Playground maps and treasure hunts are keeping families entertained over the long weekend as stories of hope and resilience continue to rise out of the pandemic.
A Winnipeg mom who enjoys being outside with her kids is helping other families easily find great spots to play and go on adventures.
Carol Cassell is a stay-at-home mom that has taken it upon herself to help out Winnipeg families looking for fun things to do, especially during the pandemic.
"When the weather started to warm up and a third lockdown was looming, I started to see online that parents were asking if there was a playground map," says Cassell.
A woman with five decades of volunteering with the Children's Hospital under her belt has no plans of quitting anytime soon.
The Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba turns 50 years old Monday. Barbara McLean, a proud Children's Hospital Guild member, remembers the changes.
"Without the Children's Hospital Foundations I mean we probably wouldn't have this world-class hospital that we have at the Health Sciences Centre Children's Hospital. And without the hospital, we are not able to eventually have strong adults," McLean says.
The Snowbirds are marking the one-year anniversary of Captain Jenn Casey, who died during an Operation Inspiration show.
Casey died in a crash during a CF Snowbirds Operation Inspiration show in British Columbia. The Public Affairs Officer is being recognized by the Snowbirds for her dedication.
"Jenn Casey embodied the very best of what it means to be a Snowbird. Enthusiastic, warm, witty, a true team player, a leader and an innovative powerhouse. The trust that we had in her to connect with the public was absolute," they say in a statement.
A recent study conducted by Barna Group on behalf of Alpha revealed some surprising insights about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on evangelization as a result of churches going virtual, and how the Church should respond in a more hybrid-model future.
"We never had anything called Alpha online pre-pandemic. In fact, we thought in person was the most important," says Shaila Visser, national director at Alpha Canada and senior vice president for Alpha International.
"And then what happened is that we all had to pivot and move everything digitally and immediately we saw fruitfulness. We immediately saw that God is not limited by Zoom or by Microsoft Teams, but he can use it. We have seen Alpha just take off."
For the next couple of days, Manitobans will need to be aware of hot daytime temperatures.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's Chief Public Health Officer, is asking people to be cautious as temperatures are expected to reach around 30 degrees during the day.
"Heat can have some serious health impacts (one) physical health, mental wellbeing, and cognitive ability," Roussin says. "Ensure that you are taking care of yourself and others."
CCM artist Phil Wickham recently received a message that reminded him why he writes the music that he does.
"I was going to kill myself last night but God spoke to me through your song," was part of a message Wickham received earlier this month.
The listener says he had decided to listen to music one last time, and that's when Wickham's song, 'It's Always Been You' came on.
Many Manitobans have found joy in a modern-day treasure hunt, and local experts say it's easy to get started.
Nathan Kachur is the president of the Manitoba Geocaching Association.
"Geocaching is an online-based location game. People that choose to play go out and find containers that were hidden by other members of the geocaching community using GPS or their cell phone," says Kachur.
For Kelly Kennedy, life was always a competition. She grew up in a verbally abusive home with ten siblings including seven brothers and three sisters.
When Kelly was young, sports and in particular basketball, was an outlet for her. It was a place of safety and a place to get away from the chaos that was happening at home.
"It was my happy place. It gave me peace from the home inside that was tumultuous," Kennedy explains.
A brand-new program director with Adult and Teen Challenge is releasing new music that shares his story of hope.
Dwayne Ajtay works for Adult and Teen Challenge (ATC) out of Winnipeg. As he releases music, he goes by the stage name 'AJ', which most of his friends know him as.
The Program Director released a single on April 2 called 'Follow You.'
Community artists and a school are rallying together to help Lighthouse Mission keep stomachs fed.
Over the past year, the popular soup kitchen has been seeing even more people than usual walk through its doors. While helping is what they do, it comes with an added cost.
" Last year in 2020 we saw an 18 per cent increase in the number of meals we provided and a 43 per cent increase in the number of emergency hampers we provided," Beverly Ajtay, Lighthouse Mission's Operations Manager says. "That is a huge cost increase as well."
Mounties say a missing girl is safe after she went missing overnight earlier this week.
A local "house church" known for sharing its kitchen table is inviting others to help them continue to put food on the table of Winnipeg homes.
The Welcome Home, established in 1993 at 188 Euclid Avenue in the North Point Douglas neighbourhood has been a community spot for decades.
"We are here to do something that is really in line with the mission of the Church, that Pope Francis describes very well, is to heal hearts and warm hearts," Larry Kondra, a chaplain at The Welcome Home says.
Teenagers at a Winnipeg school are demonstrating what it means to love unconditionally by creating art for a local soup kitchen's auction.
Sheri Kovacs, the art teacher at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary & Middle School's Bedson Campus, is proud of her students after more than a dozen were moved to create art to donate to Lighthouse Mission's online art auction.
"They were discussing between themselves that the good they were doing to help others," Kovacs says. "It did bring a tear to my eye."
While one of his music videos may be igniting over a million viewers, Jordan St. Cyr is quietly celebrating with his family.
Arriving just over a week ago, Jordan St. Cyr is back home in Niverville, Manitoba, while on a break from touring with Jeremy Camp. The musician may be isolating in Manitoba, but fans across the world are connecting with him online with his song, 'Fires.'
"I never knew what I had when I finished this song," St. Cyr says. "God and His perfect timing put all the pieces together and then it really is out of your control."
Growing up in the North End, the founder of Community Helpers Unite calls opening up a community kitchen "heart work."
Brandy Bobier is the founder of Community Helpers Unite (CHU) a non-profit organization out of the North End in Winnipeg. She also runs Leftover Foundation Rescue Food.
"Leftovers is a food rescue agency that is a nationally recognized charity. We take food from donors like distributors, grocery stores, bakeries and coffee shops and redirect food that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage," says Bobier.
