By Tanya Yuen
Everything! Sums up the response I received from Brandon Kamerman, Youth/Children and Family Pastor at First Baptist Church, Ingersoll, when we sat down on a zoom chat and I asked “What’s new with children and families at FBC Ingersoll?”
Brandon, his wife, and their newborn child came to this church in January 2021. He quickly had to learn how to launch an online children’s ministry, navigate the world of YouTube, video editing and social media. He needed to discover how best to reach out to families and develop a sense of community even while online.
Brandon shared that FBC Ingersoll “wants to be able to open the doors to their church as much as they can.” They are also working hard to find opportunities to reach out into the community with love, by being present at things already happening and ultimately building relationships as they cultivate a culture of belonging at FBC. Joining the community in new ways for FBC included: giving out candy at Halloween, creating a float for the town’s Santa Claus parade, handing out hot chocolate, and a Christmas ‘date night’ event for parents to drop off their kids at the church for a Christmas party so parents could enjoy a few hours on their own.
A new collaboration with another church in town to host a summer camp in the park was meant to share love with the community. Greater trust is developing, and relationships are being built as an outcome of these efforts. With an increase in social media presence, they have seen 20-30 new families from the community connect and interact with their Facebook page. While I was talking with Brandon, he received a call from a parent in the community inquiring about an upcoming event she saw posted.
If that’s not enough “new”, they are now looking to March break and the opportunities to continue to live out the mission of FBC Ingersoll. “We are a worshipping community empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with everyone.” Perhaps this will be children’s drop-in events. Brandon is excited about the possibilities as they continue to seek to be a presence of love and care in their community. I wonder what new things will emerge in 2022.