Festival of Faith: Four Free Workshops that will Inspire and Educate

We are excited to share details of a handful of the dynamic and informative workshops at the Festival of Faith on July 21 and July 22, 2018.

Here are four workshops you may wish to attend:

Exploring Racial Justice: A Bible Study

Sat. July 21, 2018
(Time to be confirmed)

Does the Bible talk about racial justice? How might we read familiar texts with a racial-justice lens? How might people of various backgrounds differently read biblical passages?

Our understanding of the Word and the Gospel call us to racial justice. Yet as human beings, we exclude on these grounds all the time. How can we address this? One way, is through exploring racial justice in the Bible. This interactive workshop will include time for individual reflection, small-group work, and large-group discussion. Participants will be encouraged to deepen their learning outside of the workshop.

The Bible study and reflection are based on the online racial justice-training program for ministry personnel. The Bible study, which consistently receives high reviews in workshop evaluations, will also be grounded in our commitment to become an anti-racist, intercultural church.

Speakers: Adele Halliday, Jennifer Janzen-Ball, Alcris Limongi, and Philip Vinod Peacock

Taking the Church Out of the Church

Sat. July 21, 2018
(Time to be confirmed)

This workshop explains how to be a vibrant, emerging, and modern ministry. Be a ministry that thinks outside the box but is based on the values of the United Church of Canada; one that does not meet in the physical, traditional church; and one that looks toward the future and the needs of its people. 

Participants will immerse themselves in a dynamic, modern worship experience, and discover how to build an intentional community of faith.

Speakers: Nathan Beeler, Mat Whynott, Alicia Walls, and Whitney Walls

Disability and the Church: Re-Imagining Being Together

Sat. July 21, 2018
(Time to be confirmed)

This workshop offers a mix of personal presentations and small-group discussions. The goal is to look at efforts to widen the scope of participation in the church, particularly to more fully include people with both visible and invisible disabilities. The presentations share real-life transformational processes. Some are about theologies of disabilities; others are personal experiences.

The format of the workshop is: presentation; guided questions; and small-group discussions. Participants will have an opportunity to share stories from their own communities of faith. The second part of the workshop features an exploration of an accessibility audit with practical suggestions for communities of faith. Advocacy ideas will be considered.

Speakers: Sharon Aylsworth, Sharon Ballantyne, Adele Halliday, Tom Reynolds, and Miriam Spies

Iridesce: The Living Apology Project

July 21, 2018
(Time to be confirmed)

In 1988, the United Church declared that all people, regardless of sexual orientation, are welcome as full members, and all members are eligible to be considered for ministry.

In 2015, General Council approved a motion to partner with Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble to create a Living Apology project. Iridesce: The Living Apology Project launched in September 2017. The project is gathering personal stories of being trans, bisexual, 2-Spirit, lesbian, gay, queer (or another gender or sexual identity/expression) in our past or present church past, or present. We are hearing some clear messages.

The church we are becoming brings brokenness and wounds that linger from 1988, with accompanying grief and anger. LGBTQ2+ people, their family, and allies in the United Church are still afraid to share their stories, afraid to come out, afraid of judgment and rejection.

The church needs to wrestle with these issues, and this workshop invites participants into the conversations.
Speaker: Aaron Miechkota

The Festival of Faith kicks off GC43. Bookmark the Festival of Faith page and visit it regularly to see new details on workshops as they are available.