Pastor Leon Fontaine
November, 1962 – November, 2022
This declaration has been prayed over our church for many years, and the power of these words are still felt today. This was also the mindset that epitomized the attitude and devotion Pastor Leon had for life.
When Leon & Sally first stepped foot into Springs in 1994, no one could foresee what God had in store. As they committed themselves to building His church and developing leaders, Springs took a trajectory that literally saw it become a city on a hill for so many. Springs wasn’t just a church; it became home.
Leon’s genuine love for people, and passion to teach them God’s Word was unmistakable in all he did. His ability to take the timeless message of the Gospel and communicate it in a way that spoke to people right where they were was foundational for what we now know as Spirit Contemporary; being full of God’s Spirit, yet relevant to times we live in. His devotion to the Word, his family, and building the church has created a lasting legacy of faith and love.
Words fail to express our gratitude for Pastor Leon, and the heritage he created. And if we had to summarize the core of his message, we’d have to use his own words:
“One of my favourite verses in the Bible is John 10:10, which I slightly paraphrase as something like this:
‘Jesus came so we could get a life!’.
It’s time that we stop living boring, safe little Christian lives and start thinking differently about God, about life, and about ourselves.”
Pastor Leon Fontaine
Live the life that God intended for you!
Download our special devotional brochure and join us as we prepare our mind and our heart for this year’s Heart for the House offering!
After nearly 2 full years of not having kids in regular classes, 2022 was the year we were able to welcome kids back into our “normal” programs. It was a year of some stability after constantly changing up how we did church, but we didn’t let the stability stop us from being creative and starting new ways of doing things.
After nearly 2 full years without our regular kids’ classes, we were able to start back up in March of 2022 welcoming all our kids back into regular classes. We had moved Grade 1’s over to G Force during the end of 2021 and we decided to keep them at G Force going forward. They were SO excited to be at the 725 building and have time to play in the zone, along with lessons in the huge auditorium at that building.
In 2022, we also made one of the biggest changes we’ve ever made in G Force. With the growing number of kids every week, we split the grades 1-3 kids separate from the grades 4-6 kids and started doing two separate services more specifically gauged towards their age group. This allowed kids to make deeper connections and make friends with other kids their age, as well as brought a more personal feeling even to our largest service that averages over 200 kids in one class! We heard stories from parents and kids of the younger and older ages about the children wanting to come to G Force when in the past they felt like they were not enjoying it as much because of just how many kids there were in the class. Our volunteers went through months of tweaking and adjusting as we learned how to pull off 6 services in one Sunday, but they have done an amazing job and make every child feel known and loved, accepted, and forgiven.
We had 996 first time guests enter our programs throughout the year. Many families were so excited to check out the classes as their kids had already loved Drive-in Church and Springs Kids online, but hadn’t been able to attend a class in person yet.
Even when coming back in person, we knew there were still families watching online, as well as families who loved being able to have Springs Kids right in their home if they missed church for any reason. We continued to produce and put out weekly content for our kids, throughout the year we had 24,446 views of our videos, accumulated over 3,000 watch time hours, and we increased our subscribers by nearly 50% since 2021!
What started as a way for families to attend church together quickly became a weekly staple for many people in our congregation. We continued running Family Experience every Wednesday night and have seen parents meeting other parents, kids building relationships with each other and their leaders, as well as getting families to start faith-based discussions they can take home with them to deepen their faith. We averaged nearly 100 people in attendance every week.
GRADE 5&6 HANGOUT NIGHTS
For the past 4+ years, we have focused on providing a space for our preteen kids who are about to move on to youth in the next year or two, even moving online when we couldn’t be together in person. Being able to gather again allowed us to create hangouts and services for this age group that was exclusively for them. These “too cool for G Force” preteens became entirely different kids when they were able to have a space that is their own. Not only did we get back to having hangout nights, we listened to the feedback from the kids and adjusted our time together to be more of what they were excited to invite their friends to. Trying out new things and bringing in special activities just for them, this allowed the preteens to be themselves and deepen their connection with God, their peers, and their leaders. These nights include wild games and activities, small group discussion time, devotions, and of course, yummy snacks!
