Through its consultancy work and the design and implementation of the Living Presence Ministry, TUCC has become aware of the urgent need for churches to develop and sustain new, innovative missional ministries that can reach people who aren’t currently connected with church or other faith communities.
At their best, we see that these missional initiatives are characterized by:
- Re-engaging with neighbourhoods – listening carefully to the context for their ministries;
- Responding in ways that demonstrate their understanding, love, and desire to serve;
- Building new relationships and communities;
- Helping people to encounter God’s love in Jesus where they are;
- Enabling people to become disciples of Jesus.
Work is under way on program design to launch a ‘beta’ training course for innovative ministry in January 2020. Part of a five-year pilot project, the core program will provide the training and resources that will equip lay and ordained leaders to become missional in outlook and practice. The goal is to equip communities of faith with the capacity, motivation, and skills to seed and nurture new expressions of ministry designed to foster relationships with people with whom they are not currently connecting, for the sake of God’s mission in the world.
There will also be training and support with funding/support bodies so that the new missional developments are given the environment, time, and resources they need to take root.
The steering team for the project currently includes:
Ron Ewart, Janet Marshall (co-chairs), Jill Strapp (staff support), Stephen Milton, Ian Manson, Ann Shirley Sutherland, Bri-anne Swan (UCC), Dave Krause (Anglican Diocese), Chris Brittain (Trinity College, Toronto).
We are grateful for the partnerships and financial support that makes this project possible:
Funding for staff support from TUCC and for research support from TUCC’s Douglas Varey Innovative Ministry Fund; seed funding from the Presbyteries of Toronto Conference Corporation granted thanks to the former Toronto Southeast, South West, and Living Waters Presbyteries; and the generous provision of space and technological support by Emmanuel College, Toronto, and the staff support of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Discussion partners also include the Edge network of the United Church of Canada.