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  • Witness: Heart Garden this Spring

    Reconciliation Banner

    This spring KAIROS Canada invites children and youth in parishes and congregations from coast-to-coast across Canada to create hearts for a Heart Garden in remembrance of Indigenous children who attended the Indian Residential Schools.  A Heart Garden will be planted at Rideau Hall on June 3 after the official close of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), with similar Heart Garden ceremonies planned at churches and in communities across the country from May 31-June3.

    The Heart Garden is a joint initiative of the TRC, KAIROS Canada, the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society

    and Project of Heart  , and will serve as a legacy of the work of the TRC, former students of Indian Residential Schools and their families.

    For more information on how children and youth in your parish or community can participate, please visit

    and see  the attached press release.


    KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives is a faith-based social justice organization which unites 11 Canadian churches and religious organizations (including the Anglican Church of Canada) in a faithful ecumenical response to the call to “do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8):

    The Rev. Deacon Lisa Chisholm-Smith

    Baptismal Ministry Missioner Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Tel: (613) 232-7124, ext. 231

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  • Sample Lesson Week – Spark House – Augsburg

    Spark House


    Sign up to try out the Spark House Youth Curriculum if you’re not already using them.


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  • AugsburgFortress Webinar

    Lenten Greetings!

    Sparkhouse, a creative curriculum development arm of Augsburg Fortress is hosting a three part children’s ministry webinar.  See info below.

    Usually their webinar series are free of charge.  You dial into a toll free number to listen in.

    You can sign up online for one, two or all three sessions, if you wish.

    3 part webinar



    Dawn Rundman is a nationally recognized teacher, presenter, author, and resource provider specializing in the faith development of children. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Oregon.

    Since 2002, Dawn has developed children’s resources at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, the publishing ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

    Dawn speaks and leads workshops across the country at conventions, seminaries, and congregations. Her writing has appeared in Children’s Ministry magazine, Lutheran Partners, and The Little Lutheran. Dawn’s first children’s book is Alphabet Adventure, especially for 3-year-olds.

    David Walsh, Ph.D. has emerged as one of the world’s leading authorities on children, teens, parenting, family life, and the impact of technology on children’s health and development. He spent 10 years teaching and coaching high school students before joining Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis to develop and direct innovative counseling programs for youth and families. In 1995, Dr. David Walsh founded the internationally renowned National Institute on Media and the Family, which he led until 2010. He recently founded Mind Positive Parenting to help caring adults better understand how to help kids thrive in the 21st century.

    Dr. Dave Walsh has presented workshops to parents, educators, and professionals throughout the world. A consultant to the World Health Organization and the Ministries of Education in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, he has testified before congressional committees on numerous occasions. Dr. Walsh’s workshops blend humor, warmth, scientific substance, and practical advice.


    510 Marquette Ave, Suite 800

    Minneapolis MN 55402

    Orders & Customer Care: (877) 702-5551

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  • Parents Role in Teens & Young Adults

    This recent article in the Christian Century is food for thought among Lutherans. While Pastors, Sunday School and Youth Ministry play a supporting role, parents are the key factor for the majority of teens and young adults remaining active in religion. While I’m in the minority (once I was confirmed my parents were not involved with church) I see the importance of the Witness role parents play in their children’s lives. Micah 6:8 – Pastor Mark

    Parents are top influence in teens remaining active in religion as young adults


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  • Witness through the gifts you give this season

    Gifts from the Hear 2014 CLWR

    As Christians are counterculturalists we go against the grain of the consumer driven society in which we live.

    During the holiday season, if your church is utilizing CLWR Gifts from the Heart share this resource with your community. It’s an opportunity to show love of neighbor, to refocus people on giving to those in need, and spreading the spirit of giving to those who have little or nothing( a sentiment evoked by St. Nicholas).

    Advent Blessings!


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  • Money Values & Me Conference Feb 28th 2015

    The Money Values and Me conference with Nathan Dungan has been re-scheduled for Saturday, February 28, 2015 in Ottawa.

    For more than 20 years, Nathan Dungan has been helping individuals and families to align their values with their money decisions.

    Through his organization Share Save Spend ( he has interacted with thousands of families, youth and adults to help them build balanced and sustainable money habits.

    Plan now to attend and encourage parents and families in your parishes to participate as well.

    This one-day conference will be held in Christ Church Cathedral’s new hall in downtown Ottawa.


