Karen is seeking to live faithfully as a good neighbour in the East Vancouver community of Commercial Drive, believing that we flourish as we help our neighbours to flourish. She is interested in what it means to live well in the city, and seeks out ways to disturb the dominate narrative of fear and isolation with subversive acts of generous hospitality. For the first time in her life, she lives slow and rooted, living 90% of her life within a 30 minute walk of her house and has given up her car for a bike. Karen loves to cook, grow food, enjoys good coffee with a book, and all kinds of water sports. She lives a shared life with five others and is having a blast at this stage of life, discovering the sacred ordinary in her rythmn of life in the city.
The small stuff: Karen has worked most of her life in the non-profit world, serves on numerous non-profit boards and after many years, eventually earned her MA from Regent College.
TOPIC: Plenary Speaker
Dion and Erinn Oxford
Dion & Erinn Bio
Dion is a Jesus follower first and foremost. Dion, along with his wife Erinn and daughter Cate, live in Toronto and are committed to journeying alongside people in the margins of society. He has spent more than 25 years working among folks who are living on or close to the streets of Toronto. He was the founding director of the Salvation Army Gateway; a shelter for men experiencing homelessness.
Dion also lives with Multiple Sclerosis and uses a wheelchair to get around. He is an advocate on behalf of people in the margins of society, and is an accomplished public speaker on the topic of housing, homelessness and disabilities. He likes to read, rant, write, watch TV, play and listen to music, and hang out with his friends. He and his wife see the solution to homelessness as taking seriously the 2 great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbour.
Erinn joined the The Dale team in 2007. In 2012 she was invited to become the full-time Executive Director and Pastor. Erinn is passionate about fostering a sense of community for all people, while placing at the core those who have known marginalization. She studied at both Tyndale University College & Seminary, and Humber College and is now ordained through the CBOQ. Erinn has extensive experience working with people who are street involved, underhoused and trying to cope with substance addiction and mental health issues. Erinn is a Toronto native who loves her city.
Topic: Ministry and marriage: How they can compliment one another
Growing up in a small town, Paula's idea of a good time was hanging out in the Tim Horton's parking lot. Ever since living in Toronto, however, she's been able to pick up some more exciting hobbies: riding on street cars, exploring different parks and coffee shops and cheering on her favourite Blue Jays, but nothing makes her feel more alive than when she's living out her calling as an Urban Missionary through Youth Unlimited (Toronto's Youth for Christ.) Through her role as Project Serve's Toronto Program Lead, Paula is dedicated to helping youth recognize God's heart for those on the margins of society and seeing the importance of loving and serving both God and their neighbours.
Topic: Single in the City
Feeling Incomplete? Somewhat lesser than others? Picky? These are some of the terms being used regarding single people in the church and ministry, but is it true? Are single people too picky? Incomplete and less than those who aren't?
Come explore the benefits of being single in ministry and how you can use your time effectively as an unmarried urban minister, or empower and encourage those who are.
Pastor Olu Jegede
Pastor Olu Jegede first discovered the Jane and Finch community as a York University student. He began volunteering at a drop-in recreational program that was aimed at providing a safe and secure environment for at-risk youth. Through meeting different residents and hearing their challenges and stories, he fell in love with the people, in particular the youth.
Olu graduated from York University in 1995 and started his first career as a technical Business Analyst with a market research firm. Despite his busy work schedule, he found ample time on weekends and weeknights to volunteer with the church and mentor youth.
After a season of personal reflection, Olu decided to leave his well-paying job and accept a humble staff position as the Youth Outreach and Community Outreach Pastor at Christian Centre Church. He committed the next several years to serving the youth, their families and the Jane and Finch community.
In 2006, Olu and his family decided to re-locate into the neighbourhood and moved into one of the rental townhouse complexes near the Church. Olu and his family have since become a staple and a strong voice in the community.
TOPIC: Pastoring my neighbourhood as a neighbour
Community churches believe they are located in their community for a divine reason; this is exactly what Christian Centre Church believes. Christian Centre is located within the heart of the Jane and Finch community, one of Toronto’s top under privileged neighbourhoods. This session will outline the unique challenges, sacrifices and rewards of pastoring a community church. It will answer questions such as: What is the mandate of a community church? How do you become one with the community you are pastoring? It will also tackle how urban culture and the stigma of high-risk neighbourhoods affect how you pastor.
Being called into full time ministry, Olu went on to complete his Masters in Theology from Tyndale University. During this time, he continued to pastor at Christian] Centre in the roles of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. In 2015, Olu was elected as Lead Pastor and under his leadership he has brought greater vision to Christian Centre Church as a community church.
Dr. Michael Krause
Dr. Michael Krause has a broad range of ministerial experience in an urban context in churches, social service agencies and educational institutions. He was the director of Evergreen, Yonge Street Mission’s outreach to street-involved youth, overseeing a dozen staff and a thriving menu of programs including health care, housing support, employment training, drop-in and meal programs, and a broad range of advocacy support. He was the youth pastor at Flemingdon Park Church (Thorncliffe Park area), the assistant pastor at the Stone Church in downtown Toronto and the senior pastor at Church on the Street, an experimental church reaching out to street youth in the urban core. He has been active as a church planter in other contexts, pioneering Hills Church, an innovative, house church network based in Thornhill. Before joining the faculty of Tyndale in 2014, he functioned as the Staff Care director at Yonge Street Mission where he provided leadership development, ministry coaching and self-care counselling to staff members working with the urban poor. He taught courses with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre Diploma program since its inception in 2010. He also has a private practice as a leadership coach and church consultant. He currently teaches leadership at Tyndale Seminary as the R.J.Bernardo Family Assistant Professor of Leadership & Ministry, He also coordinates the Ministry Leadership track of their Doctor of Ministry program and directs Tyndale's internship program. Michael is ordained with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
TOPIC: “Stop and Smell the Coffee: staying healthy for the long haul.”
