Birthing Hope: Women in the Christmas Story

Presenter: Sylvia Keesmaat

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 @ 7pm via Zoom


Please join MILC for a advent season workshop.  As Sylvia Keesmaat notes of the women in the Christmas story… some are named, some are hidden. Some are unexpectedly front and centre, others are obscure. This workshop will explore the women of the Christmas story, those seeking to birth hope in a world where the powerful seem to control the lives of women. 


Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat is a biblical scholar, activist and farmer.  She obtained her doctorate from Oxford University, studying with NT Wright, and has most recently taught as an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity College, Toronto School of Theology, as well as for the Creation Care Studies program in Belize. 

Sylvia founded Bible Remixed in 2021 to help nurture a community of Jesus followers who are deeply rooted in the biblical story, and who are becoming a community of welcome, healing and nurture for those people and creatures who suffer most from the violence of our world. 

More information is available about her work at Bible Remixed.

MILC AGM — Encounters with Jesus: Different Points of View

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community invites you to our Annual General Meeting, followed by:

Encounters with Jesus: Different Points of View

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022 Via Zoom 6:30 to 8:00pm

Guest Speakers

Torrin Maag, Master’s Student, Atlantic School of Theology:

Neurodiversity in the Church

Jeffrey Dale, Minister, Justice and Faith Formation, Canadian Shield and Shining Waters Regional Councils:

 Faith Formation

Faye Moffatt, Church Musician and LLWL, Trinity United Church, Capreol:

 Music: One Step on our Journey to Becoming an Anti-racist Church

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.

Leadership provided by Rev. Stewart Walker

Saturday, October 29th, 2022, 9:30am to noon via Zoom

More than Care for Creation: Responding as Church to the Ecological Crisis

with Rev. Dr. Jessica Hetherington

Following up on her first talk on “Discipleship in a Burning World: Christian Faith and Ecological Crisis,” this presentation will explore the ways in which the church, as a worshipping community, can explore its call to Earth healing. Questions such as the following will be explored: What does a collective discipleship of Earth healing look like? How can we support,encourage and challenge one another as a community in our discipleship? How can our commitment to Earth healing be reflected in all aspects of church life, including liturgy, Christian education, the sacraments, and more?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom

Presenter’s Bio:

The Rev. Dr. Jessica Hetherington, ecotheologian and ordained minister, is a preacher, speaker and teacher who inspires people of faith to transform their lives and actions in response to the ecological crisis. She holds a PhD in Theology from Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, and serves in the United Church of Canada.

Exploring Spiritual Care and Medical Assistance in Dying

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, 1:30 to 3:30, St Peter’s United Church, York Street, Sudbury.

Workshop Facilitator: Rev. Kathy Dahmer, Chaplain RP

Special Guests: Dr. Jessica Jackson, MAID provider and Mary Huska, Clinical Bioethicist/Manager Spiritual and Religious Care

This workshop offers:

1)      Education about MAID- (in institutions and in the community) and the importance of spiritual care for spiritual patients, facilitating MAID and last wishes.

2)      Unique issues that can surface regarding death and/or grief for patients- and family members.  (Sharing our experiences)

3)      Equipping Clergy with tools- communication and ministry of presence in order to best serve patients and families. 

Cost – Kindly consider making a donation at the event.

World Labyrinth Day 2022 – Walking for Peace in Our World – Self Guided Walk

by the Labyrinth Sub-Committee of MILC (Manitou Intentional Learning Community

This is our eighth celebration of World Labyrinth Day in Sudbury and our first in person one after two years of virtual! We are glad that you can be with us in spirit using this script! Try to walk with us “as one at 1:00” on Saturday, May 7.

If you don’t have a finger labyrinth, here’s a link to instructions on how to make one:

You could use the same design concept on your lawn and use spray paint to draw it for a temporary labyrinth the way this person did:

Our theme this year includes readings and songs about peace and the natural world. We hope that you can access the links to these before or during your walk. There are three original pieces that are printed here. Enjoy, and may you embody the peace we all want to see in the world.

Spirals and Labyrinths – Rev. Dawn Vaneyk

A labyrinth is designed to work the way a spiral works – there is one path and one path only. It leads you to the centre. If you watch someone prepare a soft serve ice cream cone, you will notice at the end, they do a swirl with the ice cream, like a spiral, round and round, one round on top of the other till it makes a little peak. Some labyrinths are complex spirals. You seem to be on the outside, and getting closer to the centre and then you are on the outside again. But even a complex spiral is a spiral and you will not find a dead end or get lost. That very path will take you to the centre and also out again where you began.

When we walk the labyrinth spiral, we can feel a connection to other spirals in the universe. Our universe itself is called a spiral universe.

You can see other spirals in nature: In the spring, the ferns aren’t big broad leaves. They begin their journey to BE big broad leaves by first being a “fiddlehead” – a small plant all curled into a spiral shape. You can look for those at this time of year.

