WDBIA Feature – Pastor Carson from Christ Community Church Welland Downtown Welland is home to various churches that continue to be staples in the community for so many people, one of these staples is Christ Community Church (CCC).In 1997, a certain man was ordained in Grimsby, and we know him today as Pastor Carson at Christ Community Church Welland! His work background includes 5 years at Atlas Steels and 7 years at nursing home in Dunnville. Carson’s commitment and passion for what he does has helped lead CCC in helping our community as a whole for the last 15 years.Pastor Carson describes CCC as a missional church because it is unique among the family of churches to which it belongs. A current example is CCC’s partnership with the Niagara Chapter of Autism Ontario. They have partnered to provide a presence for families dealing with autism right at the church. Unfortunately, these services are temporarily halted due to COVID-19, but Pastor Carson is optimistic and hopeful because during the shutdown preparations have taken place to launch the local project. CCC is a larger facility than one might think at first glance, and it now has a designated sensory room as well as areas for families that will be able to be used when the South Niagara Autism program is up and running at the church. Information about donations for the South Niagara Autism Initiative is available on the Christ Community Church Welland website. http://www.cccwelland.com/Their work with Autism Niagara came about after their daycare closed in December of 2016. Following a time of discernment, they recognized the need of families coping with a loved one with autism, especially in South Niagara, because travelling can be a real barrier to resources, and South Niagara did not have many options. It was truly a match made in heaven. Pastor Carson and CCC wanted to find a new way to help the community and Autism Niagara wanted to reach the South Niagara Region! From there, there was a trial day camp offered to autistic children for two consecutive years, which went amazingly well, so it evolved into the plan to offer weekly programming year-round once we are closer to eradicating COVID-19.Additionally, Pastor Carson and his team are always open to helping members of the community in need. The church is home to two chapters of AA and it has been home to Youth Unlimited. He believes in helping people by offering them the opportunity to be helpful. In his experience, offering the opportunity to serve, separates the people who truly want to get better and improve their life from those that don’t. “Helping serve others through a local church, can give you a sense of belonging and purpose” he says. Their annual Settler’s Thanksgiving Supper” is a tangible example. Doing something for others is proven to help your mental health, and it provides you with a sense of pride and dignity which can go a long way towards health and wholeness.Pastor Carson believes that it is important for the light of hope to be where darkness sometimes overcomes. Missional churches like CCC, “Live in the midst of uncertainty but with conviction about what it is they’re trying to do, even though they may not yet have the means to do it.” He says “I dislike the vulnerable feeling of being in need, but I absolutely love it when the breakthroughs come and the vision of what could be becomes a reality.”Feel free to watch Pastor Carson’s encouraging weekly 25 minute Sunday videos uploaded to The Christ Community Church Welland Youtube Channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJv6NE2I6UlUEAI_giMB7_g Thank you Pastor Carson and Christ Community Church Welland for all you do for our community!