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I recently spent a few days with our Winnipeg congregation – Broadway Disciples United Church. This was no ordinary visit (although it was my first as Regional Minister). This visit was combined with the official visit of Bishop Reuel Marigza from the United Church of Christ Philippines who was here to help launch a unique ecumenical initiative between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada, the United Church of Canada, and the United Church of Christ Philippines. With the retirement of Rev Dr Ray Cuthbert last year, Broadway has been undergoing a search for a new pastor. Because of its unique identity as a joint Disciples-United Church congregation, Broadway alternates search processes at the end of a pastor’s ministry (ie, the Disciples held the first responsibility, now it falls to the United Church, next it will come back to the Disciples, and so on). All three of the denominations involved have unique relationships with one another – the Disciples have long had a covenantal relationship with the UCC Philippines and more recently the United Church of Canada has established mutual recognition of ministry with the UCC in the US and in the Philippines. Through many discussions at all levels of all three denominations it was decided to invite a pastor from the UCC Philippines to lead this dynamic congregation. Although we are uncertain who that pastor will be, it is an exciting enterprise to share ministry together across denominational lines, across international borders, and across traditions.

After breakfast with the Board, presbytery reps and the Bishop, I had a chance to walk through the Forks area of Winnipeg. A stunning area replete with walking trails, benches to sit and enjoy the union of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, ample wildlife, and explanatory signs, the Forks is a National Historic Site. It is here that the Nakoda (Assiniboins), Cree and Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) and Dakota Nations gathered, hunted bison, fished, and formed alliances and held Peace Meetings to strengthen all people who used these fertile hunting and fishing grounds. (continued on page 2)

(Photo: Breakfast with the BDUC Board and Bishop Marigza)

July /August Prayer Partners
July 24 – Mapleton Church of Christ, Mapleton, ON
A vibrant rural congregation who have gone through some great changes in the last few years to streamline & renew their ministry.
July 31 – Q, Calgary, AB
Our newest church plant led by Pastor Jennifer Watts. Read more about Q further on.
Aug7 – All Canada Convention, Milton, NS
Pray for safe travels for all & that our time together be one of renewal, rest, & rejuvenation ...and be all be ONE!
Aug 14 – Milton Christian Church, Milton, NS
A mission-centred congregation celebrating a brand new-old building & playing host to our Convention.
Aug 21 – Broadway Disciples United Church, Winnipeg MB
Currently in the Search & Call process led by the United Church.  A pastor from the United Church of Christ Philippines is being called to serve as a 1st step in greater unity btw the UCCP & the UC Canada.

Contact information for
Rev Dr Jen Garbin: Phone: 519-826-5767
Text: 519 751-4629

PDF Version available here
Forks, continued...
I spent some time alone in the early morning sun in a fire circle erected in celebration and homage to our Original Peoples who gathered in this area to tell stories, share life, and build community. In this sacred place, it was not lost upon me the rich heritage we have as Canadians, the lessons that can be learned from our Original Peoples to spend time together, listen to one another, learn and respect one another and our Earth. At this same site is a stone marker, recognizing and lifting up the lives devastated by the Residential School system. A solemn reminder of how important it is to honour one another, choosing to “be love” rather than “be right.”

As I walked the paths, read the signs, watched people from all over the world amble through the tree-lined walkways, it occurred to me just how important these “forks” in life are. Two rivers coming together made for a spot that was both sheltered and abundant in everything needed for life. Two rivers coming together meant that people from one area could travel these “highways” to meet others, hear new stories, learn new things, and grow in their understanding of the world and life. It struck me that this is an apt metaphor for our work as Christians. We are not called to walk alone or only in one way with one tribe. But we are to encounter each other, share our stories, learn from one another, challenge one another, feed one another, celebrate together, and support each other’s work. When we choose to be concerned for only the work we are doing in our local congregation, we are a like a plant growing alone in a field…without the shelter and protection of others, we soon wither in the hot sun. Our Original Peoples knew the value of staying connected and forging alliances. The Forks was one of those places that was home to this kind of work…and now it plays host to people from around the globe.

In the months and years ahead, it will be critical for us as Disciples of Christ to look hard and deep at our relationship with one another, other churches, our sisters and brothers to the South, the communities in which we find ourselves, and other potential partners. Our movement is not about isolation and solitary labour in the vineyard…but about collaboration, partnering, covenants, and coming together as one body. I hope you will share your stories not only in future issues of The Canadian Disciple, but together in Nova Scotia, and other times when we gather. The stories of our journeys and labours in ministry help us understand just how broad and wide and deep the work is that God is doing through us. On one of the signs describing the historical significance of the Forks area is this quote: “Legends are from the land and even though there were no maps, the stories made maps for people.” (cited in Hanks, 1996:889) We are a movement that is seeking new vision, new inspiration, a new way forward. But to do that we must look back over where we have been, where we have worked, how far we have come. We are all rivers coming together to provide opportunity and space for new maps to be drawn for Christ’s people.

