A Winnipeg church is looking for ways to connect with the community, and part of that is opening up an outdoor library.
Peace Lutheran Church in North Kildonan opened up a sharing library outside for people in the community on July 16, 2021.
"The little free library is part of a larger goal that we have at our church to have a ministry of presence in our community. Our previous directors developed an indoor centre that would welcome newcomers and they started a spring community food drive," says Teresa Miller, the current Director of Evangelism with the church.
Miller also came up with the idea for the outdoor library.
"A member of our church built the library and bench beside it, Al Bezemer. He had the idea to etch the new church logo on the glass. He's a fan of doing woodworking."
The content of the books inside the little house will be monitored so it reflects the values of the church.
"We are going to have a Bible in there always so that if someone wants to take a Bible and read that, they can. We have a lot of children's books in there, not necessarily Christian books. We have for instance those Bernstein Bears books in there because they have a good message."
Church members were previously invited to donate books to the library, and some of those are also inside the little wooden house.
"We're planning on putting in books that help people to understand more the creation/evolution debate. That's one of the big things that makes it difficult for young people to continue in their faith."
Miller says they've heard it numerous times that what teens and new University students are taught can contradict the story of creation. Those books Miller ordered to go inside the library are from an organization called Creation Ministries.
"Take a book, leave a book, that is the general premise. It would be great if you brought it back so someone else could look at it but you can also bring back other books. Things that don't represent our church won't end up in our little library."
Open for only a few days, people in the community are already borrowing and enjoying books.
"The Little Free Library just might make someone comfortable enough to set foot into the church one day and that it is something safe we can do to engage the community during the pandemic," she says.