innovation ready workshop


Innovation Ready:

two workshops on the future of the Church



Due to Covid19 we are postponing these workshops until at least the Fall of 2020. We will update here with further information when we have it! Thank you for understanding!

Two participatory workshops on innovative engagement will equip participants and communities of faith to follow the Spirit in exploration outside the bounds of the traditional model of mission, outreach and service, towards deeper engagement with and love of their neighbourhoods.

Workshops will be taught through the lens of social innovation, social enterprise and the theoretical framework of the commons.   

Deepening Community Engagement, a social innovation approach 

In the first of two workshops participants will:

  • Learn the basics of social innovation and how this approach is shaping the future of the church 
  • Explore the variety of ways that innovative ministry is currently happening in the United Church and beyond
  • Hear firsthand from innovative church leaders who are re-centring their churches in the lives of their communities
  • Guide a case study through the shift from traditional worshipping community to fully engaged community hub


Skill-building for innovative community engagement

In the second of two workshops participants will:

  • Learn how to get feedback from the community through participation in a Community Roundtable, a tool designed to pull in many voices (community organizations, municipalities, congregation members, faith leaders, neighbourhood members) and distill them into workable projects
  • Develop an idea and short pitch to be presented at a mock pitching competition, a social innovation event  where participants can clarify their ideas, receive coaching and potentially win funding (due to this being a mock competition no money will be awarded)
  • Be guided through a mock coaching session with an EDGE representative, coaching sessions occur upon receipt of funds from EDGE and can accelerate an idea into a reality if participants know how to ask the right questions and maximize the use of this tool

Patterns of Emergence: Christian Community, Faith and Leadership

The United Theological College is offering three-credit masters level theology course to complement the two workshops.

Format: Webinars (live) and on-line learning modules (asynchronous)

Time: June to September 2020 

Instructor: Alyson Huntly

This course develops skills for emergence, through a focus on theory, theology, and critical analysis of emerging expressions of Christian faith and Christian community.  

Participants will reflect on their experience during the workshops and develop a strong theological and theoretical base for thinking about emergence and emergence leadership. Theories of complex emergence and of  “emergence Christianity” will be a starting point for discussion about societal and religious shifts in meaning and practice and their implications for the church of the future. 

For more information:



The Spire – 82 Sydenham Street Kingston ON

The Spire, located in Kingston ON, serves an abundance of needs as a Kingston community hub. It hosts more than twenty non-profit groups, the arts, entrepreneurs, and social innovators. It is a lively performance space, and offers a home to theater groups like Blue Canoe, film events like the Canadian Film Festival, music lessons for all ages. Along with an impressive amount of community engagement, The Spire continues to be home to the Sydenham Street United Church worshipping congregation.

Workshop Facilitators

Colleen Lowrie – Deepening Engagement & Skill-Building

Colleen Lowrie is the coordinator for Community Innovation Hub in charge of member support, engagement, peer-network development, social media and education. She holds an MDiv from the United Theological College and is currently leading two innovative ministries with children, youth and young adults in the Guelph region. 

Carla Leon – Deepening Engagement 

Carla Leon wears many hats including Director of Innovation at the United Church of Canada, co-founder of Small Business Solver, the Social Innovation Challenge, the Social Mentor Network, and now the Community Innovation Hub project.

Rob Dalgleish – Skill-Building

Rob’s background includes degrees and work experience in science, business and theology. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and is currently serving as the Executive Director of Edge, the national innovation arm of The United Church.


Deepening Community Engagement – June 12 4-9pm & June 13 9-4pm*

Skill-Building for Innovative Community Engagement – Sept 18 4-9pm & Sept 19 9-4pm*

*Include a light breakfast and a lunch

We highly encourage participants to take part in both workshops, however, it is possible to attend just one.