I hope you will take time to celebrate the work of Broadway Disciples United Church and keep them in your prayers as they pioneer a new way of being church in our day and age. Three rivers are have met in Winnipeg! The water that flows through us teems with the abundant life of the Spirit! May all come and drink deeply, learn from one another, tell stories, and take back to our own tribes a new inspiration, new ways of being, new commitment to the Gospel of love and life that comes from Jesus Christ.  Peace, Jen <>

Q3: Stepping out in Faith with a New Mission

Dear Christian Church (DOC) Canada Family,

We are so thrilled that our Regional Minister has asked us to share with you about our upcoming adventure! Four years ago with your help we launched Q Faith Community. A progressive Christian gathering aimed at reaching people who do not fit in traditional church settings. Q is based on the 12 Step model, which is a flat structure, discussion based, sustainable form of meeting that is easily multipliable as seen with many "A" meet-ings throughout the world - AA, OA, NA, GA.  Our 1st meeting was June 3, 2012 & now have Q1 on Sundays, Q2 on Thursdays & now feel led to start Q3. We have connections in the LA area that have offered us space to set up a motorhome, & will be spending the month of August training those inter-ested in how to facilitate Q gatherings. The first space we've been offered is at the West Hollywood Recovery Centre on Fridays, 530-630pm PST. This group has graciously offered us space at $10/week.

Q reaches several distinct groups that all feel they wouldn't attend a regular church.

  1. Those that have left the church. Perhaps due to feeling hurt, progressive theology, or a variety of other reasons for feeling they don't fit (eg. LGBTQ members, divorced, single parent etc) Since West Hollywood is the LGBTQ mecca of the LA area, it is fitting this is the first place we'd be called to launch another gathering.
  2. Those that are part of a 12 Step program. After experiencing some form of spiritual awakening through dependence on a Higher Power and/or new belief in God, many 12 Steppers begin to ask bigger questions about purpose, Jesus, faith, life after death etc., but aren't sure where to go or who to ask
  3. Those that have no experience with religion. Several of our members have no religious back-ground & therefore don't have people to share the gospel with them & have no experience in religious settings. Their discomfort with church seems lessened when there are others like them, without this church experience, that don't speak the "language", that try to follow The Way in a low key, be yourself, small group atmosphere.

We feel others cities will benefit from a space like Q. We would like to do this mission to LA, and then in learning from this, ask that God lead us to plant many more.  So far people have come forward from the Edmonton area, as well as Vancouver. We are asking that God lead us, one step at a time.

All of this would not be possible without our Christian Church (DOC) family in Canada. It is because of you that Q was able to start, we still sit on chairs in a gathering room that you helped to provide. It is much better to know that we are in this together, so we'd like to partner with anyone interested in joining us in this mission. If you would like to be on a list of prayer supporters and/or donors, please email for updates on this mission. Pastor Jennifer Watts <>

(Note from RM: Canadian Disciples have a long tradition of supporting our sisters & brothers across Canada. If you feel so led, consider taking up a love offering in support of Q’s vital ministry & their learning/mission event. “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions & goods & distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Acts 2:44-5)

Two Canadians First Canucks to Take Part
in NBA XPLOR Program

Tim Campbell and Kaeli Sweigard (both of Sugarbush Christian Church, Guelph, ON) will be the first Canadians to participate in a ten month experience with the NBA's XPLOR Residency program. “NBA XPLOR is a faith-based, 10-month, congregationally-hosted residency program designed for 21 to 30 year olds looking to explore lives of care and service — giving them the opportunity to unleash their own potential, while positively impacting their community.” (NBA website) 

Four Cornerstones of NBA XPLOR:

  • Hands-on Service/Justice Work — Intern with nonprofit, community-based agencies and social service providers to empower local mission efforts while gaining a professional skillset and increasing your awareness of and response to systems of injustice.
  • Simple Living in Community — Learn and practice faithful, intentionally simple, and culturally competent communal living.
  • Spiritual Discernment on Vocation — Strive through spiritual disciplines to discern the purpose for which your soul is made.
  • Disciples Leadership Development — Work with a spiritual companion and host congregation to live into your Disciples identity by exploring the life of faith and the work of justice, unleashing your capacity to be leaders in the church and world. (NBA website)

They will travel to St. Louis Missouri for a one week training session from August 21 to 28, 2016, where they will learn the ins and outs of the program. They then leave for our houses and begin a 10 month internship experience until June 21, 2017. Participants live in simple and intentional community with their churches and house (on a limited budget of $475 USD/mo) to focus on the communities and world around them. The Canadian Disciple asked Kaeli and Tim to share a little bit about why they are taking this bold step of discernment and leadership development. We add our prayers and congratulations to you both!