Look at the house of a snail, the cross section of an ammonite fossil from 66 million years ago – there are spirals!

We carry spirals inside our bodies: our fingerprint is like a spiral, the cochlea in our ear is a spiral. Our DNA is a spiral. Even our bones, especially when young, grow in a spiral form.

When we walk the labyrinth, we are connected, not only to ancestors who, long ago built labyrinths for walking, but we are connected to the earth and her creatures, to our own bodies, and so, because we are human, to all the other people walking the labyrinth with us, the people we may be thinking of or praying for, and the people walking labyrinths all throughout the world today.

Before walking the labyrinth with your feet or your fingers today, find a picture of DNA. Find a picture of a fiddlehead, a snail, an ammonite, a spiral galaxy.
Marvel at how connected we are to creation and one another, past and present.

Directions For Labyrinth Walking – Rev. Dawn Vaneyk

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’ – to intend to be open to whatever gift the walk will give.

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/ in the gift of having reached the Centre; 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.

If peace comes by Hakim Karwan, 21. Afghanistan.

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Barry

Peace on Earth by Marilyn Boileau

As we have gathered here at the labyrinth, in this natural setting, hearing the birds, surrounded by evergreen trees and feeling the wind, sun or rain on our faces. I’m reminded we are all part of something so much greater than ourselves. It is heartwarming to realize we are gathered together with others around the world in our desire for peace in the world.

I’m going to set my intention for my walk with the words from the song “Let there be Peace on Earth” written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson Miller.

Prayer for Peace

Song: Salaam Alaikum

World Labyrinth Day 2022

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 12:45 pm

“Walking for Peace in our World”

Join us for our first in person World Labyrinth Day celebration since the start of the pandemic!

At the Lourdes Grotto, 271 Van Horne St., Sudbury

We will gather at the labyrinth at the top of the hill (the gate will be open, so you can park right at the labyrinth site) at 12:45 pm for some opening words, and at 1:00pm on we will join those around the world in a wave of peace as we “walk as one at 1:00”. 

Together we will discover connections between the labyrinth, the world, ourselves and nature. There will be readings and songs throughout, and you will be invited to do some nature ‘wandering’ after walking the labyrinth. Families with children are especially welcome as the first part of the event will be geared to them. Individually wrapped refreshments will be offered as well.                                                                    

Please wear a mask, as we will be close together at times on the labyrinth.

This event is presented by St. Peter’s United Church and the Manitou Intentional Learning Community (MILC)

Discipleship in a Burning World

Discipleship in a Burning World: Christian Faith and Ecological Crisis 

The changes that human beings must undertake in order to adequately respond to the ecological crisis are complex and difficult. While we have expressed concern over the need for change for decades, we have been largely ineffective, and the crisis, in its various dimensions, has been careening out of control. In this talk, I will address two essential pieces of the solution for people of faith: coming to a new understanding of who we are as the human species in creation, and understanding what discipleship means and its potential for transformative action in the face of the ecological crisis.

Join us for an online event exploring Christian faith and ecological crisis with Rev. Dr. Jessica Hetherington.

April 27, 2022 @ 7pm on Zoom.

Registration is now closed.

The Rev. Dr. Jessica Hetherington, ecotheologian and ordained minister, is a preacher, speaker and teacher who inspires people of faith to transform their lives and actions in response to the ecological crisis. She holds a PhD in Theology from Saint Paul University and serves in the United Church of Canada.d dreams for environmental behaviour change./

Lenten Study: Death of Jesus for Progressive Christians

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community invites you to participate in a three-week Lenten book study, The Death of Jesus for Progressive Christians published in 2019. Donald Schmidt’s study guides participants through the Biblical stories about the death of Jesus “invit[ing] us to ask the larger question hanging in the background. Why did Jesus die?” Schmidt suggests that “Jesus’ theme of God’s involvement in the world on behalf of the marginalized . . . was a major challenge to the religious order of the day. It had to be stopped.” The ideas explored in this text resonate with people of faith in the modern world. In the introduction, Schmidt writes: “The point of this study is to help you . . . analyze, celebrate, incarnate, and try to live out the powerful story of the events leading up to Jesus’ death and burial.”

Leadership will be provided by Rev. Dave LeGrand, Rev. Erin Todd, and Rev. Dawn Vaneyk.

Sessions will take place via Zoom from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m:

Monday, March 21, March 28 and April 4

Getting a Copy of the Book:

  • The study guide can be purchased through Woodlake Publishing and is also available in an ebook or kindle edition.
  • If you are in Sudbury and would like a print book, we will be placing an order with Grand River on Friday, March 4th and these will be available for pick up from St. Peter’s. Please email your request to [email protected].
  • The book can also be purchased online from Amazon.
  • Chapters in Sudbury will order the book for pick up.

 For more information contact Gillian at [email protected].

Registration is now closed.