Community Partnerships

Community Partners:

The house next to the church on Park Street which is now named The Calvary Family Lodge was once home to Calvary’s ministers. However, almost a decade ago when it was no longer being used for that purpose, a partnership was formed with the Grand River Hospital and the Regional Cancer Centre to turn the house into a residence for folks from long distances who had to be in KW for daily treatments or wished to be close to loved ones receiving treatment. For many people from as far away as Tobermory it has provided a homey place to stay at an affordable cost and has given them some measure of comfort during very stressful times in their lives. Unfortunately in 2014 Grand River found it had to withdraw from the partnership. 

The refugee crisis of 2016 came at a time when Calvary was seeking a new use for the lodge that would be in keeping with its missional vision. Through a partnership with the Koinonia Christian Fellowship Calvary's former manse is now home to a Syrian refugee family with six children who are grateful for the space and location it has to offer.

Twenty years ago a Family and Children’s Counselling office was established at Calvary by Tracie Klaehn. In exchange for use of the space, Tracie has provided many hours of low cost counselling to clients from the area who could not afford the full cost of getting help in other places. Tracey can be reached at 519-579-3944.

In response to the social service cutbacks of the 1990s, Calvary established a partnership with a program at Conestoga College which provides skills to young women wishing to enter the work force. One of their needs, we discovered, was for clothing to wear to interviews and job shadowing. Forty times since then through a program called Sharing from our Closets and our Hearts, Calvary has made available at no cost clothing donated by members and friends of the congregation. A bonus for the young women is that Calvary women are there to repair and alter the outfits they have chosen so everyone goes home with additions to their wardrobe that fit and make them feel good. Unfortunately in the spring of 2017 Conestoga announced that they would no longer be offering the Focus program. Calvary is currently exploring the possibility of finding another group that could benefit from Calvary's Sharing From Our Closets and Hearts program.

Over fifteen years ago Calvary United and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on King Street joined in establishing a Community Ministry that among other things has provided a hot dinner every Wednesday night to anyone who drops in to St. Mark’s at 5:45 p.m. In addition, a special dinner is served each Thanksgiving Monday complete with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pie. This year 150 folks came to enjoy a meal they might otherwise have had to do without. In addition on weekday mornings students from KCI can come for a hot breakfast. Under the caring direction of Rev. Susan Cole, people find personal support in times of need, and help in accessing the support that is available for them through government services and other agencies in the cities. Susan can be reached at 519-743-6309 or by email at [email protected]

Both Calvary and St. Mark’s strive to provide community meeting space as part of their commitment to the neighbourhood. Since the Cherry Park area has no community centre, this hopefully helps to fill a need for the Cherry Park Neighbourhood Association and its activities. Throughout the week Calvary is busy, and its facilities are being used by groups as diverse as the Buddy Choir, the Schneider Male Choir, N.A. TOPS and more.

Calvary has long been a supporter of local builds undertaken by Habitat forHumanity with some Calvary members over the year becoming directly involved in the construction and others offering lunch and snacks to the workers. 

Calvary is grateful for the support our neighbours have given to our Annual Garage Sale held each September for the past 18 years. An annual fundraising event, a Ham and Scalloped Potato Dinner was something special to look forward to in February. The money raised by these two events both provided funds to help Calvary continue offering the programs that we hope will benefit the community in which we worship and serve.

All are welcome at Calvary. Sunday morning worship is at 10:30 a.m. and a kids’ program happens at the same time. The office is open every morning. We can be reached by phone at 519-744-9696 or by email at [email protected] We warmly welcome you to drop in, meet our minister, the Rev. Lynne Bandy, get to know us and let us know if there are ways that Calvary can be a good neighbour in the Cherry Park community of Kitchener and beyond.