Online Conversations

Sharing our learnings and our stories is important for our own growth and in helping others.  This fall, we are encouraging you to join these conversations, tell your story, and learn about amazing work that is happening across the country.

Each online conversation will have some panelists who are doing related work.  They will tell their story and where they are headed.  Then all of the participants will be broken out into small online groups to tell their own story, connect with each other, and share learnings.  This is interactive and fun!

Please note, all times are listed in Eastern Time.  

(Newfoundland: +1.5h  |  Atlantic: +1h  |  Central: -1h  |  Mountain: -2h  |  Pacific: -3h)

Faith & Food: A Winning Combination

October 25 @ 4:00pm Eastern Time

The original church was a group of people gathering around a table to break bread together.  One thing has remained the same, that at every church event there is always amazing food.  But there are also amazing outreach programs targeting food poverty and food education.  Learn about some different varieties:

  • Community gardens
  • Community kitchens
  • Food banks
  • Fresh food bags
  • Farmer’s markets
  • And emerging ideas around food social enterprises

Register for the Faith and Food conversation

Living Like We Love the Planet: Green Initiatives

October 31 @ 1:00pm Eastern Time

The world & the environment is part of everything that we do. We need to keep making it a priority.  Learn about some of the initiatives that are doing just that.  They have made sustainability the centrepoint of the work in the world (for the world) that they are doing.  Some of our confirmed panelists include;

  • Greening Sacred Spaces that has been working with faith organizations for years to help with this missing link
  • Westmount Park United Church that recognized that they were literally grounded in the park and in nature, so they should embrace this.  This has led to nature tours and an outdoor café.
  • Keepers of the Athabasca is a nonprofit group that helps preserve the watershed through creative education, advocacy, and programming.
  • Rideau Park United Church is creating an environmental strategy and hub to continue to making the environment front and central.

Register for the Green Initiatives conversation

Building Big – Real Estate Assets and New Expressions of Church

November 1 @ 12:30pm Eastern Time

Real estate has a huge opportunity but sometimes feels like a heavy weight.  There are many interesting real estate models that have been emerging over the last few years from cooperative housing models to a new understanding of affordability to new mixed use concepts and business models. Also there are new creative ways to upgrade or renovate.  Learn from some experts and people who have lived through this.

Register for the Real Estate conversation

Healthy in Body, Mind & Spirit

November 7 @ 1:00pm Eastern Time

Nothing else matters if you don’t have your health.  The understanding of health has dramatically changed over the years with a clearer understanding of overall wellness and prevention being top of mind. New models of healthcare have been emerging.  And with the United Church being part of health care over the last century, it is no real stretch that we are continuing to be part of this work.

  • The health & wellness hub model comes to live at The Hive in Markham and The Hub based out of Wild Rose United Church.
  • New forms of mental wellness and spiritual practice are being lived out in Grand Bend ON and Calgary AB.
  • A spiritual café has been launched in Montreal at Saint Columba House

Register for the Health conversation

Going With The Flow: Co-Creating with Youth

November 8 @ 8:00pm Eastern Time

Youth & young adults are coming up with new & creative ways to connect with each other.  Most of the time we just need to get out of the way!  Hear from our panelists that are doing just that.

  • Burin United Church took a leap in opening up their arms to the local youth to own their own program
  • The Vacation Bible School has exploding in Halton Presbytery.  And it is poised to double in size in 2018.
  • Rodney United Church is supporting rural youth and connecting with the community to launch a dedicated youth centre
  • The Bethel – Fitzroy Youth Night Initiative is run by the youth for the youth

Register for the Youth conversation

Incarceration & Social Enterprise

November 14 @ 1:00pm Eastern Time

Some of the most vulnerable people in society are impacted by incarceration. There is a new movement to create better bridging programs that are self-funded through social enterprise. There is more of a focus on a full wraparound approach rather than piece-meal answers.

  • Gozie’s Bread in Winnipeg is teaching food handling skills while supporting the organization by selling the baked goods that are produced.
  • FIBI in York Region understands that the entire family is impacted by incarceration. They are exploring a different revenue model of social enterprise by having one service have a fee that funds the nonprofit arm of the organization.

Register for the Incarceration conversation

New Wine in New Wine Skins: Emerging Spiritual Practices

November 15 @ 12:30pm Eastern Time

Amongst all of this amazing innovation, there is also innovation of how to be grounded.  Everyone is an individual and we respond to different spiritual grounding practices differently.  Continuing to understand this and explore this is important. There have been new work in drumming circles, meditation, yoga, pilates, art, and even governance as a spiritual practice.

Register for the Spiritual Practices conversation

Churches as Community Hubs: Removing the Walls

November 22 @ 12:30pm Eastern Time

A Community Hub is the new buzz word with nonprofits, foundations, and even the government experimenting with what this might look like.  Churches have been hubs in the community for centuries.  In many rural or small towns, the church is the only public space available.  And in more densely populated locations, there is still a need for hubs that are dedicated to niche purposes including health, seniors, intercultural, art, or other uses.

  • The Spire in Kingston and Trinity in Guelph are reimaging what their role is in community
  • Ebenezer has been an agency hub for years, but has just reimaged what is needed in community
  • St James Centennial in Parry Sound has engaged with the community in many new ways and become a downtown venue
  • Woodville United Church is proving the a hub doesn’t need to be inside
  • North Bramalea is showing that a café can serve as a hub
  • Trinity Memorial in Abbotsford is showing how to make the model sustainable

Register for the Community Hub conversation

Something New, Something Old: Technology & A Lively Church

November 28 @ 1:00pm Eastern Time

Technology is impacting every single sector – including non-profit and faith organizations!  Hear about the multiple ways use leverage technology in your work. From online communities, to making church more fun, to connecting the community, to serving people in their homes.

Register for the Technology conversation

Reweaving theconnectional fabricthat makes us United.

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Embracing the Spirit

Embracing the Spirit is a new learning network and innovation fund. It aims to spur innovation, pilot new programs, support successful initiatives, create a learning network for faith communities, and support both new and renewing faith communities across the United Church of Canada.

Find out how you can be part of Embracing the Spirit.