    For more information, please contact:


    Lisa Chisholm-Smith (ext. 231) or Jane Scanlon (ext. 225) at 613-232-7124


    Or e-mail us at or

    MVM 2015 save the date Oct 1b

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  • Back to Church Season of Invitation 2014 – 2015

    12 Steps 1-5 12 Steps 6-12 Im inviting you btcs Season of Invitation Advent Candle Season of Invitation Harvest Canned Goods Season of Invitation Kids-Invite Season of Invitation Poppy LogoBack to Church Season of Invitation

    Michael Harvey (founder Back to Church Sunday, UK) is offering a Season of Invitation for all congregations of the ELCIC.

    Whether you’ve previously hosted a Back to Church Sunday or are new to the initiative, attached you’ll find a Season of Invitation Sundays for 2014 – 2015 Invitation Card Templates (provided free of charge by Michael), and the 12 Steps to Becoming an Inviting Church.

    If you decide to embark on a Season of Invitation or host a single Back to Church Sunday, hopefully these materials will get you started to becoming a more inviting congregation.

    Micah 6:8



    Making the most of the Season

    Season of Invitation is all about encouraging a culture of invitation, and this guide is designed to provide you with some general pointers that can be applied to each one of the Sundays of Invitation, as well as some more specific suggestions for each invitational moment. Our desire is to share from our experience what we believe works well, at the same time recognizing that you are best-placed to judge what will work in your particular context.


     Ways to make people feel welcome…

    Name tags for the welcome team/greeters. If you decide to make this a name tag Sunday, ensure that members & guests all have name tags. Also ensure that those involved in leading/taking part in the service introduce themselves to the congregation.

    Clear and helpful instructions from the front – knowing when to stand and when to sit, page/hymn numbers, communion welcome, etc.  is all part of feeling as though you belong.

    Refreshments – chatting over a cup of tea/coffee is a great way to make people feel at home. Encourage your church members to introduce themselves to anyone that might be visiting for the first time.

    When planning your services, think ‘ordinary with a sparkle’. We should never underestimate the significance of the ‘ordinary’/’familiar’ in enabling invitees to feel as though they belong. At the same time, adding an element of surprise can help challenge people’s pre-conceived ideas about church and faith.

    All-age services are a great way to draw children, young people and adults into the church community and to share the basic truths of the Christian faith.


    Developing a Culture of Invitation

    The key to unlocking the potential in personal invitation is in equipping those that will be inviting with everything they need:

    A reminder to be continually praying for those we invite.

    Highlight those events that have a particular emphasis and encourage your church members to think about which events would be suitable for whom.

    Ensure that the invitation to each service is ready to be handed out at the previous event.

    When inviting people from the front, as well as individually, work on the basis that they will be coming back soon and adjust your wording accordingly.

    Encourage the ‘invitee’ to become the ‘inviter’. Assume that they will also want to invite their friends to come back to church and equip them accordingly.


    Back to Church Sunday & Kids’ Invitation

    Take advantage of the ‘Don’t Forget the Children!’ resources from our friends at ‘Lost Sheep’. They have produced free children’s resources for you to download and use. These include:

    The story of ‘Cecil the Lost Sheep’ – a PDF Booklet & Power Point Presentation, free to download and print off or show using a video projector as a power point presentation (the booklet has the text of the story).

    A “Cecil the Lost Sheep” BTCS Activity Pack. This contains crafts, coloring sheets and more.


    Service Suggestions



    Consider contacting your nearest Foodbank, if you are not already involved with one, to make this a time of both donations as well as volunteers to help out.

    Profile the work of CLWR.

    You could stage your own ‘Come Dine with Me’ dinner party with a selection of guests from around the world (see for more ideas) highlighting the reality of how little food some people have available to live on each day.


    Remembrance Sunday

    Use a range of visual resources for use in marking the Time of  Silence.

    You may want to consider interviewing a member from your church, for whom their faith in Jesus has provided great comfort following the loss of a loved one.


    Advent and/or Christmas Eve/Day Services

    For the adventurous, perhaps a Live Nativity Event on church grounds (or if need be in your local park) to attract families that wouldn’t normally consider celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

    Why not organise or join an existing  Community Carol Singing Event at a suitable outdoor venue? Singing carols has the potential to attract those for whom Christmas is a particularly busy time from a work perspective.

    Possibilities if you don’t use a Sunday in Advent/Christmas:

    Christmas Season or Epiphany

    Invite people as you continue to celebrate Christmas without the distractions and stresses that lead up to Christmas. Invite people to experience the epiphany celebration and what it means.



