Ongoing Support

This is not just a grant program. Embracing the Spirit is all about developing a learning and support network for the entire United Church of Canada. Learn more about the resources available to innovative faith communities and grant recipients.

EDGE Network

The EDGE Network joins hands with those willing to take a leap into the promise; God breaking open the church, breaking into the world. EDGE is a living web of new and renewing ministries and leaders in the power of the Spirit, following Christ, embracing God’s mission in the world.

Embracing the Spirit Fellowship Conversation

Every week we gather online to connect and be in fellowship with other innovative communities of faith. We hear their stories and we have an open discussion with each other. All of these stories are posted on EDGE's YouTube channel, and the upcoming Fellowship Conversations are posted on EDGE's Event Calendar.

Sustainability Cohorts

Once a month we gather to connect on topics that will help to improve our sustainability. Sustainability includes all of our resources, including social, human, and financial.

Topics include

  • Strategic & Action Planning
  • Revenue Generation
  • Partnerships & Relationships
  • Grant Writing
  • People & Ecology

Sustainability cohorts are scheduled in five-month cohorts and posted on the EDGE Calendar.

Impact Measurement Workshops

Are You Planning to Change, Grow, or Add a Ministry?

A Theory of Change is your ministry’s story of how you believe change will unfold. Working on your Theory of Change aids creative thinking, strengthens your effectiveness, provides a solid framework for evaluation, and helps you demonstrate the impact you envision. A Theory of Change can aid in aligning your congregation and community to your larger mission and help them understand their role in achieving it.

The Theory of Change workshop has helped past participants with planning, implementing, evaluating, storytelling, public relations, and the other covenants. See what they had to say about the workshop.

Workshops are listed on the EDGE Calendar, but you can also contact embracingthespirit [at] united-church.ca to register for the next one and get on the list. All work will be online and asynchronous. Experienced participants should plan for seven hours of work in each of the two weeks. Your work will include reading, learning activities, and online discussion, all done at your own pace. For those whowant to explore the topic further, we are also sponsoring an additional one-hour session with the facilitator upon completion of the workshop.

Please RSVP to carla [at] edge-ucc.ca or the chrisrotolo [at] gmail.com (facilitator)

Note: Embracing the Spirit has benefited greatly from the Theory of Change process and highly recommends it for all of its Growth grant recipients.

Join the Learning Network

We are looking for people who are passionate about innovation!

The Learning Network is a network of people and communities who wish to share ideas, learn from each other’s mistakes, and support innovation in faith communities across the country. Innovation spurs more innovation. Ideas that are supported broadly are much more likely to be successful as they are given feedback and have the ability to pivot based on what is changing.

Join the Learning Network by signing up for Embracing the Spirit’s e-newsletter. Learn from those with lived experience, and share your own. Please subscribe to this newsletter and share this invite with your network.

What Are We Working On?

Innovation Clusters

In every regional council across the country new things are happening! We are working with regional councils to create innovation clusters where innovative leaders are supporting each other locally and nationally. These clusters gather regularly to support each other and share resources.

Why innovation clusters?

  • Advocate together with funders and the local government.
  • Share marketing and communication of your collective work.
  • Support each other through camaraderie.
  • Come up with new ideas or joint projects.
  • Build awareness and narrative around church in your neighbourhood.
  • And many, many more good reasons to work together.  We are not alone!

Want to join an innovation cluster or start one? Reach out to us at embracingthespirit [at] united-church.ca.

Online Learning Network

In partnership with the Ontario Non-Profit Network and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we are working on sharing learnings of social enterprise, community outreach, and other innovative initiatives that are happening in The United Church of Canada network and beyond: best practices, stories, templates, agendas, invites, posters, and whatever else you develop when you launch a new initiative can be shared through the Online Learning Network portal. 

Over 2020 we will be working with these organizations to turn the portal into something that is co-created by you, and to share the stories of what is happening in communities of faith with a much broader audience.