Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer says churches are stepping up to help their neighbours despite province-wide restrictions.
Dr. Brent Roussin says many faith leaders have been discussing with him how their churches can help others. Currently, churches are not permitted to host in=person worship services but can provide some social services such as counselling.
"They are leaders. They are looking for ways right now to help out their community, to help out Manitobans," Roussin says. "I really appreciate their work in finding ways to help out Manitobans in the meantime."
Providing mental health support was one of the things discussed between the doctor and faith leaders.
"I think there are a tremendous amount of suggestions that was brought my way and we are going to continue to work with them."
Roussin says many leaders plan to discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine with their congregations. Roussin says the pending vaccinations are bringing hope to Manitobans.
Ways faith leaders have been stepping up include anything from sharing food to bringnig smiles to faces.
The head chef with a Bible camp, Pioneer Camps Manitoba, making hampers for families in need over the past year and now Christmas season.
Pastor Joan van der Linde out of Morris, Manitoba has brought joy to thousands with her live-streamed Christmas carols. A Winnipeg choir is sharing a virtual Advent calendar. A cross-Canada choir is creating a distanced production of the Messiah.
The Knights of Columbus are driving around a Christmas float until after news year, putting smiles on the faces of neighbours who see their nativity scene.
Churches providing online activities, excluding religious services, are eligable for a grant from the province worth up to $50,000.