Ministry in Motion 2017

“Come to Ministry in Motion for inspiration, education and fun,” Rev. Dr. Orville James said. Although the two and a half day conference will be held in a United Church –—Wellington Square in Burlington, “anyone in congregational leadership who has an interest and a curiosity about best practices that are renewing Canadian congregations” are more than welcome to attend. READ ORVILLE’S COMPLETE STATEMENT

For those wishing to experience a taste of what the November 13-15 conference will have to offer, last year’s plenary speeches by Rev. Dr. Rob Fennell, Rev. Dr. Paul Wilson and Dr. Roger Nishioka have been posted on the Ministry in Motion web site at The podcasts include teaching in the areas of youth ministry, homiletics and translating theological concepts into practical service.

This year’s keynote speaker, Episcopal Priest, Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, the vicar of St. Paul’s in Louisburg, North Carolina is “one of the premier young voices in Christian circles reaching the millennial generations – Gen X, Y and the Millenials,” according to James. “Her breakthrough book, Girl Meets God was a bestseller. It really spoke to the spiritual hunger of the Gen X through to the Millenials – the 25 to 45 age group. That’s the generation the church in North America really has to reach. We’re only just beginning to do that and we’re learning because of people like her.” Once an Orthodox Jew, Winner converted to Christianity while a graduate student a Cambridge University. She is an expert on Christian-Jewish relations, a freelance journalist and the author of several books.  Winner is also an associate professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School.

James is also excited about the upcoming keynote speeches from Rev. Dr. John Young, the United Church’s Executive Minister for Theological Leadership. “Young is an expert at teaching the faith with gusto and clarity,” James said. “He knows how to preach without watering things down.” Young, a former professor of Church History at Queen’s will lead a plenary session on leading in a secularized context. He is the co-author of Preaching the Big Questions: Doctrine isn’t Dusty. An avid supporter of rural ministry, Young was the president of the Rural Church Network of the United States and Canada for two terms.

Rev. Dr. John Pentland the lead minister at Hillhurst United Church in Calgary and author of Fishing Tips – How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith, will be speaking on how to properly market ministry. “John Pentland really turned things around at his congregation in Calgary,” James said.

Along with the plenary sessions, there will be a series of concurrent workshops. The Executive Secretary of Hamilton Conference, Rev. Peter Hartmans, will lead a discussion on where the United Church might be heading in regard to the proposed restructuring. Hamilton Conference’s Personnel Minister, Rev. Diane Blanchard, will talk about how to plan sabbaticals. First United of Waterloo’s Minister of Faith Formation and Pastoral Care, Rev. Kellie McComb, will conduct a workshop called Soul Collage and Rev. Dr. Don Gillies of Burlington will talk about pastoral care. Wellington Square member, Penny Bailey will lead a workshop on the prayer potential of ordinary, everyday, church members.

This year the music will be coordinated by Juanita Maldonado, Wellington Square’s choir director. And the worship will be lead by members of the conference planning team. The caterers, as in previous years, will provide great meals and a variety of dietary options. The United Church Resource Distribution centre will have a book table on site offering the speakers’ books for sale.

“Year after year we’ve learned what does and doesn’t work,” James said. “We’ve looked at the evaluations and tweaked the program. We’re streamlining the event to meet peoples’ needs. The conference provides a great opportunity to connect and share ideas and schmooze with colleagues. I continue to believe that Ministry in Motion is one of the best opportunities for Continuing Education out there,” James said. “And for two and a half days leaders can sit in their own backyard and listen to world class presenters.”

To register for Ministry in Motion or to download a brochure go to Participants registering before October 15th will receive a $50 discount off the $250 conference fee, which will include a dinner & two lunches. The gathering will begin on Monday November 13th at 1:30 and will conclude Wednesday, November 15th at 3:00 PM. A Tuesday night dinner option is available for an additional $20.

Registrants will receive a preferred rate at Burlington’s Waterfront Hotel is they book before October 12th. Billets may be available on request. For more information about the conference contact Tony Wilson at or 905-802-2985.

Post expires at 1:23pm on Thursday November 16th, 2017