Advent Study 2021

Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?

A three-part journey exploring the Christmas story through different lenses

December 1st, 8th and 15th – 6:30 to 8:30pm via Zoom

Session 1: Hearing 2SLGBTQ+ Voices Wednesday, December 1st

Guests: 

~Aidan Legault, M.Div. student, Emmanuel College, Toronto

~Rev. June Joplin, Associate Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church, Toronto

~Peter Haddow, North Bay, LLWL and Team Lead of CSRC Affirming Resource Team

~Poetry and music with Natalie Wilson and Ralph Johnston, St. Andrew’s United Church, North Bay.

Session 2: Hearing Black Voices Wednesday, December 8th

Guests:  

~Rev. Alydia Smith, Identity and Mission Network Coordinator, UCC General Council

~Joy Kalu, Chair, Congregational Care Community, St. Peter’s United Church, Sudbury

Session 3: Sharing Our Reflections Wednesday, December 15th

An opportunity to reflect in how our learnings are relevant and important to people of faith and their communities.

For further information, contact Gillian at manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com.

MILC AGM 2021

MILC Invites you to the Annual General Meeting followed by

Inside / Outside: New Ways of Being Church

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Via Zoom 6:30 to 8:00pm

Guest Speakers

Faye Moffatt, Trinity United Church, CapreolNo-one to Preach: Sermon Share Might be for You

Rev. Cory Vermeer Cuthbert, Holy Trinity United Church, Elliot Lake  – Not Your Usual Yard Sale

Susie Henderson, Shining Waters Regional Council Staff TeamRestoring the Great Conversation: The Wild Church Movement

Hymns with Faye Moffatt

There will be time for discussion and sharing: How have you and your faith community been thinking outside the box and finding new ways to be church in response to the pandemic?

For further information, contact Gillian at  manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com

DECODE/DISCOVER/DETERMINE: A Workshop on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Moderated by Lisa Blais and Susan Lindquist

Saturday, October 23, 2021, 9:30 to 12:00

Via Zoom

On June 21, 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP) received Royal Assent and immediately came into force. Honouring the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as mandated in the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), continues to be of critical concern. The recent heartbreaking discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves on Residential School grounds and the struggle of the Wet’suwet’en peoples in British Columbia are current examples of how the UN Declaration has particular application.

In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report (2015), Calls to Action were issued to federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, as well as all church parties to the Settlement Agreement such as The United Church of Canada, and other faith groups, to fully adopt and implement UNDRIP.

This workshop will support persons of faith in their understanding so that they can endorse it in action. The goals of the workshop are to DECODE what UNDRIP is; to DISCOVER why it is, or should be, important to people of faith, and to DETERMINE steps to implement it, in church and society.

Note: As some churches are open, some groups may wish to gather in person to participate in the Zoom sessions and form in person break out rooms. If you would like to do this, please:

  1. Have all participants register individually;
  2. Contact Gillian at manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com to discuss the technical requirements and other arrangements so that we can make sure that things run smoothly;
  3. Ensure that you abide by the Covid-19 guidelines for the space in which you plan to meet.

Self-Guided Labyrinth Walk for Fall Equinox 2021

Directions for Labyrinth Walking


At the entrance
: Perhaps invite the guidance of the Spirit in your walk. Some people like to offer a concrete prayer for

guidance or help; some simply ‘set their intention’.

The walk in: Don’t “force” anything; walk with awareness of your feet, of sounds and sights, of feelings – you don’t need to follow those things and get involved with them, or lost in the story they might tell; just notice and let go. Be here.

At the Centre: Rest for a time in God’s Presence; you may wish to face the four directions; to be still; to be grateful; to listen. When the time is right, begin the path out.

On the way out: Again, enjoy the walk; if a thought or guidance comes to you, be grateful. If this is just the first time this week you have slowed down to do nothing but be and walk – just be, and walk. It’s a sacred gift.

