Story provided by Jedediah Gorham, Pastor at Eau Claire EMC

The congregation of Eau Claire EMC, near Mattawa, ON, and the Township of Calvin Firefighters partnered to bring new hope and some cheer into the lives of a community family who lost their home to a fire in October. The church decided to use their annual Christmas Banquet at the Calvin Community Centre as a fundraiser. The organizers quickly realized that with the Community Centre’s capacity being only about 120, they would need two seatings for dinner. A couple of Mattawa musicians, along with Dane and Winter Gorham from the church provided the evening’s music.

The night overflowed with God’s blessings. Over 200 people from Calvin township and surrounding towns came out for the dinner. The event was a success, from the organization of the event, to smooth and efficient food service, down to the church and community volunteers working side by side in and out of the kitchen. Best of all they were able to present a sizeable cash donation, and many personal envelopes given to encourage the family.

Pastor Jed Gorham took a few minutes to talk about both the Grinch, and the Gospel just prior to the serving of a ham and turkey dinner with all the trimmings. In telling about the evening he said the following: “There were lots of great conversations and questions asked about who we are and what we believed as a church. The whole church team had a chance to share a bit of the answer. We did what Jesus asked us to; we helped our neighbours, and were a blessing together as we partnered with others in our community.” Pastor Jed went on to point out that this event was not an end, but only a beginning. “We’re asking the Holy Spirit to lead and equip us. We look forward to seeing what God brings us in the way of community involvement and relationship building. Overall, our prayer is that Christ will be revealed through the entire Body of Christ as we follow Jesus together.”