2020 Annual Ministry Snapshot
As we look back on this past year, please join us in thanking God for the ways He has enabled us to reach out to youth and students in spite of the restrictions of COVID-19. We clearly see that God is not limited and always provides ways for his Gospel to shape lives.
We’re trying new things
Creativity and innovation often flourish in difficult circumstances, thanks to God’s generosity to us. Here’s an overview of some of what we’re grateful for:
- Our High School team is recording 60-second devotionals and other video resources to address issues like mental health and answer faith or life related questions for students.
- Our British Columbia Campus Team’s Sabbath 101 podcast to help students slow down and practice healthy rest.
- Online book study based on author and apologist John Stackhouse’s new book, Can I Believe, Christianity for the Hesitant. Each week students interact with Dr. Stackhouse about what it means to share their faith in a Canadian context.
- Meet-a-Professor gatherings online, providing students with an opportunity to hear from professors about they connect their faith to their specific area of study (science, literature, business). · Increased activity on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook. Search for any of our camps and campus ministries by name to follow specific areas of our ministry.
- Regional and national online conversations that have attracted many students to discuss what it’s like to be a grad student, how to reach incoming students, how to lead and what evangelism looks when relationship is limited.
- Camp in a Box, which staff delivered to hundreds of campers who could not come to camp this summer.
- Summer day camp programs for children and families at Circle Square Ranches in Ontario and Manitoba.
- Unexpected grants and generous donor who enabled us to hire a group of university students to help run our day camps at Circle Square Ranch Spruce Woods (Manitoba).
- Completion of many maintenance projects at our camps. They will be in great shape for the future.
- Pioneer Camp Ontario was able to offer a series of smaller retreats through the fall for our women’s ministry and camp-connected families.
- Manitoba Pioneer Camp has been supporting hundreds of families across Winnipeg and rural Manitoba through a Food Share Program.
- Four of our camps, Circle Square Grand River, Circle Square Big Clear Lake, Pioneer Ontario and Pioneer Alberta have small groups of young adults living on site as part of our discipleship and leadership development programs.
- Students have taken time away from their screens by going on prayer walks and whenever possible, connecting in safe, socially distanced ways.
- University of Guelph students participated in a Digital Pilgrimage that included online gatherings and personal walks in nature.
- Students and staff have responded to calls to make and share art. View their work in two different galleries, Vignettes, reflecting on experiences during the pandemic, and From the Nest, which is based on studies in the Gospel of Mark.
- All summer we provided [email protected] activities on our camp websites so kids could still experience some of the fun they were missing.
- Our Workplace Ministry now has three pilot programs in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal, each led with a different model of dedicated staff, volunteer staff and campus staff.
- We developed a short course for graduating students on theology of work to help them better prepare to enter the workplace.
We’re grateful for partnership and helpful resources from other organizations, including:
- Alpha Marriage
Active Prayer Ministry is happening across the country, including:
- Weekly Socially Distanced Prayer Walks at Dalhousie University
- Lectio Divina Sunrise & Scripture for British Columbia students
- Prayer training for University of Toronto International Students
- Weekly prayer meeting for University of Manitoba students
- Monthly Ottawa Prayer online gathering for all campus ministries
- Monthly Ministry Partner Prayer meetings online hosted by staff in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia
- Intercessory Prayer training for InterVarsity staff
Bible Studies continue to be foundational.
These are some of the books and themes we’ve been studying with students, campers and summer camp staff and young adults:
- Nehemiah 1-6;
- 1 Thessalonians
- 1 and 2 Timothy
- Isolation (select scriptures)
- Bible Marathon (reading through whole Bible)
- Bible Overview
- Depending on Jesus – select scriptures
- Life of Jesus from all four gospels Character of Jesus;
- Investigating God
Thank you for tracking with us as we creatively respond to the challenges and opportunities of this season! While this year has necessitated the introduction of unique ministry strategies, InterVarsity’s mission holds strong. To learn more about the mission, check out InterVarsity President Nigel Pollock’s hopes for InterVarsity heading into 2021.
Your gift helps us spread the good news of the Gospel to more young people.
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