Embracing the Spirit update - September 15, 2021
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Changemaker Virtual Conference Centre in Full Swing This Fall

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During September, October, and November, EDGE Ministries, along with other partners and sponsors, have made the Changemakers Virtual Conference Centre on the WHOVA platform available to a variety of groups holding educational events. Several denominations are represented, and we encourage everyone to investigate and see if there are events that interest them.

Save the date for:
  • Disciples in Christ’s Leadership Academy—September 21 - 24
  • United Church of Christ’s Member in Discernment Event—October 14 - 16
  • Engage! Love and Justice Gathering — November 3 - 8
….and more! Watch your email for dates and registration details or consult the EDGE Calendar—we are updating as events are scheduled. The Community Innovation Challenge Training Series will also run in the Changemaker’s Virtual Conference Centre. Contact for more information.

[Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash]

EDGEy Conversation with Charles MacDonald

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This week's EDGEy Conversation was with Charles MacDonald, Head of Council of Huron Shores United Church in Grand Bend, Ontario. Charles talked about Huron Shores' extensive involvement with the wider Grand Bend community, spurred on by a process of making the church building more physically accessible. This process left the congregation wondering what to do next.

Several years later, Huron Shores is an affirming church that created and manages Grand Bend Place, a space where concerts and theatre happen, and where community and church groups meet. They are completing their Community Living Room in the church’s front yard, with benches, a water refill station, and an Indigenous garden. There is also a Green Cathedral in the back, where Huron Shores holds its summer services.

Charles talks about the Grand Bend community’s response to both Huron Shores' attempts to reach out, and what the church has in turn developed. He also talks about how the church used technology to handle the challenges posed by COVID-19, and his hopes for the future. Huron Shores' story is a fascinating one about how churches can strengthen communities by stepping into community spaces and inviting the people they find into church spaces, too.

Listen to the whole story!

[Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

What Does Following the Spirit Look Like?

Following energy—what does that looks like in practice? Whether it’s in the context of a first date, an opportunity that calls to us without knowing why, or being carried on the excitement of an idea that someone presents to you without really understanding it, can we trust physical sensations to guide us? Is it more in the heart and the gut, the senses, in the mind, or all of the above?

It’s interesting to hear people whose work both immerses them in the spiritual realm and requires them to keep focused on practical details talk about how Spirit moves in their lives and moves them to action. Reflections on coincidence/serendipity, unexpected outcomes, and the idea that maybe we are not only taken care of but can go to places we’ve never dreamed if we just stay open to the possibilities that are put in front of us...

What does following the Spirit look like for you?

Listen to the conversation!

Curiosity Cohort Starting Soon—Are You Curious About What is Possible?

Photo of a small white flag with the word "explore" on it, on a wooden background.

Curiosity is a change in mindset. When we, as people of faith, allow ourselves to be curious, we acknowledge that craving to reimagine what church can be outside of Sunday morning. It is this shift in mindset that:

  • Allows us to ask questions and keep asking questions.
  • Assists us in letting go of needing “the” answers and helps us to relinquish control.
  • Teaches us to follow the Spirit and to keep listening and discerning.
  • Enables us to take leaps of faith and be courageous in experimenting.

The Curiosity Cohort is for innovative leaders, curious communities of faith, and those willing to explore what might be possible. Two streams are available:

  • A weekly stream running on Tuesdays at 12:00 p.m. ET for five weeks, starting on September 28. Register here.
  • A one-day session on Sunday, November 14. Register here.

Come yourself or consider coming as a team from your community of faith to begin being curious together!

[Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash]

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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