When you register, you will be asked to indicate your three preferred workshops, of which you will be able to attend two.

Rev. Diane Strickland

Good Theology Supports Resilience: An Introduction to Theology Undergirding Trauma Informed Ministry

Explore the role of Holy Saturday in developing a theology of trauma and work with resurrection accounts to identify Trauma Informed Ministry we might see in the Risen Christ.

Diane Strickland is an experienced and certified Community & Workplace Traumatologist, serving in disaster settings and critical incident response. She wrote Trauma Informed Ministry: A Primer for Ministers and Ministries and other video and print resources for disaster/pandemic response.

Rev. Evan Swance-Smith

Placing the Gospel in the Centre of the Sacred Circle

Come and join Rev. Evan Swance-Smith for an exploration of how Indigenous Christians are able to live into the fullness of the gospel by
following Traditional and Biblical teachings.

Rev. Evan has been the minister at Toronto Urban Native Ministry since 2014. Working with some of Toronto’s most marginalised people, Evan is constantly striving to redefine evangelism, decolonise Christian community, and walks alongside people on their spiritual journeys always advocating for the oppressed.

Rev. Brigit Maya Douglas

Giving the Beatitudes Attitude

The Beatitudes have been quoted to encourage resiliency in justice work, yet it was often misused to force resiliency on marginalized and disenfranchised peoples. If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us, the veil that separates the justice worker and justice seeker is quite thin and permeable. We will engage in activities to re-imagine this text historically and currently by loving God with our strength and then our hearts-minds-souls.

Rev. Brigit Maya Douglas is the Minister at St. James United Church of Etobicoke. She is in solo ministry with a robust group of lay people who is intentionally growing into their discipleship roles. Her life’s ministry extends to and includes storytelling, dancing, canoeing and travelling.

Rev. Todd McDonald and Rev. William (Bill) Lord

Clergy Peer Learning Groups

Clergy Peer Learning Groups are all about ministers helping ministers thrive. In the workshop, Bill Lord and Todd McDonald will explore the sustaining impact of peer learning groups for ministers by presenting different models and sharing experience from both a leadership and participant perspective.

The resiliency of ministers has been the focus of Todd McDonald’s work and ministry since serving as a Conference Personnel Minister (2009 – 2018) and now as a Pastoral Relations Minister (2019 to present). While serving in pastoral ministry, he worried about his own resiliency many times due to a lack of self care or sleep-interrupting-anxiety. He believes he was most healthy when he was in a covenant relationship with his peers. That conviction sparked his interest in looking deeper at Clergy Peer Learning Groups. He is an avid cyclist and reader of mysteries. He also loves to bake chocolate chip cookies. He currently lives in Barrie, Ontario.

Bill Lord attended Western and then Emmanuel College. Ordained in 1963, he served in pastoral ministry in rural Manitoba and at Eastminster United Church in Toronto. A passion for learning led him to complete an M Ed in adult learning theory at the University of Toronto. He served for 14 years as the Minister for Congregational Development for Toronto Conference and for the following 15 years he was the Director of Continuing Education at the Toronto School of Theology. After moving to Guelph in retirement he facilitated a clergy peer learning group. In retirement, he has continued to deepen his studies on leadership and spiritual life.