Compassionate Ministries

We believe God cares for everyone, and because of this, Jesus calls us to be His hands and feet, caring for people in need. At CSC, we care for people by providing food, clothing, skills training, community and life change opportunities for those who seek deeper connection and purpose.  

That’s what our Compassionate Ministry (soon to be Centre for the City) is all about.

You can support this cause by providing donations of food or funds to the Calgary Food Bank or the Centre Street Church at Central Campus East Entrance.

 

 

 

Covid-19 Food Ministry and Program Eligibility

We expanded our food distribution programs to include prepared meals, so we can feed more people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 including seniors, new Canadians, individuals or families facing layoffs, or with low or limited income, families with young children, and individuals with medical conditions, mental health challenges and limited access to support.

We currently have three food distribution programs in which agencies and individuals can participate:

I have a need

 

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Ready Freezer Meals

These are provided to assist partners and agencies in the meeting of food needs for their clients. Any agency working with people struggling with food insecurity can apply by emailing:

 
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Food Hampers

Hampers are provided as a depot of the Calgary Food Bank and registration can be done through them by phoning 403-253-2055. If you are referring clients to the Emergency Food Hamper Program visit: www.calgaryfoodbank.com/2020/referral-agencies/ . The church also provides hampers to people in need who may not be eligible to register through Calgary Food Bank.

Register at: or call 403 293 3900.
Location: our food bank operates out of4021 Centre Street NE-North Doors. (Wing Kei Village)
Food bank hours: Monday and Wednesday 6-730pm and Tuesday and Thursday 10-1130am

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Box Lunches

Box lunches are also distributed at 4021 Centre Street (NE-North Doors), Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-730pm. These lunches are available for anyone who is in need. Registration is not required and drop-ins are welcomed.

 

What We Do

People come to CSC’s Compassionate Ministries to receive short-term relief for basic needs and a sense of love and community. For those that wish to pursue a journey of deeper life change we work with them to build a larger plan of action that all integrates multiple dimensions of well being… skill development, job readiness, emotional and mental health, community, belonging and purpose.

Here are some of the programs and partnerships that help us do this:

Note: many of our programs have been temporarily suspended during COVID-19. Please see our section on COVID-19 Food Ministry and Program Eligibility

 

  Monday night drop-ins and monthly community meals:

Specifically designed for building connection with people in deep poverty, Monday night drop-ins and monthly meals provide a space for people to use the food bank or clothing bank and then come into our café, ‘The Well,’ to enjoy a hot drink, some games, and a listening ear.

  New Canadian Friendship Centre:

Launched by CSC in 2013 NCFC has a mission to come alongside new Canadians, offering them the support they need to transition smoothly to their new lives. NCFC offers ESL classes, sewing class, conversation classes, knitting group and opportunities to drop in for community connection at the café. Learn more at ncfcentre.com.

  Career Connection Network:

While our ministry provides support to those living in poverty, we also seek to help in ways that promote sustainability to people in need. The Career Connection Network (CCN) offers resources such as budgeting, resume writing help and job search skills to help people explore job opportunities in the city. Some are now finding employment, where previously they were without work for months or years. 

  Life Journey:

Each week food gatherings and ministries serve as potential doorways for life change as we make connections and book appointments to support emergency needs and address a desire to move beyond the “band-aid” solutions and address the deeper issues behind cycles of poverty. 

Step One: An initial assessment allows volunteers to provide short term relief for people’s practical needs. First steps are an opportunity to demonstrate more care and concern for the deeper issues. 

Step Two: Volunteers use a Life Budget approach to gain greater understanding of each person’s needs (financial, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual) so they can create an action plan to support each ‘friend’ or ‘neighbour’ more deeply and connect them to a supportive community.  

Step Three: (Compassionate Friends Program): In this program, CSC congregation members are matched with individuals in an intentional friendship and mentoring relationship as they follow their Life Budget action plan.

  Mental health partnerships:

We’ve seen a growing number of people coming with diagnosed or non-diagnosed mental health issues. Knowing CSC needed to be more intentional and equipped to serve people with mental health challenges, a collaborative partnership was established with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

We have since expanded partnerships with other organizations and people, offering expertise to walk closely with those struggling with mental health issues. This includes working with the ‘Calgary Scope Society,’ which has offered training to CSC leadership in identifying particular types of mental illnesses, and engaging with the appropriate community supports, including City of Calgary social workers and area agencies.

