filled with families skating and taking walks on the beautiful trail. Our desire was to create a place where joy and laughter could be heard again.
• Throughout January and February, our classes ran as normal. We started our Days in the Sun (Spring Break Day camp) preparation and all our regular classes took place as planned.
• Our team also prepped and helped run our Family Fun Day event.
• March proved to be very different though. Due to the MB Health restrictions, students were sent home and had to take their courses online. They did incredible in staying caught up with assignments and keeping the team on the right track.
• May – We were able to come back to class in person and start planning for grad. It was so good to be back!
• In June, we were able to do Grad in our Zone, it was amazing to be able to do it in person!!
• We had a great turn out and it went extremely well even in the midst current circumstances.
• September was the start of our new college year! We were excited that the team this year is larger than we have had in several years.
• We were able to have all our courses live and can definitely see how it has impacted the team to be able to be at the building and do courses and applied aspects of the program.
• In October, we were able to help with many different areas for the Winter Wonderland. It was great for us to be involved with such an impactful part of Springs Church.
• Throughout the rest of the year, we were able to participate in many different ministry areas from evangelism, Inner City visitation and Foodbank, to working in other area’s such as our Spring Christian Academy chapels.
• In December, our team was blessed to be helping get the Christmas Hampers ready. We did the most Hampers we have ever done in one year!
• We also added something new this year – Our own College Chapel. It was great having an hour of Worship time together as a team and having a few of our staff come and lead them in what worship is. We ended this time together with a call for those who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit!
• What an incredible year! Even through all the restrictions and shutdowns we were able to speak into these students lives and help guide them into their next season of life.
We started the New Year off with our regular in-class courses. However, in March, due to restrictions we had to stop our in-class Leadership Level 1, 2 & Biblical Studies 1, 2 classes. Video links were sent to each student each week. The students were amazing at staying caught up with their sessions.
Mid-April, we asked all our Part-time students to set up a zoom account and be prepared to attend a few of the classes online.
May we were able to have our first Biblical Studies class via Zoom. We also created online exams.
As the café patios were open in June, we were able to celebrate our Continuing Ed Grads with a Grad get together on the Toronto Patio. It was a great finish to the year!
SPRINGS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
learned, grown and gone above and beyond to offer a safe and fun education over this past year.
our school was able to put together packages and send them home immediately so we did not miss any school allowing for a seamless transition into on-line learning.
Our staff continued to go above and beyond to teach our students online from March – June.
(at the Coffee Shops) to allow our students to see their teachers and friends at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
our 2019-2020 year with virtual awards days, drop and pick up days outside, as well as a Drive-In Grade 12 Graduation celebration.
in-school learning for all Kindergarten – Grade 12 students the entire time, when most schools have had to go to a part time model due to space issues. We have always been able to spread out 6 feet apart.
all students to wear masks, we have not made that a mandate because we are able to maintain physical distancing.
weren’t offering remote learning to all grades, or were limiting who could use the option, we chose to offer it to all of our families to give them the option to learn from home. We believe it is important to allow parents to choose how their child is educated.
allowing our school to celebrate our students and build community.
a Drive-In Christmas concert with help from our high school students in the area of recording.