FORT MCMURRAY (660 NEWS) — Doug Doyle is the lead pastor with Fort City Church. His church has been selected as recipient of a provincial grant to support mental health initiatives. Doyle says that they plan to split the grant two ways.
“Half of our funding will go towards being able to help us connect people that we work with that need professional counselling support.” Doyle says, adding “The other half is for what we call a pastoral support worker to come alongside what we’re doing here — in a variety of different ways. Creating some support groups, particularly among young adults. And try to work a little bit with video to provide mental health support in our city.”
AUDIO: 660’s Devon Banfield speaks with Pastor Doug Doyle of Fort City Church about the importance of the church within the community.
Doyle says that they already provide a variety of services to people in the community of Fort McMurray. Fort City Church pairs with the organization Youth With a Mission , providing hot meal programs, outreach youth services, mentoring, and other services to people in need. He says that he’s excited that the Alberta government sees the value in church communities.
“As part of providing help and care to help people flourish in these days, we’re thankful that our government sees the value of churches and faith of community during these days of pandemic, to help understand these issues of mental health a little better.” Doyle says, adding that he’s excited to get started with the new initiatives.
“Obviously this year of a pandemic has only heightened this feeling of helplessness, darkness, and confusion in the lives of increased numbers of people whether it’s for economic reasons, isolation reasons, the list goes on and on.” Doyle says, adding that he hopes the programs his church is looking to implement will help relieve some of the impact people are feeling from the pandemic.
Pastor Doyle says that while he believes that faith does help while overcoming life’s struggles — it’s not a requirement to access Fort City Church’s services, they’re willing to help anyone in need. He adds that he’s proud to lead a church community that is far reaching and accessible to all people in Fort McMurray.