    Invite people to worship on the Sunday closest to Valentines Day and focus on God’s Love for the world


    Also, feel free to add:


    Invite people well ahead of time to include worship in their holiday weekend Give them the opportunity to experience what Easter is all about.

    If your congregation has an Easter Breakfast make sure to include this as a part of your invitation.




    Michael Harvey []

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  • Fresh Expression of Church – blog post

    Check out this blog post:
    Carol’s story – a fresh expression of church.
    Who can you look to in your community/church to find a fresh expression for church?


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  • Money, Values & Me One and a half day conference June 6th -7th 2014


    Online registration is open at for the Money, Values and Me 2014, day and a half conference June 6-7, 2014 in Kemptville, Ontario.

    The Rev. Deacon Lisa Chisholm-Smith

    Baptismal Ministry Missioner
    Anglican Diocese of Ottawa:

    “Money, Values & Me 2014 is an event for everyone, including a program for children under 12 and interactive workshops for tweens, teens, young adults, adults and seniors.

    Keynote speaker, Nathan Dungan, Share Save Spend, teaches about money in a straightforward, fun and engaging manner, offering a hopeful message and practical tools.

    This ecumenical and inter-generational gathering will enable people of all ages to participate in meaningful conversations and then take what they learn back to their homes, their congregations and their communities.  An impromptu choir led by Andy Rush and made up of conference participants will share the gift of music throughout this event.   You are welcome to join in!

    The goal is to encourage healthy and open conversations about money, values, peer pressure, debt and generosity. “

    Location: Kemptville Campus of the University of Guelph, 830 Prescott St, Kemptville.

    Date:  Friday evening, June 6 and Saturday, June 7, 2014.

    here is a family rate (for up to 2 adults to bring up to 3 related children under 12) as well as adult, student and child rates.

    You can register at the early bird rate only until Friday, May 9, 2014.   This event is organized by the Diocese of Ottawa in partnership with the Dioceses of Ontario and Montreal, and the UnitedChurch and Lutheran churches.

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  • Back to Church – an Article by Micael Harvey

    The power of perspective in invitation

    An article by Back to Church founder, Michael Harvey ,
    Author of Unlocking the Growth

    Michael Harvey-2013

    Perspective comes originally from the Latin perspicere, “to see through”. We need to see people in our congregation, better than they presently are. Very often I hear church leader’s say to me. I can see invitation work well over in that church over there
    “but you should see my congregation!”
    I can almost hear Jesus saying
    “you should see my disciples!”
    Jesus ‘saw’ Simon differently than he saw himself. In fact he renamed him “Cephas” the rock. It’s just that Simon didn’t act like a rock. He was all over the place. But Simon Peter became very influential for Christ
    Never underestimate the power of perspective. Indeed, the perspective influence of those around us is so powerful! Many times we don’t even realize we’re being strongly affected because influences generally develop over an extended period of time.

    I have been concerned for a while that we have a tendency to write off our congregations that have a majority of senior citizens. In a recent study of churches the Back to Church Sunday Team in the UK we discovered that even if a congregation is senior it can still have powerful influence over younger people. In fact the survey found that 60% of those invited by our senior congregations were under the age of 50. Why is this so? I think we have for far too long called our congregations elderly, rather than elders. There is a difference between the two. Elders have respect, and have over a long time done a lot for their kith and kin. Therefore their adult children and grandchildren will often be open to an invite from Grandma and Grandpa. It may well be by using phrases like aging, and elderly that we have spoken death to the church and many of our best people have become ”Road” Christians (Retired on active duty). We need to re-recruit the senior members of the congregations and envision them of their position of elders and of their powerful influence on those around them.
    Everyone ought to have a dream which leads to a perspective that lasts beyond a lifetime, to leave a legacy behind. A legacy is something that someone has achieved that continues to exist after they die. Many of us are someone else’s legacy. We were probably invited by someone, to enable us to cross the threshold of a church building, and many of us would not be here if someone had not come alongside us, at key points in our spiritual life.
    Jesus of course left a massive legacy behind but I want to finish on his final vision Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This legacy has led down the years to you and me.
    Now we have a chance to leave our own legacy behind by offering an invitation that may very well last beyond your own lifetime and remember Jesus ends his final words of legacy by saying (and as you go)
    ‘lo I am with you always’ Matt 28:20 KJV
    Borrow my eyes and gain a new perspective to see beyond your fear and offer an invitation which might also change the perspective of your friend or relative.

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