Tim Campbell

After training, I will be head-ing to North Hollywood where I will work with AIDS Project LA in their advance-ment department. There I will provide administrative office support as well as support at major fundraisers. In addition, I will be spearheading two major projects: the first: revitalizing & providing leadership & guidance on a young adult business leader donor base for APLA; the second: reconnecting APLA with celebrities, their agents & managers.  As well as participating in this internship experience, I will focus on the three other corner-stones of the residency experience with my three house mates. We take Friday Sabbath to discuss our weeks with one other & our spiritual companion, do exercises & activities around spiritual growth, development & discernment on vocation, & further connect with the communities in which we work. We will receive further training around leadership, conflict management & spiritual growth where appropriate.

Kaeli Sweigard

It is a surprising turn of events that sees Kaeli joining the XPLOR program. It just so happened that while enquiring for next year she learned that a resident had dropped out of the program and there was an immediate opening. Kaeli is excited to be spending September to June in the San Francisco Bay Area as an intern through the XPLOR program. Although her workplace is not definite, she may be working in the Regional Office. After many years of schooling, Kaeli still does not know what it really is that she wants to do. Now is the perfect time in her life to explore and experiment, so here goes! She looks forward to strengthening her Disciples identity, developing new skills, and making lots of connections with Disciples in the States.<>

Support Canadian Disciples, Eh!
Rev Rick Hamilton made a generous gift to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada last year around the time of General Assembly in Columbus, OH. He purchased and donated a large number of hockey jerseys with the Canadian Disciples logo on the back and “In Canada, EH” on the reverse. The sale of these jerseys went to offset the cost of the booth we had at GA. They sold like hotcakes and many GA attendees – American and Canadian alike – proudly wore the colours of our country that week.

During his last week as Regional Minister, Rick left the remaining jerseys in the Region’s care and indicated that we could use them in whatever way we saw fit.

Rick was a great supporter of our Region, and worked hard to encourage all of us to be aware of one another, the work of the Region, and the opportunities and needs we share. So we would like to offer these jerseys to you for a donation of $20 each. You are welcome to designate your purchase to any of your Regional Ministries, such as:

  • Church Revitalizatio
  • New Church Development
  • Youth & Young Adults
  • Reconciliation
  •  Annual Fund
  • Higher Education
  • Or leave it with us to use where it is needed most.

Limited sizes left: X-Large, 2X-Large.

We will have the jerseys at All Canada in Nova Scotia. If you cannot make it, please send in your order to and the next time Jen is in your congregation she will bring it along. It may be possible to ship jerseys to you, however, actual shipping fees would be applied to the cost.

Thank you for supporting the work of the Canadian Region, your partner in ministry!


Celebrating the Men of Broadway Disciples United Church

While I was in Winnipeg, one of the first photos shared with me was this one which is a perfect example of the celebratory spirit and radical hospitality of the BDUC congregation. Maria writes: "The BDUC Father's Day celebration held last June 19, 2016 at the Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg.  This special occasion is celebrated every year with potluck lunch and barbeque arranged by the women's group of BDUC." Submitted by, Maria Dungca

Create in Me a Giving Heart:
All Canada 2016 Mission Project

You can Help the Homeless by bringing items to the


Towels, Sunscreen or Gift cards
for Sobeys or Superstore. Be Creative!

Give with all your ♥


If you can’t make it to the Convention
and would like to contribute to this mission project,
please contact Debbie Weatherhead by email

Broadway Disciples United Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba – 1 additional vote
Hillcrest Christian Church in Toronto, Ontario – 1 additional vote
Milton Christian Church in Milton, Nova Scotia – 1 additional vote
Gathering Place Christian Church in Ridgetown, Ontario - 1 additional vote
Winger Church of Christ (Disciples) in Wainfleet, Ontario – 1 additional vote
Please Email Voting Delegate Authorizations and Proxy Notice to:
Ben Kidd, Regional Administrator
Notices to be received by August 2, 2016, Please.

General Announcements & Invitations

  • ERRATA: Apologies to BDUC & Campbell Stone for mixing up your names last edition.
  • Notice: Regional Minister Jen Garbin will be travelling to Montreal, Nova Scotia, and PEI over the next month. She is not available the week of August 1-7 as she will be on retreat. The Canadian Disciple will be published the following week (Aug 14/15) and will cover the events of the All Canada Convention. Jen will be on vacation Aug 16-22 and will be back in the Guelph office on Aug 23.
  • To receive The Canadian Disciple in your email, please send your request to or sign-up on our website

Contact information for Rev Dr Jennifer Garbin:


Phone: 519-826-5767   Text: 519-731-4629

Snail Mail: 30 Grandridge Cres, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 8G1

Regional Office Mail: PO Box 72053, Coxwell/Danforth PO, Toronto, ON, M4C 0A1

Copyright © 2016 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada, All rights reserved.
Published July 21, 2016 (Guelph, Ontario)

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Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Canada · PO Box 72053 · Coxwell/Danforth PO · Toronto, On M4C 0A1 · Canada

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