At the end: Take a moment to give thanks for the walk, for the gift of it, for the fruit of it that may not come today, but at some moment when you need it.

Thoughts About Equinox

The Equinox of Autumn is a moment of balance between daylight and night. It is the start of our journey toward the Solstice, when the longest hours of night turn once again to the lengthening of day.

For many people this is a time of difficulty. Letting go of the summer can be hard, especially this summer that included some loosening of restrictions around COVID 19. With the returning to school this fall and bracing for a possible fourth wave, my family has felt the need to restrict our bubble once again, for the protection of ourselves and others. Perhaps you have had a similar experience.

Rather than looking at previous joyous seasons of our lives as being gone forever, we can focus on the ‘fruits’ of these seasons, what we have learned and how we have grown, and we can carry these with us into the future. Similarly, in the fall we gather the harvest of the summer growing season and take it with us into the upcoming months for nourishment.

We can also remember that, as always, we do not make this journey alone. The Spirit of God is with us as we move from the known to the unknown, from one season to the next. Also, we have each other as companions. You may like to walk the labyrinth with those in your bubble, or walk separately and then communicate your experience afterwards with a friend.

By Amy Hallman Grout with revised contributions from Rev. Dawn Vaneyk.

Advent in October: A workshop for all those leading worship during Advent

October, the time when all good worship leaders start planning for Advent and Christmas!

This workshop will provide opportunities for reflection and discussion of some of the Advent and Christmas lectionary readings and of ways in which we might frame the Advent message in these challenging times. There will be opportunities for group wide and small group work.

Our workshop facilitator this year will be Reverend Doctor Ted Harrison, a Minister of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care. He was ordained in the year 2000, when he began serving churches in northern Ontario. Ted has a passion for Christian worship, with a focus on accessible storytelling that draws on scripture, humour, storybooks, and music. Ted reads a lot—particularly in the areas of theology, world religions, philosophy, history, poetry… and comic books. Ted is married to Caroline, who is a hospital physiotherapist and a part-time sermon critic. Ted and Caroline have two daughters (Eve and Erin) and a dog named Ginny.

Please join us for this workshop via Zoom on Saturday, October 2nd from 9:30 am to noon.

For more information and to register, please contact Gillian Schell manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com

Pandemic Resiliency: Coping emotionally, spiritually and mentally through the challenges of the Pandemic

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community (MILC) invites you to Pandemic Resiliency: Coping emotionally, spiritually and mentally through the challenges of the Pandemic on Wednesday, September 22nd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

This workshop, presented by Susan Browning, will explore ways in which the Pandemic has impacted our mental and spiritual health, share practical coping strategies, and look to the future exploring hope and faith in the resilient spirit God has given us.

Susan, a Registered Psychotherapist, a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and a clinical supervisor for interns, is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada currently serving two congregations in the London area.

For more information and to register and receive the Zoom link, please email manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com or contact Gillian Schell 705 671 0185.

Susan Browning is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and a clinical supervisor for interns.  She currently has a private practice in London.  Prior to beginning private practice Sue spent ten years with community counselling agencies.  In addition to seeing clients, she provided wellness workshops for many London based organizations including King’s College, and Western University. Sue was also the regional trainer for critical incidents of all Family Service organizations in southern Ontario.  Sue is also an ordained minister with the United Church of Canada.  In that capacity she has served on many national and local committees. She currently serves two congregations on the edge of London; Littlewood United and St. Andrew’s Westminster.

Gailand McQueen in Conversation: Celebrating the Labyrinth

 

Gailand McQueen joined MILC executive representative Natasha Gerolami to talk about his new book Celebrating the Labyrinth: A Journey of the Spirit.  In this interview, Gailand McQueen shares his wisdom about the history and practices of using labyrinths in spiritual practice.

Gailand McQueen’s new book Celebrating the Labyrinth: A Journey of the Spirit is available from Wood Lake Books.

