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November 26, 2018

9am - 4pm

A free and interactive Canadian gathering of church and denomination leaders across Christian traditions, to learn and dialogue about the Canadian Church. 


  • Preliminary findings from a recent national survey of Canadian congregations

  • Panel conversations with leaders from flourishing churches, across denominations

  • Bishop Don Bolen (Regina) on “Vital and Viable Congregations: Reaching Out – Together”

  • April Yamasaki on “Congregations and Change: Inward, Outward, Godward”

  • Opportunities to learn from and engage with other attendees 

Presentation Slides

Download the slides from Joel Thiessen's presentation on National Congregations Survey Data. 


Guest Speakers


Bishop Don Bolen

Donald Bolen is the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina. Prior to that, he served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon (2010-2016). He studied at the University of Regina, at Saint Paul in Ottawa, and at Oxford University in England. He was ordained a priest on October 12, 1991 for the Archdiocese of Regina. He is a Member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and continues to serve as Co-Chair of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission.

Bishop Don will lead us on the topic: Vital and Viable Congregations: Reaching Out - Together. The address will propose some guidelines by which Christian communities can get to know each other better, and discern whether and to what extent it is appropriate and responsible for them to work together at the service of those in need. It will point to the great blessing and value to the churches themselves, and to the communities in which they live, when they are able to join together in outreach, actively looking for ways to jointly assist and accompany those on the peripheries of our society. It will then present as something of a case study, an initiative of a number of Christian churches in Saskatoon in 2015, as they experienced civic pressure about increased taxation of church property and the societal marginalization of religious communities.

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Rev. April Yamasaki

Rev. April Yamasaki is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church with over 20 years’ experience as the Lead Pastor at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She is the author of Four Gifts: Seeking Self-Care for Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength; Christ Is for Us: A Lenten Study Based on the Revised Common LectionarySacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal; and other books on Christian living.


April will lead us on the topic: Congregations and Change: Inward, Outward, Godward. How do you introduce change and bring people along with you, especially when moving from a more inward looking church to an outward looking one? This is the story of one congregation told by one pastor – what’s worked, what hasn’t, and why we’re all still very much in process. With reflection on Scripture and practical ideas to share.

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Fr. Jerome Lavigne

Fr. Jerome Lavigne is Vicar for Catholic Education and Pastor of St. Patrick’s in Calgary, Alberta. Fr. Jerome was born in Hull, Quebec and raised in Calgary and Canmore. He was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Calgary on June 19, 2009. As written in his biography, “when you listen to him speak, you always come away feeling challenged and inspired. Fr. Jerome has a way of unpacking the mysteries of the spiritual life in a way that is as down to earth as it is unmistakably orthodox.”


Fr. Jerome will participate in a “stories of flourishing” conversation with Jeremy Duncan and John Pentland.

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Fr. Adrian Martens

Fr. Adrian Martens, E.V., is Coordinator of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Catholic Diocese of Calgary. He also serves as Episcopal Vicar for Lay Associations and Associate Priest of Ascension Catholic Parish.


Fr. Adrian will participate in a panel conversation with fellow Catholics in response to Bishop Don's talk, “Vital and Viable Congregations: Reaching Out – Together.” 

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Nicholas Jesson

Nicholas Jesson is a Roman Catholic lay theologian, the ecumenical officer for the Archdiocese of Regina, and the editor of the Margaret O'Gara Ecumenical Dialogue Collection. For over two decades in Saskatoon and Regina, Nick has worked to promote local ecumenical learning, common witness and service, and interfaith relations. Together with his Presbyterian wife, the Rev. Amanda Currie, he is involved in the Interchurch Families International Network.


Nicholas will participate in a panel conversation with fellow Catholics in response to Bishop Don’s talk, “Vital and Viable Congregations: Reaching Out – Together.

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Fr. Tim Hingston

Fr. Tim Hingston is the Pastor of Saint Matthew Parish in the Glen Abbey area of Oakville and serves as the Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for the Diocese. In addition to being the Spiritual Leader of an active and vibrant community, much time is spent in teaching and leading ecumenical endeavours.


Fr. Tim will participate in a panel conversation with fellow Catholics in response to Bishop Don’s talk, “Vital and Viable Congregations: Reaching Out – Together.”


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Pastor Jeremy Duncan

Pastor Jeremy Duncan is Lead Pastor at Commons Church in Calgary, Alberta. Jeremy was a pastor for a while. Then he wasn't. Then he was again. Then in 2014 he started Commons Church in Calgary. Four years later Commons is deeply invested in the Kensington neighbourhood where Jeremy lives with his family, and Commons has just launched a new parish in Inglewood. Commons is committed to continue the revitalization of the neighbourhood church for urban Calgary.


Jeremy will participate in a “stories of flourishing” conversation with John Pentland and Fr. Jerome Lavigne.

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Rev. John Pentland

Rev. John Pentland is a spiritual teacher, public speaker, theologian and lead minister at Hillhurst United Church in Calgary, Alberta. For the past 30 years John has lived in Alberta, where he served in rural churches, and then worked for
the United Way of Calgary before joining Hillhurst United Church as lead minister in 2004. He is author of the Canadian bestseller: Fishing Tips: How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith.


John will participate in a “stories of flourishing” conversation with Jeremy Duncan and Fr. Jerome Lavigne

Ambrose University

150 Ambrose Circle SW
Calgary, AB T3H 0L5


Stay at the Sandman Hotel for $107/night (reference Group # 243752). 

Calgary International Airport is a 35 minute drive to Ambrose University

Learn More
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