Embracing the Spirit update - January 21, 2021
View this email in your browser

Emmaus Community

Imagine an intentional community that lived with three principles: prayer, presence, and simplicity...

Emmaus Community is a "new monastic" community with ties to both the United Church and the Anglican Church. And they are trailblazing a new ministry!

They are a worshipping community with Covenanted Members (who live their rule, in community, in the neighbourhood) and Companion Members (who are called to live their rule in their own neighbourhoods.) They also have many friends, who chose to be part of the community without formal connection. And with COVID-19, they are learning how this can be lived out differently, and how it can look different with people showing an interest in the community from around the world.

Part of this journey has been to keep learning and evolving. A helpful part in the early days was to learn how to bootstrap. Early on, they experimented with micro industry, including both bread and beer making (like monastic ministries from hundreds of years ago). They try new programs and new approaches, and just as importantly they learn how to let things go. They call the framework for this “The Evolving Constellation”.

Watch the whole story.

Hopeful Economics unConference

Connect with others that want to change the world with you!

Hopeful economics is a way of looking at the world of the assets and abundance that it has and making that work for everyone. An unConference is when topics and discussions are informed by the people who show up!

During this three-day unConference we will tackle together the following:
  • How to see the abundance and hope
  • Active listening and translating what we are hearing and seeing
  • Collaboration and how to do that through our commonalities
  • Leaning into the problem
  • Connection to others across North America and in your neighbourhood
Learn more, and register.

[Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash]

February’s EDGE-y Conversations

  • February 1 at 1:00 p.m. EST: Naramata’s Story of Transformation
  • February 8 at 1:00 p.m. EST: Lumsden Beach Camp thinking differently
  • February 15 at 1:00 p.m. EST: Freedom Kitchen transforms the community, and Knox
  • February 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST: West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre
See the whole schedule of events.

Mass Hysterical

Tim Dawson, a lay leader at Kingston Road United Church and long-time member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, shares the story of combining comedy, music, and church – all online. He took a leap of faith to educate, entertain, and fundraise all at once...

A few years ago, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Second City collaborated on the show “The Second City Guide to the Symphony”. The success of this show led Tim to suggest a smaller scale version that could be toured in churches across the country. However, they needed a theme that would reach “church folk” as well as music and comedy lovers alike. Thus, the idea of celebrating 1000+ years of ecclesiastical music was born. What a great way to bring different unsuspecting partners together!

COVID-19 Pivot:
Mass Hysterical was meant to be a live concert, and they were not immune to the challenges of shifting online due to COVID. Performers could no longer gather together. Therefore, everyone had to record at home. This was a huge technical challenge for everyone to overcome. However, with a very small team of digital engineers (sound and video), and Colin Mochrie as the host, they put together a successful 80 minute show that launched December 15, 2020.

Next Steps:
Mass Hysterical was one of Embracing the Spirit’s repayable grant pilots. They reached their goal within one minute of the launch! Now they are looking at ways to offer this as a fundraiser for every United Church in Canada.

As an added bonus, this conversation starts with Tim playing the double bass live. You’ll be hooked from the beginning! Watch and enjoy! If you want to learn more how this initiative could be a fundraising for your community of faith, reach out to Tim at

[Photo by Tim Mossholder 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

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward to a friend Forward to a friend
Sign up for the Embracing the Spirit newsletter!
Donate to The United Church of Canada and help fund life changing work around the world!
Copyright © 2021 The United Church of Canada, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from all    update subscription preferences