Embracing the Spirit update - February 3, 2021
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Tweaks Add Up At Lumsden Beach Camp

United Church camps are an amazing ministry that build relationships for campers and leaders that last for a lifetime, both with each other and with God. Many have faced challenges over the last decade and COVID-19 has presented even more challenges.

A few years ago, Lumsden Beach Camp was faced with a decision to either close gracefully, experiment with some tweaks, or grow dramatically.

They chose to look at small tweaks, including:
  • Looking at their campers differently and expanding the program weeks for specific ages
  • Looking for cost savings on energy
  • Created a micro honey business after creating beehives
  • And many other small things added up…..
Lumsden Beach Camp now has a surplus to help with ongoing maintenance and upgrades. They know how to experiment as a leadership team, which has furthered their resilience during this time. Often it is the small things that matter, and one small experiment can lead to something much bigger.

Watch the whole story.

[Photo by Josh Campbell on Unsplash]

February’s EDGY Conversations

  • February 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET: West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre
  • March 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET: HeroWork’s Radical Renovations
  • March 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET: Humber Valley United Church Embraces Seniors
See the whole schedule of events.

Why the Hopeful Economics unConference?

Such a unique name that can be unpacked in so many ways. The name, the format, the entire idea of this unconference has been an experiment in what the future could look like.

There are so many reasons why we need to be a part of this! This includes you.

Experiment #1: Deep Ecumenical Partnership
The entire idea of Hopeful Economics came from an ecumenical gathering of 12 organizations that were speaking about social enterprise and church. A week later we had a planning session with 15 different organizations showing up to lend their voice to what was possible.

Experiment #2: New and Growing Relationships with Non-Church Organizations
Our partners and new connections were enthused that this was something we were willing to lean into. Metcalf Foundation, Alterna Credit Union, and Buy Social Canada were all excited to see what this could be. And new connections including McConnell, PARO, and Ontario Trillium Foundation are all part of the conversation.

Experiment #3: Virtual Event (more than Zoom)
What is possible through an online event? There's networking, exhibitors, polls, a connection contest, and lots of interactivity. You might not realize that this is online!

Experiment #4: unConference
A flexible event where everyone has a voice. The sessions on March 4 and 5 are 100% interactive. Everyone who attends is encouraged to have their own Exhibitor Booth where you can showcase your story and even schedule a live session.

All of this adds up to something that you should consider being part of. Even if only for a bit of it. New ideas and connections guaranteed! 

Full details (including full agenda) and registration information can be found here.

[Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash]

Thriving Churches Book Launch!

We're looking forward to celebrating the launch of Thriving Churches: Urban and Rural Successes, and we'd like to invite you to a special online event on Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Sign up here!

New from United Church Publishing House, Thriving Churches: Urban and Rural Successes tells the story of two United Church ministers who travelled across Canada visiting flourishing United Churches to uncover the secrets of their success. The resulting book is truly unique; the Rev. Shepherd identifies characteristics and common spiritual attributes shared by successful churches and gives the reader concrete examples from a variety of congregations.

Embracing the Spirit is a learning network and innovation fund. It offers funding and support for innovation ideas hatched out of faith communities and communities in ministry. Some of the stories and best practices that are happening throughout The United Church of Canada are shared in this newsletter.

If you have an idea that you want to launch, reach out and tell us about it! Proposal deadlines are quarterly, and due on the 15th of the month: January, April, July and October. Find out more

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