Conference Workshops & Registration

How To Register: 

  1. Read the descriptions of the Outreach Conference workshops below. Pick one morning and one afternoon workshop.
  2. Visit the registration page and register. If you are paying online, have your credit card handy. NOTE: You do not need to enter a “Promo Code” unless you are a workshop facilitator.
  3. If you choose to pay by cheque, please make your cheque out to “Diocese of Toronto” and mail it to the following address:

Diocese of Toronto
135 Adelaide St. E.
Toronto ON M5C 1L8
Attention: Elin Goulden

Morning Workshops:

Transforming our Relationship with Earth: Celebrating a Parish Season of Creation

The times in which we live invite us as Christians to renew our relationship with, and our commitment to, the family of Earth.  In this workshop we will explore the potential of the celebrating of a Season of Creation to enliven and empower our parish communities for engaging the challenges of the environmental crisis we face.  We will share our experience of creating two Seasons of Creation at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto and some tools for carrying out such a project.

Facilitators: Grant Jahnke is Chair of Creation Matters @ Redeemer, the coordinating committee for Seasons of Creation at Church of the Redeemer . Grant holds graduate degrees in Counseling Psychology, Theology and English Literature, as well as a D.Min. in ecological spirituality.  Karen Turner is a retired social worker, and a parishioner at the Church of the Redeemer.  She has been an active participant with Creation Matters@Redeemer for four years, and a long-time member of the Diocesan Creation Matters committee.  She is married to Heather Steeves.

Unsettling the Word

Settler colonial societies have used the Bible to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands, culture and spiritualities. Is it possible for the exploited and their allies to reclaim the Bible and make it an instrument for justice? Unsettling the Word, created by the Mennonite Church Canada’s Indigenous-Settler Relations program, asks us to wrestle with the Scriptures, re-reading them and re-imagining them for the sake of reparative futures.

Facilitator: Fr. Robert (Bob) Holmes, CSB, is a Roman Catholic Basilian priest and teacher, who has been active in peace & justice ministry for several years. He is currently the Basilian Coordinator for Peace & Justice and heads up the Basilian Centre for Peace & Justice in Toronto. Since January 2000 Bob has also been a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) and has served in Mexico Colombia, the USA, East Africa, Iraq, Canada, and Israel/Palestine.

Opportunities and Challenges in Rural and Small-Town Outreach & Social Justice Ministry

This panel-style workshop will begin with an overview of the issues and challenges particular, and sometimes unique, to small towns and rural areas.  This will be followed by stories from those who are actively working to meet some of these challenges.  Together we will explore how we might empower each other to further respond to the needs of our rural and small-town communities.

Facilitators: The Rev. Lesley Barclay is a retired priest who has been active in outreach and social justice issues both in a rural/small town setting and within urban areas. She is a past Chair of the Outreach and Social Justice Committee for the Diocese of Toronto.  She brings with her a wealth of wisdom and experience. Patricia Sinnott retired from her hospital pharmacy career to her Port Hope roots and continues to advocate for affordable housing, accessible primary health care and social justice for marginalized people. Her passions include her family, her pets, vocal music and Green politics. Sharon O’Connor is a retired educator who has been involved with, and a supporter of, Transition House (an emergency shelter for the homeless) in Cobourg for 15 years.   Along with many other outreach activities she is a member of the Deanery Christian Education Team and a member of the Bishop’s Area Council.

Building Parish Resilience through Eco-Partnerships 

Stephen Drakeford of the Church of Epiphany and St. Mark, Parkdale, joins with Angela Elzinga-Cheng of Greenest City to describe the growth in the partnership between these two groups for their mutual development. For church people, this really embodies a strategy for local community relevance: the church’s partnership with Greenest City put the church back on the map in Parkdale and has led it to become a key player in neighbourhood redevelopment.

Facilitators: The Rev. Dr. Stephen Drakeford is the incumbent of Epiphany & St. Mark, Parkdale.  He has been involved with the Diocesan Creation Matters committee over many years and is passionate about incorporating creation care into the life of the church. Angela Elzinga-Cheng is the Executive Director of Greenest City, a non-profit organization working with Toronto communities on projects that promote health and enhance social and environmental justice.

There’s more to Being Christian Than Just Going to Church: Youth and the Radical Call to Justice (***For youth and youth leaders***)

Does being a Christian simply mean that you’re a “nice person?”  What role do young people have to play in justice and advocacy? Join us as we explore what the call to Christian advocacy looks like in the lives of  modern day advocates, and what Jesus teaches us about standing up for what is right.  There is more to God, and more to us, than just going to Church.

