Listen. Learn. Act: Confronting Racism in our Community

The police killings of black and indigenous people and the protests that followed have received extensive media coverage.   Many voices have joined the chorus to demand change.  To be able to bring about change, it is important to understand the roots of racism and the daily experience of individuals and communities affected by racism. Please join in the Zoom presentation with Carla John (Manager, Equity, Human Rights, and Accessibility at Cambrian College), and Kelly Lee Assinewe (Coordinator of the N’Swakamok Alternative School), who will speak about issues of racism in our area and how to work towards racial equity in our local context.

This is a Zoom event to be held on Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30 t0 8:00pm.

Presented by the Manitou Intentional Learning Community (MILC)

Registration required. Please contact

About our guests

Carla John is a former teacher who returned to university after 7 years of teaching and received her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Mount Saint Vincent University.

Hard-of hearing since the age of two, Carla has experienced how marginalized identities intersect and are sometimes forgotten. She’s worked with people with disabilities both as Learning Skills Counsellor at Laurentian University and as former chair of the Sudbury Accessible Sports Council.

Originally from Bermuda, Carla likes to return often with her wife and son to visit family and friends.

Kelly-Lee Assinewe is originally from the Serpent River First Nation but is now a member of Sagamok Anishnawbek. She is a mother of 3 beautiful children and grandmother to 2 grandsons.

She has been working as the Coordinator of the N’Swakamok Alternative School for over twenty years and has over thirty years of experience working with Indigenous youth and adults in educational settings.  She helps at risk students achieve their dreams of obtaining their diplomas.

She has been recognized for her work through the Indigenous Educator Award for Community Service by Indspire; Native Education Person of Distinction Award from Laurentian University and Woman of Distinction through YWCA Sudbury.

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How to Host a Zoom Meeting

Many of us have been participants in Zoom meetings but have you ever wanted to learn how to host one or to dive a bit deeper than to just be a participant?  You can learn by coming to this online workshop being presented by MILC.

This workshop, hosted by Susan Whitehead, a staff member of the Canadian Shield Regional Council, will prepare participants to make the most of Zoom meetings.

Topics include: booking meetings, sharing screens, using security settings and waiting rooms, chat box, breakout groups, back-end settings, sharing audio and visual materials, and Zoom meeting etiquette.

Date:  Wednesday, September 16th 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

To register and receive an invitation, please contact

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Workshop – Producing a Video Worship Service

How to produce a video worship service with no budget, a phone, and a computer.

On March 15th, 2020 Espanola United Church held regular Sunday worship in the sanctuary. On March 17th at 9:13 A.M., the province of Ontario declared a state of emergency which shut down most of the province including our places of worship. On March 22nd, Espanola United Church produced an online worship service. Join the Rev. Stewart Walker as he shares the story of his transition from humble country minister to YouTube star with 100 views per week! Seriously though, it was a steep learning curve and I would like to share the things I learned along the way, particularly how to produce a video worship service with no budget, a phone, and a computer. We will look at free, open source software which allows production of reasonably professional videos; how to use the software; and how to post the video to the internet. The session will take place on Wednesday, September 9th from 6:30 to 8:00 by Zoom. To register and receive Zoom invitation, please contact gillian.schell@sympatico,ca

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Maurice Switzer – Treaty Workshop Recording

MILC extends a very large thank you to Maurice Switzer for discussing the history of Treaties will MILC participants in May 2019 and for permitting a recording of the presentation.

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Video – Que(e)rying Religion: Talking an appreciative inquiry approach to LGBTQ2+ inclusion in faith communities

Rev. Jeff Rock, Senior Pastor at Metropolitan Community Church Toronto, offered a talk on Que(e)ring Religion to MILC participants in June of 2020.

You can watch a recording of the presentation here.


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Labyrinth walking this Summer

Summer is here and we wanted to let you know that the St. Peter’s labyrinth at the Lourdes Grotto in Sudbury is OPEN! Physical distancing is still required, so if you do visit, please go only with people in your ‘bubble’ or household, or by yourself. This is because we can’t do the 6 feet apart necessary at every step of the labyrinth. We hope that group events can resume soon!

Here is an idea for celebrating the summer solstice (June 20-21) this weekend or whenever you can:

Go to the labyrinth or use your finger labyrinth and walk your own walk, thinking of the balance of light and dark. The walk in and the walk out usually take the same amount of time, so balance is reflected here. Perhaps think of day or light on the way in, and night or dark on the way out. What do these concepts mean to you? What happens when they are in balance in your life? Say a prayer or set an intention in the middle.