Between 2009 and 2013, Tara Shannon experienced more grief than most people experience in a lifetime.
She experienced a miscarriage, the end of her marriage, the loss of both of her parents, and a cancer diagnosis. To top it all off, while on medical leave from work, her job was also terminated.
All of these circumstances left Tara in a dark, cold and lonely place, but she knew sooner or later she would have to work through all of her feelings.
Churches in Ireland are celebrating the ability to gather again after new COVID-19 rules allowed religious groups to bring together up to 50 people.
The updated measures announced by the government came into effect on Monday, May 10 and some evangelical churches did not wait until Sunday to celebrate their first gatherings, as Evangelical Alliance Ireland director Nick Park says in a video message.
Small groups and social distancing limited the experience. “Yes, some things are not the same as fourteen months ago. Numbers are not the same, we are wearing masks, we cannot hug one another, we cannot take coffee together after the service,” Park says.
The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA•RES) has rejected this measure, stating that “worship is an expression of our religious freedom to assemble and should not be regulated by identity checks of any kind.”
They point out in a statement that such regulation “would be disproportionate, as the evangelical churches have implemented other effective coronavirus protection measures from the outset."
However, they are “not categorically opposed to a COVID-19 certificate,” because it “could help to reduce the risk of infection at large concerts, for example, but it would be disproportionate to impose it on worship services where the effervescence of large concerts does not take place.”
A national Bible camp director of over 30 camps across Canada is continuing to put his faith in God for the coming summer.
Bill McCaskell is the National Director with One Hope Canada. The national ministry has 35 camps from coast to coast, as well as six community ministries and four travelling day camps.
"During this time it's not just camp that has some uncertainty around what that's going to look like. But for our camp directors, they have been using all of their creative perseverance to continue to prepare for this summer," says McCaskell.
Public Health says officials and religious leaders are partnering together in hopes of reducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.
"We are trying very hard to reach out from the government perspective, but also from more local, trusted leaders," Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba's Vaccination Task Force, says in a Wednesday press conference.
"We hear a lot about the different questions that people have or concerns that they have, that are not consistent with the science, but make people feel anxious, nonetheless."
Three-time Grammy award winner Michael W. Smith is releasing a book about dads called, The Way of the Father.
Smith has written and published roughly 30 books, including some children's stories. This new one is all about his earthly father and Abba Father.
"Who was my dad? He was the kindest man I ever met in my entire life. He loved my mom, he loved me unconditionally. His glass was always half full. He was extraordinary," says Smith in a promotional YouTube video for the book.
The Christian rock band NEEDTOBREATHE has been busy as of late, including releasing two albums within a year.
NEEDTOBREATHE spent three straight weeks in a house in Tennessee to write their upcoming album. They have now released two songs from their album.
"We gave ourselves 21 days to record and produce this record from scratch. A few friends and familiar faces joined us," says the band in a news release.
Police Chief Danny Smyth is pleased to share a "good news story" of a late-night river rescue that occurred literally in his own backyard.
Smyth is praising his officers after they rescued a woman near Kildonan Park who was stuck in a current.
"I don't think a paper release will do this incident any justice," the Winnipeg Police Service Chief says during a Thursday afternoon press conference, noting he was on the scene when it occurred.
The Youth for Christ in Altona will not only be getting an upgraded space for teens but more programming as well.
Sheridan Sawatsky is the Executive Director of the Youth for Christ in Altona.
"Primarily we've been a drop-in space for the area's teens. A space where anybody can come and hang out, converse with their peers and staff," says Sawatsky.
Property owners in Manitoba should soon be getting a tax rebate cheque in the mail.
Finance Minister Scott Fielding says the Manitoba government will begin mailing education property tax rebate cheques next week to residential, farm, and commercial property owners. Nearly $250 million in rebates will provide tax relief to owners of more than 600,000 properties.
"Our government promised to start phasing out the education property tax in 2021," says Fielding. "The education property tax phase-out represents the largest tax savings in Manitoba history and protects Manitobans' hard-earned incomes by offering much-needed tax relief."
As a minister, Matthew Rucker found out early on, that people like stories. When he would say, let me tell you a story, people would tune in.
"When you use a story with a spiritual meaning attached to it, people remember it," Rucker explains. "If I had to give myself a title, it would be, The Story Telling Preacher."
Matthew gathers stories from not only his life at the farm but also his experiences as a passionate follower of Christ. He spent 40 years in ministry before taking on writing full time.
A young child from Steinbach continues to fight her intestinal issues along with dealing with her Covid long-haul diagnosis.
In November of 2019, 2-year-old Hallie Thiessen was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Disease. This rare disorder inflames her intestines and tricks them into believing she is allergic to food causing tremendous pain.
And then COVID hit her little body in November of 2020 complicating her ongoing health struggles. Hallie and her mom Cari have been at the hospital more than home as of late. And the effect on her body has been harmful. Cari says, "the effect that it's had on Hallie and the existing GI condition has been detrimental and it's just getting worse and worse."
A small increase is coming to the minimum wage.
Minimum wage workers will see a five-cent increase in their hourly wages this fall, bringing the new minimum wage to $11.95 as of October 1.
"By law, Manitoba’s minimum wage is tied to the Consumer Price Index. This adjustment is based on Manitoba’s 2020 inflation rate of 0.5 per cent, rounding up to the nearest five cents," the province says in a statement.
Manitoba Christian artist and worship pastor Jake Fretz is feeling humbled by his recent nomination in the category of Spiritual Artist of the Year.
"On Tuesday, when the announcement came out for the Western Canadian Music Awards (WCMA), what surprised me was, that morning I had woken up, and after spending time in devotions, God really impressed on me that I was supposed to be focusing on making these songs accessible to smaller churches," says Fretz.