Our Youth ministry witnessed explosive growth this year! With Youth fully back in action, we were thrilled to reinstate our weekly services, drawing a wave of new students into our community.
Our attendance skyrocketed almost doubling this year. Witnessing numerous newcomers embrace the church experience and develop a deep connection with Jesus was truly awe-inspiring.
Naturally, our increased size presented new challenges, but as time passed, we adapted, making necessary adjustments to ensure our gatherings ran smoothly and maintained the highest safety standards.
We also welcomed a slew of enthusiastic volunteers throughout the year, and we’re excited about the prospect of continued growth. Our Youth Small Groups made a return and have been more successful than ever, seeing almost more than double the attendance.
The students’ passion for our Youth program is evident in the fervor of their worship and their wholehearted engagement. We eagerly anticipate what the coming year holds for us and our outstanding volunteer team!
To look back at 2022 is to look back at a monumental year.
In both Calgary and Winnipeg, our teams were stretched and took the opportunity for growth on every level. More than ever, our hearts became fixed, rooted and planted in God’s house and together we flourished. While the song “Firm Foundation” became a favourite song for our church body, the declaration meant everything to our Music volunteers. This year, building God’s house for future generations of worshippers became our singular foremost line in the sand.
Being on the worship team has given our volunteers a place they call home; a place where they belong and are able to bring their heart for worship to both in-person and around the world services. New volunteers have even been added to our team from around the world having first experienced Springs from online church and declared “this church is going to be my church”.
Our heartbeat in 2022, has been that of rehearsing and recording worship and coming together to grow and develop in our gifts and it has meant everything to us. Our volunteers put in countless hours each week both at home and as a part of Sunday services. Through the past months the volunteers have prepared over 20 special numbers for celebration days like Valentine’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, Multicultural Sunday, Remembrance Day and of course Christmas. This year, one special number that stood out far above all the rest were the combined efforts of our Calgary and Winnipeg teams’ preparation of “Build Your Church”. This was being prepared for “Heart for the House” final Sunday. Weeks in advance we began the work of putting together this powerful declaration. We recorded audio and video and prepared the song for our live version of combined locations for Sunday November 20. As it turned out, only God could have known, that on that Sunday of “Heart for the House”, our general, leader and Senior Pastor would be in Heaven. As we sang the song in our services, our faith and worlds would never be the same. The volunteers sang with such deep, impactful conviction that there was no doubt we would move forward with God as our strength. God is with us and we will not fail. With “Christmas at Springs” recordings and rehearsals well underway, we carried the vision of making Christmas 2022 one that we would never forget. Recordings for Christmas came as early as October 13, 2022!
We can say with a deep confidence that 2022 has seen our team of volunteers really press into both the Word and worship. There is no denying the passion for worship both in our music volunteers and in our church. It has been exciting to see the church increase and together we stand firmly fixed, immovable and unshaken by circumstances and situations. Truly, the best is yet to come.
When we were allowed back inside our facilities for services, our Service Teams had to quickly get back into action. We were so thankful for the volunteers that quickly jumped back in on a moments notice. Within weeks, we had a couple hundred greeters, ushers, security and parking in our services helping those attending in any way they could. It was truly a team effort.
Our Sports teams provided a much-needed community building outlet. From pickleball, soccer (indoor and outdoor), volleyball, indoor floor hockey, basketball, co-ed ice hockey and baseball; Springs Sports was exciting to be a part of the fun aspect of our church experience!
With the addition of our outdoor Pickleball courts painted on the outdoor hockey rink surface we were able to continue this fun (very popular sport) year-round.
Throughout 2022, we continued to open our Winnipeg Café during the week to give our families, guests and surrounding community an opportunity to meet. It also gave our SCA parents a place to talk and grab a coffee before dropping off or picking up their children from school.
In addition, we offered Café lunches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which were very successful, and we hosted Friday Night on the Patio along with a food truck to add to the atmosphere. Our Winnipeg Café was such a great resource for people to build friendships and do life together throughout the week.
