Sundre United’s Haskap Muffin Ministry

At the Cowboy Trail Market: Yvonne Hopkins, Joyce Wicks and Shaelah Wicks
In the Sundre United Kitchen: Kirsti Bennett, Betty Bennett & Pat Anderson.
In the Sundre United Kitchen: Kirsti Bennett, Betty Bennett & Pat Anderson.

 While COVID-19 eroded its previous fundraising methods, Sundre (AB) United Church initiated conversations in its community to reach out beyond its building in new ways.  
    Sundre United’s Joyce Wicks approached the former owner of the local IGA, Tom Mennear, who was starting up Cowboy Trail Farmer’s Market off Highways 22 and 582. Tom asked Sundre Church to participate by baking Haskap berry muffins with the berries he purchases from Prairie Hill Farms, Picture Butte. Haskap berries have become a Cowboy Trail market theme.
       Writes Joyce Wicks: “When we started on May long weekend, Tom’s son Marty still owned IGA and so the batter comes from there and is mixed for us in the bakery. On June 1, Marty sold the store to Freson Foods but most staff were retained. I phone a staff member in the bakery every Monday am to place my order for batter and then pick it up every Friday am at 8:30.  A volunteer calls for 4 persons to bake and include the Haskap berries at the church kitchen which is Public Health certified. I mostly do the sales at the market every Sat & Sun from 4 – 7 Pm with occasional backup.
        “Much of this is living out the encouragement by Dr Christine Jerrett (leadership consultant working collaboratively with the Region) to reach out beyond the church.  The “Muffin Ministry” is just a vehicle to being visible in the community – a signal that we exist and are very approachable! As well, after expenses, we will make some monies but most of all, at least 15 persons have been re-connected since Covid so relationships are re-enforced.”