Facilitators: Alexandra (Ali) McIntosh is the Youth Ministry Coordinator for the York-Credit Valley area and a member of the Bishop’s Youth Ministry Committee. Jillian Ruch is the Youth Ministry Coordinator for the York-Scarborough area in the Diocese of Toronto and the Chair of the Bishop’s Youth Ministry Committee.  Both Ali and Jillian have been working with youth in Toronto for a decade and are passionate about integrating lived experiences with faith formation. They believe that youth voices are often marginalized, and that youth have a lot to teach the Church about evangelism and social justice.

*Youth participants are encouraged to choose from the full range of afternoon workshops.

Afternoon Workshops:

Loving thy Neighbour in Modern Times Through Resistance and Hope

This workshop will examine the core structural issues creating and growing poverty in our midst. We can examine the experience and many intersections of oppressions that have different impacts on those in our society. We will also look at the influence of media and “fake news”.  From there, the workshop will explore examples of active resistance through compassion and love for neighbour.  We will discover the key role of relationships in building common grounds and maintaining hope through the long and often frustrating process of working for change. Through interactive activities and shared discussion, participants will come to recognize opportunities to act, realize their collective power, and be inspired to keep weaving God’s call for justice in our communities.

Facilitator: Long time community advocate René Adams uses her life experience of marginalization to educate others on the struggles faced by people in poverty and to inspire others in the fight for systemic change.  A founding member of the Put Food in the Budget Campaign and the Bread and Bricks Social Justice Group, René has been an advisor to the Minister of Social Services during the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy process, a board member of the Income Security Advocacy Centre poverty law clinic, and currently serves as the United Church representative on the Board of Citizens for Public Justice.

Living Land Acknowledgements

“Land Acknowledgements” have become a central act of recognition of the traditional territories of Indigenous Nations, yet come into criticism as being superficial, token, and often poorly pronounced performances. How can this act of ceremonial recognition become transformative of our meetings, communities, and practices? Join the Rev. Leigh Kern to learn more about the history of the lands we live on, deepen your use and integration of land acknowledgements as sacred protocol, and give you the tools to make them living expressions of faith and relationship.

Facilitator: The Rev. Leigh Kern is the Coordinator of Indigenous Ministries and Reconciliation Animator for the Diocese of Toronto.  In addition to serving as the Anglican priest on the staff of Toronto Urban Native Ministry, Leigh serves on the Vision Keepers Council of the Anglican Church of Canada and on the KAIROS Steering Committee.

No Partiality: Possible Responses for Churches to Homelessness

Much of Southern Ontario is currently in a housing crisis. The most vulnerable in our community are feeling the true weight of this crisis, with many people experiencing homelessness. We will be exploring how we understand homelessness and how churches can lovingly and creatively respond and take a stand in their communities.

Facilitator: The Rev. Christian Harvey is the founder and director of Warming Room Community Ministries and Deacon at St. John’s Anglican Church in Peterborough.

Responding to Eco-Grief

In the world today, we are alarmingly far along in global environmental catastrophe that will continue to worsen before it improves. In this workshop, we will examine some of the emotional, psychological, social and spiritual realities that accompany this experience of pervasive loss. Informed by the insights of grief theorist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross and Jem Bendell’s work on deep adaptation, we will discuss how we may prepare for unknown futures, build resiliency strategies, and explore the possibilities for hope and healing through civic involvement and building reciprocal Earth relationships

Facilitator: Lane Patriquin (they/them) is a community organizer, educator and recent Anglican living in rural Ontario. They have a YouTube channel in which they discuss political theory and activist skill-building, and they facilitate adult education sessions on transgender allyship, climate justice, and anti-fascism.

Turning Tables 2.0: Anger, (in)justice and solidarity – the conversation continues

Building on last year’s successful workshop, we continue the conversation to look at Canada’s past and present structures and identify the forces which form(ed) attitudes and policies.  A nation is judged by the way it treats each of its citizens.  If Canada is to become a shining example to the rest of the world, it must acknowledge its past policies and be willing to make amendments to them. How can we as individuals and as a society work in solidarity to achieve justice?

Facilitators: The Rev. Claudette Taylor is deacon at Epiphany & St. Mark, Parkdale.  Claudette’s ministry in the Anglican Church is concentrated around inclusivity; her dream–seeing the development of secular and spiritual communities where all can live life abundantly.  Her studies include Economics, Accounting, Business, Technology,Education and Theology.  Tamique Erskine is trained and employed in Human Resources, Adult Education, Community Development, Technological Advocacy and Literacy. She is passionate about empowering adults to engage in lifelong learning, community building, workplace learning and social change.