Every Sunday, all our Cafés opened up and were filled with people visiting throughout the day. They provided a welcoming atmosphere for those wanting to relax and connect with family and friends. The energy each Sunday was incredible. We loved being such a significant part of creating the atmosphere and culture of our church. We enjoyed seeing more and more people connecting with one another in our lounges.
As a Hospitality Team, we also had the opportunity to assist in hosting many different events from Men’s Breakfasts, College graduations, Ladies Bible Studies, Kingdom Builder events, Worship nights, Volunteer Training nights, 20 Somethings nights and many other events. Our church is brimming full of life and events. We are so excited for what’s to come!
SPRINGS ZOOM GROUPS
Our Springs Zoom Groups were formed as a creative way for people to stay connected throughout the year. We wanted to bring people together to continue building relationships and provide an opportunity to go much deeper into God’s Word together. 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 the Sunday message.
Our Acts of Kindness ministry was started in order to help those less fortunate and in need of furniture for their homes. Over the past several years, there have been so many people desperately in need. Thanks to the many furniture donations we receive, we can deliver to many homes in need. 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 is able to do that in a HUGE way!
Watoto and Love India
During the year we were able to send financial support to our incredible Missions – Watoto in Uganda and Love India in India.
Throughout the year, there were many people trying to make ends meet but when they just couldn’t, we had groceries available to help take them through to the next paycheque.
At Springs, we’re excited to support Miracle Channel in its mission to help people all over the world grow closer to Jesus. Broadcasting 24/7, Miracle Channel impacts many who ‘happen’ across it, often in the middle of a sleepless night that is filled with fear, depression or grief. Miracle Channel is like a light shining in the darkest night, saying “Hope is here!” Miracle Channel is the only television station that provides 24 hour access to Biblical teaching in Canada, and their role in bringing the truth of God’s Word to a hurting world is vitally important. For many remote Northern communities, Miracle Channel is the only source of Christian teaching and discipleship.
Everything we do at Springs Inner City has the same end goal in mind. It is to lead people into a real relationship with Jesus and to empower people to live beyond the circumstances they see all around them. We do this through our food programs, kids/youth services, and Sunday church service.
Every Wednesday morning, we serve a community breakfast and teach a message specifically designed to help people overcome whatever situation they’re struggling with. On Thursdays we have over 500 families that we help monthly with groceries through our food bank. In addition, we help between 15-20 families with emergency food hampers each week. We have approximately 190 kids and 130 teens that are a part of our Friday Night Kids Klub and Youth program. We are reshaping our inner city by mentoring and disciplining the next generation and are seeing incredible changes in whole family units. Location is key when it comes to our Sunday services. Almost no one in our congregation has vehicles, so we bring our life giving, Spirit Contemporary message right to their neighborhood. Springs Inner City has continued to be a vital lifeline for many families in our community.
Every week we hear stories from people. Here are just a few from the past 3 months:
“I’ve been attending service for the past 4 weeks now, and WOW! I have never been more connected with God and my faith than I am now. Thank you for being so welcoming and loving. I look forward to Sundays!”
“I have come today as I was drawn here, never came for a service but my younger kids joined Kids Klub. I have been born again since 2017. God has changed my life around. After a separation despite our challenges, I gave my heart to God. I needed to hear the message today as I am praying for my 15-year-old daughter to come home and back to Jesus.”
“I just started coming this past month to church and the people are so amazing. Thanks for everything you do.”
“My sister-in-law was diagnosed with a horrible cancer with a poor expectancy. She went to multiple Dr.’s who all came to the same diagnosis. I put in a prayer request. Days later she had a follow up appointment with her surgeon. He said she doesn’t have cancer and it’s something non-life threatening that just looks like cancer.”
“One of our teens, who’s been coming out to our Friday night youth service for years, started coming to church on Sundays, bringing her dad out with her. He said that since coming to church, things have begun to change in his life. He said he felt peace for the first time in dealing with a difficult family situation. This young lady, her brother, and dad were all baptized together in March.”
“We spoke with a lady at food bank who said that last year, one of our volunteers had prayed with her for her son. Her son was struggling with a drug addiction at the time. She told us that her son is now 9 months clean, has a baby, and him and his wife are now looking for a house. She emphasized that she wanted our church to know what an impact that prayer made!”
