Embracing the Spirit

Posts and ideas from the Embracing the Spirit initiative.

Published on: 
April 16, 2020

In response to COVID-19, communities of faith are learning to be neighbourly in new ways.

Published on: 
January 16, 2018

The people of Deer Lake, Newfoundland, have been long-time supporters of the Vera Perlin Society, a group serving people with intellectual disabilities in the province since 1954. The local chapter has been meeting regularly at St. Paul’s United Church since 2014, when the congregation’s official board agreed to adopt the group...

Published on: 
August 23, 2017

Rivers and lakes should be important to all Canadians. For Indigenous groups, however, who have been sustainably caretaking and traversing these waterways for over 15,000 years, water is a sacred gift, an essential element that sustains and connects all life. That’s one of the reasons why a large tipi was erected on the banks of the Athabasca River on Canada Day, by members of the Keepers of the Athabasca.


Published on: 
August 11, 2017

A practiced curiosity about “what God is up to” has pointed EDGE to the huge creative energy welling up in the social enterprise sector in Canada. All well and good, but what does this have to do with church?

First let’s define what we mean by the term “social enterprise.” In this context, social enterprise refers to a movement of creating not-for-profit and for-profit businesses with a core vision to make a better world. This movement is engaged largely by post-Boomer generations. Typically, these enterprises focus on...

Published on: 
July 18, 2017

One year ago, Embracing the Spirit was officially launched at the 2016 Skylight Festival. Since then, more than 180 initiatives across Canada have received a total of $581,470 funding, with grant sizes ranging from $500 to $27,000. This funding allows congregations to try new and innovative forms of ministry. These efforts are not just gimmicks or one-time experiments — they are real and tangible new ways of “being church.”

Rob Dalgleish, Executive...

Published on: 
June 26, 2017
Real change involves both the way we think and the way we act. We have to think ourselves into a new way of acting, and act ourselves into a new way of thinking. Attitude and behavior go together. 
One attitude adjustment churches can make that will change their behavior is to begin to think about stakeholders, not shareholders. 
Shareholders own a share of a company or corporation. They have invested money and expect to get a return on their investment. The shareholder’s concern is “What will this company do for me?” ...
Published on: 
June 19, 2017

If First Nations people in Kenora, Ontario, ever need to be reminded of how their traditional land has been lost to make room for white settlers, they only need to look up at street signs. Many of these in Kenora are named after settler families, but one is a particularly striking reminder of an ugly past. That street sign reads: Colonization Road.

“There are Colonization Roads all over the north,” says the Rev. Meg Illman-White, Youth and Outreach Minister at Kenora’s Knox United Church. “Each sign makes it seem as if...

Published on: 
June 1, 2017

With music styles ranging from secular and sacred, the Evensong Ensemble is successfully connecting to a spiritual but not religious world. 

Published on: 
May 4, 2017

Sometimes in applying for grants, the questions you are asked can lead to new avenues for reflection. When a committee at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church (CFRUC) in Winnipeg applied for funding from Embracing the Spirit, the questions we were asked led us to  give real thought to two subjects: “What makes a successful partnership?” and “What is the connection between art and...

Published on: 
April 18, 2017

If you are part of a group working to improve the social good of your community — or if you have skills or experience that could help such a group grow and expand — the Social Mentor Network wants to hear from you.

The network is a joint project between the United Church’s EDGE and Embracing the Spirit networks and The Presbyterian Church in Canada. Since launching in June 2016, it now...