Holiday spirit remains at Niagara Worship Centre, despite COVID-19

·2 min read

People were lined up at the door on Christmas Eve for Niagara Worship Centre’s 27th annual holiday dinner and gift giveaway.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Niagara Worship planned a dinner and gift giveaway for approximately 500 people.

Lead pastor Tim Klassen said he wanted people to remember the day should be a reminder that a church’s role is to give.

“We’re doing this because we want to serve our community and make sure that people know that this is what the church does,” said Klassen. “Our congregation isn’t here just for church services; we’re here to serve those in need, those who are lonely.”

Approximately 50 volunteers showed up at the Niagara Falls church.

Klassen said everybody who attended would receive a cooked and then chilled turkey dinner and gifts — adults to children and everybody in between.

Recipients of the meal and gifts could have received it two ways: in person, at the church or by bus delivery.

Klassen said, “we’re putting the food and gifts on the bus, and we’re going to the bus stops, and we’re just going to be giving them their food and gifts on site.”

Rebeccas Hare, event co-ordinator for the annual Christmas Eve event, said it’s a different year because of pandemic restrictions.

“Trying to keep on top of their ever-changing regulations and rules was hard,” said Hare. “Making sure we’re following all safety standards and guidelines and still being able to reach out.

She said organizers wanted to include an emotional component, and wanted to have personal connection with the people who came for the food.

“People need hope, and there’s just a cry for help in the community and the whole world right now,” she said. “It’s just so awesome to be able just to shed some love and hope.”

Klassen said, “we’re thrilled that we can do this amid COVID and all these regulations we’re just happy to be able to serve.”

Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: svanderklis@metroland.com

Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review