“A man dropped by the church recently on a Wednesday afternoon. We hadn’t seen him in over 10 years. He said he came to our Friday Night Youth group as a young teen and it completely changed the trajectory of his life. He said that he came from a really rough background. All of the friends that he had at the time now have a criminal record, got involved in gangs and selling drugs. He is the only one that didn’t end up in the same place. He said that was all because people at Springs Inner City got involved in his life and were in his corner when he needed it most. He just wanted us to know what a difference we made and say thank you.”
Throughout the year, we were excited to have our Springs Park available once again.
For the winter, our grounds were decorated in thousands of lights to create a beautiful winter wonderland atmosphere and for fun, we had two outdoor skating rinks, and a giant ice slide ready for family activities! There were families coming many evenings to hang out and spend time together.
What an incredible college year! This exciting program not only provides students (ages 18-25) with the information they need to be successful in life but also provided an incredible environment for them to personally change their lives to become who God has planned for them to be. During the school year the students participated in Biblical Studies and Leadership and Management classes to help them build a solid foundation in God’s Word, their leadership skill set and lasting relationships within the team. We had such an action-packed year once again! It is always exciting to see these young adults more prepared to impact the world we live in with the hope of Jesus.
Our Leadership Level 1 and 2 programs, were very successful once again this year. These programs gave people from all walks of life the building blocks they need to develop their leadership skills. Being taught in a Spirit Contemporary way, they provided students with a strong foundation in leadership that they can apply both in their local church and in the marketplace. Every Tuesday evening, students attended select courses that built their leadership and knowledge in finance, management, relationships and the Bible. We always look forward to these programs growing each and every year.
Biblical Studies 1 and 2 were very successful once again. It was such a joy to celebrate with our graduates in June. We continually endeavour to train and equip our church to walk and share in God’s abundant life. These programs enabled the students to delve deeper into biblical truths and lead them on a journey of increased knowledge and understanding helping them to take their relationship with God to much higher levels. We believe that Springs College will continue to develop great leaders within the church and equip people to excel in family and career!
SPRINGS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
What a wonderful year we have had ensuring our students received an excellent education.
Our School Theme was, Unshaken. “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7.
New online hot lunch program called MunchaLunch. It has allowed us to move to 4 days of hot lunch at the elementary and 3 days at the middle/high campus.
New online admissions program through SchoolAdmin. This program has made the process quicker for our current families and allowed us to collect accurate and comprehensive information. This has helped us communicate more effectively with potential new families.
Teacher, Luke Lazaruk, kicked off our new business program through JA Canada. 12 students from Gr 9-12 were selected and started a business where they created soy, naturally scented candles. They received many compliments from event organizers at the efficiency of our student group. Their business flourished with a finale sales event at the church.
Chapel continues to be a highlight at SCA. In December, we were able to gather as a WHOLE school chapel and what a blessing it was to see our students worshiping God together, and having our High School students present the message to our younger students. Before the chapel we enjoyed carolling together outside around circle drive.
Volleyball: SCA began the year with a great volleyball season. We had two Grade 7/8 girls’ teams (one competitive, one exhibition), one Grade 7/8 boys’ team, one varsity girls’ team, and one varsity boys’ team. All teams competed in their respective leagues and made much progress. The Grade 7/8 girls’ ended up in 2nd place, the Grade 7/8 boys came in 4th place. Both varsity teams lost in their semi-final match which would have propelled them toward possible provincial qualification.
Golf: In September, SCA entered 5 athletes in the Zone 12 golf tournament, one placing fourth and one qualifying for provincials.
Curling: Curling ran for three months, with one full boys’ team and one developmental girls’ team. The boys’ team placed fourth in the zone playoffs and first in the ‘closest to the button’ competition.
Soccer: SCA had one boy’s indoor soccer team (with two girls on the team) compete in the Winnipeg Youth Soccer Association from Sept-March. In this league, Springs played against various teams (even 4A teams, which are the biggest schools in the city), and placed third overall in their potential playoff standings. Outdoor soccer begins shortly and Springs will once again enter a boys’ team (with additional female athletes).
