We want to be a church that serves our community and world in practical ways that make a difference.
We believe that God calls us to lives of surprising generosity, both as individuals and as a church. Jesus taught us to "love your neighbour as yourself." The early church was known for its good deeds and programs to care for widows, orphans, and the poor. We look for ways to contribute to our community and the world we live in. It is not enough to provide spiritual education and worship services, we want to make a tangible difference in our community.
There are three ways we live out this value of giving back to our community:
1. We encourage individuals to find ways to serve their neighbours, both by volunteering with local organizations, and by engaging in acts of kindness in their own social networks. A very large percentage of our members lead or serve as members of volunteer teams that run community meals and a food bank through The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation. Others volunteer with The Door Youth Centre, Muskoka Literacy, Muskoka Seniors, Christine's Place, Habitat for Humanity, and many others. We highly value these individual acts of volunteerism and service!
2. We plan opportunities to come together and serve in the community as a large group a few times each year. We try to include tasks for skilled and unskilled, adult and child, so we can all serve together. We also encourage our small groups to engage in acts of generosity every Christmas, as well as throughout the year. We have supported projects such as foreign mission and relief trips as well.
Past projects we have been involved in include:
- Trail cleanup and maintenance at Arrowhead Provincial Park
- A large "makeover" project at The Door Youth Centre
- Spring yard cleaning at Chrysalis women's shelter
- Supporting work at a school in Haiti
- Maintenance and household projects for individuals in need
- Providing financial gifts and equipment to other church plants
- Construction work at the Table Men's Shelter
- Contributing to a well in Haiti
- Supporting charitable work in Costa Rica
- Supporting families at Christmas
- Collecting backpacks and school supplies for local kids
- Working on Habitat for Humanity builds
3. We offer support to and work with partner groups in our community as a church, including:
The Door Youth Centre provides a safe place for at-risk teens to hang out most Friday and Saturday nights. In addition to these drop-ins, Huntsville Youth for Christ offers The Ugly Couch Club, a seeker-friendly Bible study for teens, as well as Project Serve, regular projects to engage youth in acts of service locally, in our province, and internationally.
The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation offers two weekly community meals as well as a large food bank open three times per week. Monday meals are held at Trinity United Church, and Thursdays at St. Andrews Presbyterian, both at 5:30 p.m.
A men's shelter is scheduled to open in 2016.
The Muskoka Bridges project is an effort spearheaded by YWCA Muskoka that is working to implement principle outlined in "Bridges Out of Poverty" in order to provide a lasting path out of generational and situational poverty in Muskoka.