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Faith and fun in the heart of our downtown

Vacation Bible Camp runs from August 12-16 and is open to all children ages 5-12
Trinity United Church

“Dear God, In Sunday School they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation? Jane.” (Children’s Letters to God, 1991). If indeed God does take time off, there is a village of volunteers supporting programs for youth at Trinity United Church in downtown North Bay. Lisa Blais, the Faith, Formation and Outreach Minister lives in the heart of that village and is responsible for Christian Education and Children’s Ministries. Lisa explains that “one important goal of the church is to create a warm reception to anyone in North Bay. We welcome people from different faiths, as well as people of no faith. We build our church family through intergenerational connections, like kids spending time with seniors. Children often play an important role in our Sunday services.”

The active Sunday School Program includes cooking, games in the gym, scientific exploration, crafts, drama and story telling. Children learn about service through many activities such as baking cookies as part of the Christmas Cookie Walk, an annual fundraiser. Kids can also be found peeling apples and working in the kitchen beside older adults during the making of apple pies in the fall, or washing dishes at the annual Chilli Night in February.

The Mustard Seed Drama Program, which builds community through theatre, is open to all children in North Bay (ages 5-12). This year’s Christian-based musical is called “Jonah’s Druthers” which is a spaghetti western. It will be presented on May 25/26. Teenage volunteers help with costumes, choreography and set design.

Vacation Bible Camp runs from August 12-16 and is open to all children ages 5-12. Former campers often come back as youth volunteers and the hours worked can be used to complete their high school graduation requirement. Lisa says that the spaces fill up very quickly. “If parents are interested they can check the website for registration forms at”

The Youth Group (grade 7 and up) meets once a month and takes part in a variety of activities. The goal is to have fun and build community. Sometimes the young people come together to support the wider community of North Bay. For example, they pack and distribute 150 Christmas bags during the holiday season. According to Lisa, “the bags are distributed to those who would not get gifts, such as people living at the crisis centre or women’s shelter.”  Recently the youth stayed overnight at the church on Maundy Thursday for a prayer vigil. This “gives the opportunity for young people to explore faith,” explains Lisa.

In September, the Trinity family meets at Camp Tillicum on the South Shore for “Rally Back,”an intergenerational kick-off picnic. Lisa encourages “people to try us out for a Sunday. Who knows? Maybe you will find a place here. It has been SO heartwarming for me to work with children who one day come back with their own families.”