In an effort to reach out to the community and revitalize its ministry, Essex Community Church, Ont., introduced a ball hockey program this summer. Twenty children participated in the non-competitive program, which ran on Tuesday evenings in July and August and was led by corps and community volunteers. Assistance with the program was provided by Bob Johnston from Athletes in Action.

The program wrapped up with a family barbecue and visit from retired CFL player Arjei Franklin who lives in nearby Windsor, Ont. Franklin shared his story and faith with a group of children before assisting with the presentation of personalized medallions, posing for pictures and signing autographs.

“Several parents thanked us for the program and the kids can't wait to come back next summer,” says Lieutenant Kristen Gray, corps officer. Until then, the corps has a weekly “messy church” program to help the children stay connected to the corps.

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