Many have responded to the call to ministry in Urban settings yet only a few tend to last long. Urban Ministry is a marathon not a sprint. This workshop will cover lessons i've learned from my own experiences in Urban Ministry and lessons i've learned from colleagues through my years of ministry in Toronto.
Rev. Deb Stanbury
Rev. Deb Stanbury is Executive Director of ARISE Ministry. ARISE is a mission of The Presbyterian Church in Canada which empowers individuals involved in the sex trade to reclaim their lives by offering outreach, case management, and pastoral care.
She has been serving in ministry in the city for over 15 years.
To learn more about this ministry, check out their website at: www.ariseministry.ca
TOPIC: Empowering Rahab
We believe that those involved in the sex trade have incredible resilience and strength. This workshop will focus on our work and how we journey with individuals to empower individuals who are involved in the sex trade.
Ejay is an urban missionary in downtown Toronto with Mission Canada. He has been living and ministering in Downtown Toronto since 2007. He was a pastor at Church in the City/Cornerstone Community Dinner/Church in the Beach, Case manager in different youth shelters, worked at Yonge Street Mission, piloted outreach programs in Peel region. He has been serving marginalized people since 2005 when he surprisingly ended up working a Hope Mission, a men's shelter in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He serves people by being an advocate and a friend.
TOPIC: Marginalized People taught me to read my Bible Better.
The Scriptures are beautiful, inspiring, confusing and messy. I went to seminary to try to figure it out and when I graduated and thought I finally understood the Bible, God called me to love marginalized people. They taught me that I didn't understand my bible at all. Through the years, I've been re-learning and re-discovering the beauty and power of the scriptures through the lens of my friends in the margins. This workshop is about incredible insights i've learned through the years.
Darryl Dash is pastor of Liberty Grace Church in Toronto, and author of How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Your Life. He is also cofounder of Gospel for Life and director of Advance Church Planting Institute. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has over 25 years of ministry experience. Darryl is married to Charlene and has two adult children: Christy and Josiah. You can find Darryl online at DashHouse.com.
TOPIC: My Journey From Being a Suburban Pastor to an Urban Pastor
Darryl spent 20 years in the burbs before moving to Liberty Village, a new condo community in downtown Toronto, to plant a church. Hear Darryl explain what he's learned and unlearned in the journey from suburban pastor to urban church planter.
Mark is husband to Kimberley and father to their three children. He has spent 15 of his 17 years in ministry serving in Toronto and is the Lead Pastor of Church in Regent Park, an economically and culturally diverse church that has been serving the east-side of Toronto since 1994. Mark loves sports, hip hop and fishing. His ministry has been marked by a willingness to serve, compassion for others and faith to attempt God-directed ideas.
When Risk leads to Reward
One of the most beautiful aspects of our cities is the diversity that exists in them. Each neighbourhood is a unique blend of culture, industry, history and innovation where change and transition are commonplace. Knowing your neighbourhood is key to effective ministry and being willing to risk serving in a creative way is a practice God has blessed for thousands of years. When we discern where is God is leading and have the courage to take some risks we will find our creativity and faith rewarded!
Chris Yu is a pastor and urban church planter. He is currently the lead pastor of Mercy City Church, an urban church plant in the Dawes road community of Toronto. He has been serving in ministry for 19 years. His inspiration are his wife Stacey and daughter Caitlyn. Chris loves food.
TOPIC: Fools Rush In: Adventures in Downward Mobility
“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” - Alexander Pope.
What would posses an established pastor in a good church to walk away and step into a place and ministry, that by all accounts, could only be described as foolish? Follow the unlikely journey of a pastor from conviction to calling to compassion for a community. A Gospel story of the power of downward mobility and the blessing of obedience.
Brad currently serves as the assistant director at Gateway Men's Shelter. He has been in many ministry roles in the city from intensively working with Street Involved youth at Yonge Street Mission's Evergreen Centre for Street Youth to working with Circles of Support. Brad grew up in a small town but has been serving marginalized people in the city of Toronto for over 16 years.
He also hangs out with famous people every year during TIFF.
TOPIC: I grew up in a small town but God called me to the city.
The Jesus Network has been at the forefront of ministry in Toronto since its inception in 2007. Providing hands on ministry to the communities we serve.
The Jesus Network is focused on being the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus in the city of Toronto. Coming alongside and meeting the needs of people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and religions.
The Jesus Network is a cross cultural ministry that is focused on being agents of hope and life change in the city of Toronto. Influencing others through the message of Jesus Christ.
Topic: Incarnational Cross Cultural Ministry in the City
Cheryl is a passionate follower of Jesus – serving Him in all that she does, believing that Jesus has called her to live out her passion and calling in her every day life. In the past, God has called her to serve internationally – living and visiting over 25 countries; however her heart for the world and passion to serve is in Canada. Having worked for 10 years in Not for Profit organizations in Canada, Cheryl now serves at Bible League Canada as the International Missions Director for Canada, is married with a new baby and living in downtown Toronto as God leads her and her husband to minister to this ever changing city. Her hobbies include baking, biking, finding the best vintage item for their apartment, and creating memories with family and friends.
Topic: An Ever Changing Nation
How Canada is positioned to impact the world right here at home. Join me as we take a look at our current geopolitical climate and discover the mission fields that are in our own backyard and how God is using Canadians to transform lives for His Kingdom.
Session Content Outline:
1. Current Demographics in Canada and how this affects CDN Ministry
2. Immigration Trends into the future – how is the Church responding to the changing demographics of our communities?
3. Religious Trends in Canada – what is the future of Christianity in Canada and how are Canadians responding?