Grey Street United Church is looking to welcome the community with open arms.
The church, located at 651 Sandhurst Ave., is bringing back its open house after a two-year hiatus. The event is slated for Sat., Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church. The day will include family-friendly activities like games, a bouncy castle, face-painting, crafts, and music, while popcorn and hot dogs will also be offered.
Organizer Meghan Beasant said the church was looking to start making its mark on the community once again.
"This past winter, we were asking everybody in the church ‘What is the best way to get us back out there again?’" the 28-year-old recalled. "They said ‘Oh, we’ve got to do the open house again.’"
Though she hadn’t attended any of the previous open houses, Beasant said she offered to step up to the plate as she is on maternity leave with six-month-old son Connor and had the time to get it organized.
She hopes to recapture the essence of the previous events while putting her own personal spin on the day with ring toss, horseshoes, and fish pond games. There will also be a craft where participants can make dragonflies, which can be found on a banner on the side of the church, out of maple keys (the fruit of the tree that helps spread seeds).
Beasant noted that the Sun., Sept. 14 service is "Bring a friend to church" day, paired with the sundae on Sunday fun, where all in attendance can make an ice cream treat after the service, which begins at 10:30 a.m.
Beasant said while many churches are facing declining attendance, Grey Street included, her church has done a fine job attracting younger parishioners.
"We welcome everybody, and this is a place where we have fun," she said. "We have to keep our voice out there and show everybody that we’re welcoming."
Beasant knows the welcoming feeling from personal experience. When she was settling in Winnipeg after moving from Barrie, Ont. four years ago, she tried different neighbourhood churches before finding a groove at Grey Street. Now, she makes the commute from Niverville to attend.
"When I came to Grey Street, the moment the service ended, the people in front of me turned around, put their hand out, and introduced themselves to me," she said.
For more on the church, visit www.greystreetunitedchurch.com