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Flourishing Update - September 13, 2023

As we enter the Fall season, we’re resuming our provision of resources twice a month. Our hope is these materials will help and encourage Canadian church and denominational leaders. This month we’re featuring two books we read over the summer, resources that we would strongly recommend for leaders across the Christian theological spectrum. First up is Sam Reimer’s, Caught in the Current: British and Canadian Evangelicals in an Age of Self-Spirituality. Sam Reimer is a sociologist at Crandall University.


What We're Reading

Caught in the Current: British and Canadian Evangelicals in an Age of Self-Spirituality by Sam Reimer

This book charts the societal shift away from external sources of authority to internal sources of authority – a change that includes those in the pews. Concretely, this means that today’s churchgoers are more likely than those in the past to see themselves rather than their denomination, church, or pastor as the authority over their attitudes and behaviours. We would argue that this shift is not unique to evangelicals; evidence elsewhere shows the pervasiveness of self-spirituality across Catholic and mainline Protestant contexts too. Reimer then explores what these shifts mean for churches. We encourage you to read his book and listen to his recent podcast interview.


New Research Projects at the Institute!

We are excited to announce two new projects starting at the Institute in 2023-2024. To access research findings from some of our recent case study research, visit our website.

First, we are partnering with Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries on a national survey, exploring the topic of mental health in congregations. Stay tuned for more details, with hopes to launch the survey in early 2024.

Second, we received funding from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Jack Shand Research Grant program to explore this question: How and why are congregations approaching faith transmission and spiritual formation among children and teens in the ways they do, and what appears to be working or not and why? This research question will anchor case study research in two congregations, with hopes to possibly expand research on faith transmission in several congregations across Canada in the future.


Upcoming Events

Curiosity Cohort (Fall 2023)

Thursdays, September 14 - October 12, 12-1pm Eastern

Online course

Curiosity is the mindset change that we, as people of faith, are craving to begin to reimagine what church can be outside of Sunday morning. It keeps us asking questions, without needing to know "the" answers; helps us to relinquish control as we follow the Spirit, listening for guidance and discerning next steps; enables us to take leaps of faith and be courageous as we experiment. The Curiosity Cohort, a 5-week course, is for innovative leaders, curious communities of faith, and those willing to explore what might be possible! Offered by EDGE and the United Church of Canada.


Church Planting Canada -The Congress 2023

October 24 - 26, 2023 First Assembly, Calgary, AB

Church Planting Canada will continue to cast a nation-wide collaborative vision that serves as a guiding framework for a gospel movement. Their prayer is that this blueprint might inspire numerous mini-movements across Canada, that together, we would reverse the current trajectory of the Canadian Church while restoring gospel proximity to every Canadian.


Priests Leading Adaptively

November 2, 16, 30, 2023 | 6-8pm Eastern

This November, discover new ways to lead adaptively with skills you already have! During this 3-session Zoom course, Rev. Clara King will teach you about the core theory of Adaptive Leadership in a vibrant new way. The course covers: 1) The six core competencies of leadership 2) Understanding and changing the organizational culture of your congregation 3) How to view conflict as a leadership resource you can steward wisely. If you are looking for usable practices to reinvigorate your day-to-day leadership journey, this is the course for you!


Theory of Change (Fall 2023)

Nov 6-20 (weekly)

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.

What impact are you having? How do you know? What difference is your ministry or program making? Learn what your mission is and understand the roles in achieving it.


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