Embracing the Spirit update - September 30, 2020
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For information about THe United Church of Canada’s response and policies regarding COVID19, please visit the church's website for official updates.

Thinking About the Future?

With so much change happening across the country, your community of faith might be thinking very differently about the future. The next Innovation & Growth Grant application deadline is coming up on October 15, which means that all of your pondering about what’s next could actually be a grant application to explore what that might mean...

Thinking about a brand new idea but not sure if it's a good enough, or something worth pursuing? That’s exactly what Innovation Grants are for! You'll get between $500 and $5,000 to explore a new idea; it could be a garden, a program, something online, a new partnership, an idea that came from a community partner, or something that you have been thinking about for a while, but never found a good time to start. Learn more.

Already have an idea that's ready for the next level? Check out these grants that will help to take that idea and grow it.

Either way, we’d love to hear what you're up to and it's easy to reach us! Just book a time with us, or email us.

[Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]

Ontario Non-Profit Driven Conference

Want to be part of the larger non-profit and charitable sector discussions? Ontario Non-Profit Network’s annual conference is fast approaching on November 10 and 11. This year it will be online with keynotes, breakout sessions, and a chance to hear what is new in the non-profit world.

The United Church of Canada has a membership. If your community of faith wishes to become a member, here is the link for the membership discount ($0 membership).

If you want to attend the conference, please register as a member to receive the discounted membership rate.

The United Property Resource Corporation has Launched!

The United Property Resource Corporation (UPRC), established by The United Church of Canada, will meet the growing need for professional real estate development and management expertise within communities of faith and non-profits across Canada, who are one of the country’s largest land owners. Collaborating with both public and private partners, UPRC is a new model that looks at community infrastructure in an inclusive way to unlock value for social purposes, including building lasting affordable housing for all.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is providing UPRC with a $20 million line of credit through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to be accessed for pre-development and pre-construction costs, as it builds affordable housing across Canada. UPRC has committed to ‘be building’ 1,500 affordable units by 2025 and 5,000 affordable units by 2035. That translates into approximately 20,000 new rental units within the same time period, as many of these developments will be mixed income and mixed use ensuring much needed community space will be incorporated.

“This is one of the largest opportunities to reimagine what our neighbourhoods could look like over the next 15 years and the common good that repurposing real estate can have on communities,” said Tim Blair, CEO, United Property Resource Corporation.

Find out more, or send an email to

Read the media release, and then check out the video of the launch!

[Photo credit: The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation]

Theological Underpinnings of Property

“Behold, I am doing a new thing!” [Isaiah 43:19]

The most recent United Church theological statement, A Song of Faith, reminds the church of its responsibility to embody “ancient truths” in new ways in a changing world, “to respond to various defining elements in our social, political, and historical context”, to account for “the impact of the market economy on our daily lives”. The creation of The United Property Resource Corporation [UPRC], is a bold response to that call. It is a way to do together, as a 'United' Church, what we cannot do as individual congregations. It is an alternative economic structure to mitigate the dangers of the market economy as it relates to the management of real estate. 

It is a way to enable congregations to create facilities and places that are more effectively aligned with diverse forms of mission for a new day. Ultimately, it is a way to be good care takers, stewards of the gifts of land and real estate God has entrusted to The United Church of Canada, for a common good that extends not only across the country and world, but across generations.

The UPRC is to say “YES” to the new thing God is doing in our day, that even now breaks forth. What do you see? Please consider:
  • How can the UPRC live out the five calls to the church in the United Church creed?
  • If you are thinking about redeveloping your church property, how will that development help live out the five calls to the church in the United Church creed?
  • How will it say to the community, "We are not alone"?
Read the full document.

[Photo by Daniel Tseng 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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