Churches face unprecedented challenges in adapting to their local cultures to faithfully express the Gospel and serve their communities. Even before COVID, it was apparent that many United Church of Canada and Anglican churches in Southern Ontario would benefit from resources specifically developed to equip them for innovative forms of ministry. “Innovative” was meant here as an expansive and aspirational term for all the new things that we see God calling us to do. We draw on multiple sources for inspiration and wisdom and believe that no single methodology is sufficient for all churches.
One of the first initiatives that the Innovative Ministry Centre (IMC) undertook was the creation of a training course for teams of congregational leaders (lay and ordained). The “Beta” version of that course launched 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.
As the IMC continues to develop we will share resources with the wider church. Our goal is to foster a community of mission-minded leaders who learn continuously as they engage in God’s work.
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 Congregational Development Department of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and Trinity College at the University of Toronto. Discussion partners also include the EDGE network of the United Church of Canada.