Amplifying Voices On Turtle Island

Black Lives Matter-Sudbury, a Black led coalition of educators, students, activists, artists, and others working in solidarity with Indigenous communities, present their second annual Intersectional Caucus on Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th, 2022 starting at 12 PM EST. This free online conference titled “Amplifying voices on Turtle Island” will once again centre and uplift the voices of Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) and 2SLGBTQ+ activists, leaders, educators, and change-makers from across Turtle Island. 

This event features a total of six culturally responsive panels and one key-note presentation — each followed by engaging Q&As with panelists. Audiences will be able to learn about the on-going journey towards dismantling oppressive systems of power, combating inequality, and imagining new futures for marginalized communities. 

Manitou Intentional Learning Community recognizes the importance of centring the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) in our learning and engagement in decolonization. Please consider joining our leadership team in attending “Amplifying Voices On Turtle Island.” Following the Intersectional Caucus, MILC will host an online “Coffee Talk” on Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30 pm. Join us in open conversation to share our discoveries, questions and learning: What did we learn? How can we integrate this learning into our lives as individuals, as members of faith communities and as Canadians? What more do we need to learn to become anti-racist and how can we best do this? 

Go to Amplifying Voices on Turtle Island, for more information and to register for the event.

Check out the promotional and social media material for “Amplifying Voices on Turtle Island” on their Facebook page.

Read more about the event from

Registration for MILC’s ‘Coffee Talk’ on Tuesday March 1 is now closed.

Lenten Inspirations

So,… it’s that time of the year again… time for Lenten planning. Join Rev. Stewart Walker and others for a time of reflection and discussion of the Lent and Easter lectionary readings and how we might frame the Easter message in this particular time we are all living through. As is usual for this recurring Lenten event, we will look at the scriptures but we will also share how we do/did Lent, Holy Week and Easter in a time of uncertainty.

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community invites you to attend a workshop designed for all those who are responsible for preparing worship during Lent and Easter.

Saturday, February 5th from 9:30 to noon via Zoom.

For more information, contact Gillian at [email protected]

Advent Labyrinth Walk

** Event Cancelled due to inclement weather. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Saturday, December 11 from 12:00-4:00pm

Lourdes Grotto Labyrinth, 271 Van Horne St.

The Manitou Intentional Learning Community’s (MILC) labyrinth sub-committee presents our first outdoor in person labyrinth walk since the beginning of the pandemic!!

It will be a group event but people will walk the labyrinth individually or in ‘bubbles’ of people. We would ask you to sign up for a 20-minute slot between the hours of 12:00 and 4:00pm. If you’d rather just show up, be advised that you may have to wait a little while for your turn.

Please e-mail Amy to book your spot: [email protected]

The gate will be open, so you can drive directly up to the labyrinth and we will have sanded paths for you to walk. Members of the sub-committee will be there to guide you and offer warm refreshments!

If you would rather stay home, you can watch last year’s Winter Solstice Walk. You can find the video on YouTube on the St. Peter’s United channel:

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


~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


~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 [email protected].


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  [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]

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 [email protected] 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.