december 2012 update

news from the mission-shaping conversation, plus some exciting upcoming events.

Two Vital conferences!

Vital Church Planting, Toronto, Jan. 31- Feb. 2
Vital Church, Edmonton, Feb. 5-7

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It’s not often that an institutional leader, more often than not regarded as a figurehead, takes a bold, visionary risk which appears to threaten the status quo. Rowan Williams is just such a leader, and we have been privileged to have been able to enjoy and benefit from his leadership in launching (along with John Sentamu and the Methodist Council) the Fresh Expressions Initiative in 2004. As Archbishop Rowan retires as Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of this month to return to the world of academia, we are able to look back at what his positive encouragement has enabled.

During his tenure the Vital Church Planting Conferences which the Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism  co-sponsors with the Anglican dioceses of Edmonton and Toronto respectively, have been established. In 2008 Fresh Expressions Canada was launched by the Institute with the Anglican bishop of Montreal Barry Clarke, taking its inspiration from the Archbishops’ initiative. The phrase “Anglican church-planter” has moved from being an oxymoron, to being an accurate descriptor of more and more people. Through all this Archbishop Rowan, whether he knows this or not, has acted as a permission giver not just to some of us in Canada, but also to many others around the world.

Watch a short video featuring leaders from a range of countries (including our own,) giving short appreciations of Rowan’s leadership in the Fresh Expressions movement, here.

App-ventures in church planting

Ryan Sim (Ontario-based husband, father, church planter and Fresh Expressions canada team member) in conversation with with ChurchNext presenter Chris Yaw, about his approach to planting expressions of church that connect with people who have no interest or involvement with traditional church. Watch the full interview here.

“to reach new people”

Fresh Expressions Canada team members Jenny Andison and John Bowen were featured at a recent workshop on starting a new service to reach new people. Watch the video report here.

msm online

the mission-shaped ministry course will be offered starting after Easter next year to groups of two or more people who are involved in the planning or implementing of a fresh expressions of church. The course will be offered in two parts, April through June and September through December 2013. Basic technical requirements will be access to a high speed internet connection, a computer, speakers, and coffee! Click here for more information and an introductory video.


Reimagining Church: shaped for mission 
Our new, five session, freely downloadable, course to help people begin the mission-shaping conversation, has been downloaded over two hundred times. At least three bishops have taught the course already, one planning to teach it for a fourth time! If you haven’t investigated the course for yourself, now might be a good time. It might be just the thing to start the conversation where you live. You can find more information here.

The Messy Church Team was busy in November!  

On November 3rd Andy & Sue Kalbfleisch presented a workshop at the Diocese of Toronto’s Children’s Ministry Leadership Conference at St. John’s York Mills Anglican Church – many thanks to all the participants for a great day and to Catherine Keating and her team who hosted the event.
The London Conference of the Eastern Synod (of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada/ELCIC) decided to focus on Messy Church for their November meeting day, so Nancy Rowe and Sue Kalbfleisch put on a Messy Fiesta day complete with Messy Church in the morning (Welcome, Mary and Martha themed Activities/crafts, Celebration (worship) and a wonderful hot meal for Lunch)
In the afternoon there were presentations, video clips and lots of discussion with departure at 3:00pm.  We ‘started’ at about 9:30 since Messy Church begins when you arrive.  Folks arrived between 9:30 and 10:10 – just like at a ‘real’ Messy Church!  That way no one is ‘early’ or ‘late’ which is great for the young families with young children who attend Messy Church.  Many thanks to Redeemer Lutheran Church who hosted the day!
If you or your group is interested in learning more about Messy Church – or hosting a Messy Fiesta (a full day session) or workshop, please contact Sue Kalbfleisch at for information.

Two excellent conferences, both co-sponsored by Fresh Expressions Canada, the Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism, with the local Anglican diocese, and both featuring Graham Cray, Archbishops’ Missioner and team leader of Fresh Expressions. Click on the links below for more information.

Being Disciples
Feb. 5-7, Edmonton

Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Toronto

Please feel free to get in touch with us to tell us what’s happening in your neck of the woods, to ask a question or two, maybe make a suggestion, or just to say “Hi!” You can contact us either through the website, by emailing us at, or soon on a Toll Free number! Whichever way you choose, we will always be pleased to hear from you.

Thank you all so much for your fantastic, faithful, support and encouragement throughout this year. Thank you especially for your prayers for us, as we work towards see a more Jesus-centred and mission-shaped church emerge here in Canada. As we prepare to celebrate God’s Incarnation once again, let’s never become jaded but always be amazed by God’s incredible grace to us in Jesus the messiah. May God bless you and your friends and families, as you share God’s love with others in action and word.

From the Fresh Expressions Canada team.

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