With Blessings, Amy Hallman Grout, Labyrinth Coordinator at St. Peter’s United and the MILC (Manitou Intentional Learning Community) Labyrinth Team

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Que(e)rying Religion: Talking an appreciative inquiry approach to LGBTQ2+ inclusion in faith communities

Join for a conversation with Rev. Jeff Rock, Senior Pastor at Metropolitan Community Church Toronto.

Monday, June 22nd, 2020 6: 30 p.m.

Via Zoom: Registration required


Rev. Jeff Rock

Rev. Jeff Rock was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario and attended St. Peter’s United Church. He also has deep family roots on Manitoulin Island.

His first love was theatre, but his second love was the sciences, which led him as a bright-eyed 18-year-old to Montreal where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University. During those years Jeff found his third love and true calling to serve the church and soon after graduation began a Master of Divinity degree at The United Theological College.

After Ordination Jeff spent 6 years in Ministry with the people of Gaetz Memorial United Church in Red Deer, Alberta, which became an affirming congregation shortly after his ministry there ended. During that time, he was involved in many community initiatives, culminating in running as a Liberal candidate in the 2015 Federal Election

Jeff is passionate about Indigenous issues, harm reduction, and building bridges across our differences to build inclusive community. Jeff has a Greyhound-Dalmatian named Chaz. You can often find them out and about, going for long walks and jogs, camping or cuddling.


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Labyrinth Walks for Pentecost

We were very excited that over 50 people joined the virtual labyrinth walk hosted by St. Peter’s and MILC to celebrate World Labyrinth Day at the beginning of May.

This Sunday is Pentecost, and we thought that while we are still physically apart and seeking ways to nurture our spirits, you might be interested in more labyrinth activities.

Here are three suggestions:

  • The following link takes you to a flame shaped labyrinth that you can print or “walk” on the screen and suggests prompts for you to use as you take your meditative walk.

  • Take out your finger labyrinth

If you don’t already have one, excellent instructions from Amy Hallman-Grout can be found at

“Walk” the labyrinth using the prompts from the previous link:

START As you move to the center of the flame, think about the word: Hope. What does it bring to mind? What do you think of?

IN THE CENTRE Pause and listen to God.  The Bible reminds us that the Holy Spirit can fill us with hope. (Romans 15:13). What do you need hope for today? Ask God to fill you up with hope.

ON THE WAY OUT As you trace your way back out the flame, think about someone who needs hope this week, and ask God to fill them with the Holy Spirit.

  • Walk your finger labyrinth to beautiful, meditative music:

Open the following link to listen to a wonderful Gregorian chant of Veni Creator Spiritus – Come Holy Ghost, the Maker, Come.

The words appear in English on the screen and can be used to focus your meditation.

The recording lasts for 3.28 minutes but can be set to loop if you would like your “walk” to be longer.

We hope you will try some of these activities and that you will find them a source of strength and comfort. We will be

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We Belong to the Land

We Belong to the Land: A reflection on paths to a just peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land

 presented by James Walker, live online Friday, May 29th, 6:30 p.m.

Registration required. Contact

In the summer of 2019, James Walker, a Master of Architecture student at Laurentian University and long- time member of the United Church of Canada, travelled to Palestine and Israel with 13 other pilgrims as part of the Youth for Peace Pilgrimage. While there, he travelled to many different holy sites and sacred spaces, spent time in occupied territories and refugee camps where he saw the effects of the Israeli occupation, and listened to the stories of citizens and of United Church partners. Through these experiences he gained a better understanding of the sociopolitical situation, developed insights into the issues impacting the Holy Land, and explored possibilities for the future.

Please join us as we find ways to stay connected and learn together while we must remain physically apart.

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World Labyrinth Day: Walking Apart but not Alone

On world labyrinth day, May 2nd, approximately 50 people joined for an online event to “walk apart but not alone.”  The annual labyrinth walk, which is traditionally held at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes was adapted to be a fun online “walk” as one.  Prior to the date, participants were encouraged to make their own finger labyrinth and then join a group online to walk the labyrinths together.

You can continue to use these resources to assist in your meditative practices.

1) Find your creativity and get some tips and tricks for making your very own finger labyrinth by watching this short video:

How to Make Your Own Finger Labyrinth

2) Connect to the St. Peter’s United Church Sudbury YouTube channel and watch the recording for the labyrinth workshop.  The workshop leaders share some words of comfort and you can join in by “walking” our finger labyrinth:

Labyrinth Day Walk Video


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