“Healthy Congregations”: A resource hub of the Diocese of Toronto

“(The Church) is about building communities of hope and compassion through building healthy, sustainable, vibrant parishes. We have identified seven aspects of healthy churches that flow into one another as people enter the traditional model of church. Each aspect is supported by congregational development research and knowledge.”

Back to Church Sunday/Season of Invitation

This initiative is designed to equip and encourage lay people to invite people to church for specific Sunday services each year. The program includes invitation postcards and posters, usually customized by each diocese. Training videos are available on the Season of Invitation website. Can be done in conjunction with the Spirit of Invitation six-week program.

Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry

The objective of this initiative is to equip clergy and lay leaders in rural and remote places to help their churches be catalysts for the development of healthy Canadian communities. A resource centre for rural ministry, it includes offering a Doctor of Ministry in Rural Ministry and Community Development by distance with short courses on site. Also offers certificates for lay leaders in faith and rural life and in rural stress intervention. Includes Clinical Pastoral Education in rural settings. Also hosts conferences every two years, with approximately 60 people attending. Includes a focus on reconciliation and friendship building with First Nations.

Forming Mission Shaped Ministries

This initiative supports experimental activities that explore what it means to participate in God’s mission in the world today. It aims to promote a different way of being church at the individual, congregational and synodical levels, emphasizing reciprocal relationships with neighbours.

Revive

Revive is a discipleship program to help active lay leaders—wardens, property and finance officers, committee chairs, vestry members, church school teachers, youth ministers, pastoral visitors, and liturgical ministers—grow in confidence as spiritual leaders. In just 10 months, this small-group program transforms leaders of practical church ministry into confident spiritual leaders who love God and participate in Christ’s ministry.

Rural Ministry Symposium

A series of workshops over three days for clergy and lay leaders in rural pastoral charges and parishes who are actively seeking information and guidance to help them in providing leadership in current rapid transition. Also for theological students needing training in these areas.

Spirit of Invitation/Invited

A six-part series for small groups on exploring “genuine Christian invitation.” The resource consists of videos and print material. Each session lasts about 2 hours and follows a format of opening prayers, focus question & group discussion, Scripture study, reflection, video content (about 5 to 12 minutes), concluding reflection and prayer.