 

 

Centre for the City - Vision

We are expanding our ministry to marginalized communities including the ever-growing immigrant population and those in cycles of poverty.

We want to build stronger bridges between CSC, established and new partners, concerned Calgarians and people in need. We envision the Centre for the City to become a hub for mission work, serving all our campuses, ministries and the greater needs of Calgary.

The Centre for the City (currently operating as Compassionate Ministries) will enhance:

  • Food distribution and clothing programs
  • Classes for new Canadians and refugees: ESL, citizenship classes, cooking, sewing and more.
  • Career Connections: job training, interview help and resume support.

Our Centre for the City expansion plans will include:

  • Relocation and expansion of the Centre for the City into the northwest corner of Central Campus.
  • 11,077 square feet of dedicated space for serving people in need.
  • Multipurpose rooms for classes and skills training,
  • Dedicated additional space for the New Canadian Friendship Centre to support new Canadians, immigrants and refugees from throughout the city.
  • A play structure for families to connect while children play.

Our History

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          CSC history: ‘Benevolence’ approach to outreach

          Most common among churches, the benevolence model meant that when people came to the church seeking help, we reactively provided food and resources on a case by case basis. Food drives and mission work to feed the homeless were common throughout CSC history.

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          2013: New Canadian Friendship Centre is launched

          Led by Pastor Ashwin Ramani, the NCFC is launched to walk alongside new Canadians, offering them the support they need to navigate a new culture, new climate, foreign language, social isolation, job security and other challenges.

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          2015: Downturn

          More people come to CSC seeking help for their physical needs, especially food. Church leaders pray for guidance. “God shifted my thinking. We didn’t need a strategy. We needed a miracle. I prayed for mana from heaven,” says Pastor Brad Friesen.

          Calgary Food Bank comes to CSC inviting us into a partnership. “We’ll provide the food if you provide the space,” they say. Pastor Brad says, “we’re in.”

        • 2016: ‘Compassionate Ministries’ is born

          The compassionate approach is a proactive and strategic outreach model. It addresses the many dimensions that contribute to cycles of poverty - the physical, mental, emotional, community and spiritual needs of the whole person. People in need come to CSC to receive short-term relief for basic needs, before being brought into a larger plan of action called a ‘Life Budget’ or ‘Life Journey.’

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          2017: Sale of West Campus

          West Campus is sold to Chinese Christian Wing Kei Nursing Home Association. Sale proceeds are slated to fund the expansion of Central Campus to address growing demand for space for Compassionate Ministries among other CSC ministries.

          Compassionate Ministries launches Monday evening drop-in ministries, including: ‘The Well’ café, food bank, clothing bank, skills training and other classes to help people in poverty move forward in their lives.

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          2018: BUILD more room for God journey begins

          CSC launches its journey to build Northwest Campus and to expand Central Campus to increase ministry opportunities to marginalized people groups and to accommodate the growing needs of Calgarians and other ministry programs.

          Compassionate Friends program pilot is launched.

          Program connects people in the Life Budget program with mentors from the congregation, providing additional community, friendship and support

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          2019: Compassionate Ministries forms partnership with Canada Mental Health Association

          Compassionate Ministries launches Monthly Community Meals.

          Compassionate Ministries distributes 2,493 hampers and serves 1535 Monthly Community Meals. An average of 70 people per week come to ‘The Well’ café to find true community. 52 people are connected into our Career Connection Network. 200 people go through the Life Journey process to experience deeper life change.

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          2020: COVID-19 pandemic hits

          The need for food increases among Calgarians as thousands of additional families experience layoffs.

          We receive grants from the province’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Our capacity to provide even more food is increased through to March 2021.

          Our lunchbox and hot meals program is launched to serve more people struggling in the face of COVID-19.

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          2021: Downturn

          Anticipated completion of construction of the new Centre for the City, potentially in late 2021.

          Centre for the City will reopen its doors in its new larger home, potentially in early 2020.

 

UPDATES

October 9

These meals and notes of encouragement are having a huge impact!
 
Our congregation has created hundreds of notes of encouragement cards to people in need. And they keep pouring in. See how these cards and these meals are having an impact on people’s lives.
 

 
Keep them coming church! For more information about how you can submit a note of encouragement visit www.cschurch.ca/notes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Connect with us

This is a time to proclaim our trust in God and love our neighbours.
For those seeking help or desiring to bless people during COVID-19, we are here for you!

Also please keep checking our website to receive updates on how we are continuing to help in this time or email or fill out the form below.

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