Watch the full interview here.

Resources for National Indigenous People’s Day

Apology to Action: Reflections on the thirty-fifth anniversary is a fifteen-minute video prepared by the Manitou Intentional Learning Community in collaboration with the Canadian Shield Regional Council Right Relations Resource Team, that revisits the First Apology made to Indigenous People by the United Church of Canada in August, 1986, during the 31st General Council, held in Sudbury, Ontario. The video recounts a brief history of that event, reminds us of the words spoken by those who offered and received the Apology, challenges us to consider our commitment to reconciliation and calls us to act so that the words spoken that day can truly become “words of action and sincerity.” (Edith Memnook)

The video features reflections from Lisa Blais and Maxine McVey, Right Relations Resource Team, Canadian Shield Regional Council, and the Very Reverend Jordan Cantwell, former Moderator of the United Church of Canada.

The video is suitable for inclusion in worship services, especially on June 20, 2021, to mark National Indigenous People’s Day, and to spark discussion of how we, as people of faith, can live out this Apology. .

For those who cannot use technology in their churches, the script is available. You may find words that you would like to incorporate into worship services marking the Indigenous Day of Prayer. Please attribute the words to the speaker and mention this resource.

The additional resource, Apology to Action: A Pilgrimage for Reconciliation invites you to affirm your commitment to reconciliation by making a pilgrimage to the site of the Apology Cairn in Sudbury, Ontario, or to some place that is special to you. You are invited to reflect on the words of the Apology and the Response and to commit to the hard and humbling work of building right relations. This resource was created in collaboration with the Right Relations Resource Team. Sincere thanks to Lisa Blais for her contributions and her wisdom and guidance.

The video and the accompanying Pilgrimage Package are dedicated to the Very Reverend Stan MacKay, whose presentation to the Manitou Intentional Learning Community in April 2021 ignited this project.

Pride Hymn Sing

A hymn by Shirley Erena Murray begins, “For everyone born, there’s a place at the table.” Most churches claim to be welcoming. Some churches are officially affirming. However, we are reminded that “often, people who are trans, non-binary, gender queer, queer, Two-Spirit, intersex, and many more identities are made invisible in worship. We become part of a generic welcome to everyone, or are cast as being welcome ‘regardless’ or ‘despite’ our diversity, not because of it. This is especially true for many racialized and Indigenous LGBTQIA+ people, as well as LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit people with disabilities.” (Enfleshed: Worship Service and Communion Liturgy for Affirming PIE Day -United Church of Canada)

With this in mind, Trinity United Church, Capreol, invites you to join their hymn sing on Thursday, June 3. It will feature songs with, for, about, and by people from the LGBTQ+ community celebrating the rich diversities of our genders, orientations, identities and expressions. We will share words of inspiration and challenge and sing from Voices UnitedMore VoicesSongs for the Holy Other, and other sources as we seek to foster authentic welcome, community, justice and joy.

 

For more information, contact Faye Moffatt 1fmoffatt@sympatico.ca or

Gillian Schell manitouintentionallearning@gmail.com

Renewal in the Midst of Uncertainty – World Labyrinth Day

You are invited to join us for our second digital World Labyrinth Day celebration in Sudbury, ON.  Although the Sudbury Labyrinth is open this year, due to gathering restrictions we will again celebrate online.

At 1:00pm on World Labyrinth Day, Saturday, May 1st2021,we will join others around the world in a wave of peace as we “walk as one at 1:00”.

Here’s how to participate:

  1. If you like, watch last year’s video here, on how to make your own finger labyrinth.
  2. Join us at 12:45pm on Saturday, May 1 live on the St. Peter’s United Church Sudbury YouTube channel to follow along at home as we show a video of the Sudbury Labyrinth being walked and talk about symbols of renewal. This event is presented by St. Peter’s United Church and the Manitou Intentional Learning Community (MILC)