Basket ball: We also had a great season of basketball this year. There was great interest from our students, especially in Grades 6-8. One of our two Grade 7 boys’ teams, our Grade 8 boys’ team, and our Grade 7/8 girls’ team competed in playoffs to finish off their league play. Our varsity boys’ team had a great year, with athletes from Grades 9-12 playing. The team ended their league games by winning their playoff against Immanuel Christian and then competing in a provincial qualifier tournament.
Badminton: We had boys’ and girls’ teams running from grades 7-12.
Mini Soccer: At the elementary level we had mini soccer and mini basketball for Grades 4-5 students. We will also had a running club.
Our sporting year ended with track and field events, where our Gr 4-6 students will get an opportunity to compete in the Christian schools meet and our Gr 7-12 will compete in Zone 12, with potential to make provincials.
Our middle school continued to incorporate and improve on our Flex program, where our students had the opportunity to explore woodworking, dance, robotics, foods, low-organized games, outdoor ed, curling/bowling, mobile photography, music tech, and our fun and engaging English program, ‘Language is Lit’.
We have been able to incorporate our outreach, Spiritual retreats and trips back into the program, including our Grade 12 Camp Cedarwood retreat, Grade 11 Roseau River retreat, Gr 8 -12 Ski Trip, Gr 5 Winkler Bible Camp and Grade 7/8 Cedarwood retreat. Our high school students were also able to do a community outreach, where they went off campus to shovel for some of the neighbours in need. Recently, our Grade 4 and 10 classes visited Inner City where they were able to help out with the Foodbank. In May, our grades 8-10 students went on a Memphis Civil Rights Tour Trip.
We held our annual Christmas Market fundraiser which was well attended. This is always a highlight to our community that offsets the costs to SCA.
The production of “Straight Outta Bethlehem”, SCA’s 2022 Elementary Christmas Concert went great. We had 1,121 guests in attendance (plus 451 Preschool-Grade 5 students and 58 staff = total 1,630 in attendance). We sold student-made decorations to help fundraise for our concert.
We finished our Inner City Toy Drive at the elementary campus and brought in $451.00 and 197 gifts. Our middle/high school Food Drive brought in 565 lbs of food. Our Kindergarten class facilitated a Mitts + Toque Drive, and was very successful, as well as Grade 1 facilitated a “Watoto Toes” fundraiser in November, raising $504.75. We had a great month during “I Love to Read” Month. Our SCA families donated 1,367 books to SCA and Springs Inner City. During Healthy Schools month at the elementary, we also did another Food Drive for our inner city families to fill up their Foodbank and brought in 807 food items and $150. Our middle/high school campus raised $2,238.15 for Watoto in November. The elementary also did a Walk for Watoto to help fundraise the final amount for our 8 Watoto Sponsor Children.
In December, the annual SCA Youth Parliament was a rewarding experience for our students, who had been preparing for months for this moment. We were able to invite various MLAs and had a number show up in person.
During the winter, our students were able to take advantage of our beautiful winter wonderland at Springs Park, including skating at both rinks and tobogganing and hiking along our trail.
In February, we were excited to once again have our Festival Du Voyageur at the elementary campus. We had dog sleds, taffy, snow showing, bannock, leg wrestling, pea soup, crafts, and tobogganing.
Grade 1-2 Garage Sale and Grade 3-5 market was another big event at the elementary campus, a great way to practice math in a practical setting, as well as stewardship, and self-control. The kids had a blast going from room to room, learning how to budget their money, and how to make change!
Our 4-5 French students participated in Concours d’art oratoire, where 6 of our students will be participating provincially.
Spirit Week at our mid/high school was packed with exciting activities, bringing in an inflatable gladiator arena, the Biology game, on top of the other fun in-house events.
We finished our year off strong with our Preschool and Grade 12 Graduation, as well as our two awards programs. We were very excited to have a picnic party on the last day of school to help build school community.
SCA is growing. Our new three-room addition at the end of the east wing will be finished by the end of this school year and Gr 3 will be moving in for the upcoming year. We can’t wait to see the start of our new School building in the year to come.
We are so thankful for our SCA Families and all of the support our parents and guardians have given us throughout this year. We look forward to another strong year in 2023-2024.