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.