A church with warm hearts and cold treats is showing its neighbours their gratitude for a year of dedication to their community.

Trying to be the best neighbours possible, Pastor Cory Hildebrand of Emmanuel Mennonite Church says a couple of volunteers will be at the Winkler church Wednesday afternoon and early evening for a special reason.

"We are going to be handing out ice cream to all of our frontline workers in our community. That could be people who work in the healthcare area, education, police, fire, (and) paramedics," he says. "We are doing it because we care."

Between 2 and 7 p.m., volunteers will be handing out ice cream in their parking lot. Hildebrand says with the help of the local Co-op they estimate 500 ice creams will be given away Wednesday.

Hildebrand says they wanted to show their neighbours that their church appreciates them.

"We really want to be the best neighbours. And they have been sacrificing so much for us and we just want to celebrate them and show them that we are supportive." 

corey hildebrandHildebrand is the Families Ministry pastor with Emmanuel Mennonite Church. (Supplied)

He is hoping they can be a good example of loving your neighbour.

"I think one of the ways we are trying to do that, to feel connected, is to be the best neighbours possible. So supporting each other, making the phone calls, and reaching out to people who we feel are vulnerable or are alone or hurting. We are trying to make sure we are following up with people and really caring, doing drop-offs at people's doorsteps, and making sure that we are not forgetting people."

While it has been some time since they have been able to meet in person, Hildebrand says they have been able to stay connected as a congregation. 

The pastor is encouraging others to prevent the spread of COVID, hoping to see cases go down so they can meet in person again. The church was contacted Tuesday by the provincial government as part of an earlier-announced outreach to Southern Manitoban Mennonites.