Our City Conference
27-28 May 2022
45 Davenport Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
About the Conference
27 May 2022
28 May 2022
Our City Conference Toronto is an Urban Ministry Conference, first produced in 2019 to gather Urban Ministry practitioners and inspire future prospective Urban Ministry leaders. This event is meant to gather passionate Urban Ministry leaders, and intentionally designed as an intergenerational, interdenominational and intercultural ministry expression.
The past two and a half years have been hard in the city. This pandemic has broken many things. Our neighbourhoods have been broken, many have experienced loss in relationships, community, life, etc. But death is the final word in God’s kingdom. Through Christ we can and we will rebuild. This conference is a rally cry to inspire, encourage, empower and reignite vision for ministry in the city. Let us learn together from local practitioners and ministry leaders because we all need each other to rebuild.
Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
Friday May 27 2022
Saturday May 28 2022
4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Registration
7:30 pm - 7:45 pm Conference Introductions
7:45 pm - 8:30 pm Worship
8:30 pm - 9:30 pm Plenary #1
9:30 pm - 11:00 pm Prayer Walk in the City
9:00 am - 9:30 am Worship
9:30 am - 10:30 am Plenary #2
10:45 am - 12:15 pm Workshops #1
12:15 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch Break or Working Lunch
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm Workshops #2
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Workshops #3
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Dinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm Networking
7:30pm - 8:15 pm Worship
8:15pm - 9:15 pm Plenary #3
10:00 pm Wrap
Ejay is an Urban Missionary to Downtown Toronto through Mission Canada, the local missions agency for the PAOC. He has been an Urban Ministry practitioner for over 17 years. He has been living and ministering in the downtown core of Toronto since January of 2007. He is a proud eastender currently living in Leslieville where he serves both his marginalized friends and affluent neighbours. Ejay, and his wife Cheryl, serve to be a bridge to their neighbours both rich and poor, building community amongst them and practicing radical hospitality. They do this deeply believing that in doing so, we get a glimpse into the kingdom of God.
Erinn Oxford was born and raised in Toronto, a city that she loves. She has been working in Parkdale, a neighbourhood in the city’s west end since 2007. In 2012 she was invited into her current role as Executive Director and Pastor. Tasked with re-visioning the work, Erinn sought the feedback of the community and proposed a full reboot, one that would include giving up a building, spilling into the streets, creating a nomadic routine, and becoming The Dale Ministries. She longs for and pursues the building of community in which all people are welcome and those who experience poverty are placed at the core, seeking to nurture relationships where we can understand and learn from one another’s histories, experiences and hopes. Erinn is a Christ-follower, caregiver and advocate, mother to Cate, partner to Dion, a musician and lover of the arts, a self-confessed klutz, and an aspiring friend to many.
Tim Schindel is a determined and proven leader who lives life as an adventure! He loves to cast vision, build teams, set goals and reach them while having a lot of fun. If you’re viewing the world through Tim’s eyes, you’ll see opportunities, possibilities and experience the magnetic pull that a fresh challenge brings.
Seeing the need and an opportunity to serve, Tim founded Leading Influence in 2006 to fulfill the vision of providing excellence in pastoral care to politicians across Canada. Under his leadership, Leading Influence has grown to a National ministry with a team of Spiritual Care providers that stretches from Victoria, BC, to Quebec City. Tim is the National Director for Leading Influence and as Spiritual Care Provider on Parliament Hill.
While his primary career focus has been in faith-based ministry, his experience includes community leadership, life and business coaching and sales. In the summer of 2020, ‘just for fun,’ he envisioned and led ‘The Big Spend’ campaign to support locally owned businesses seeking to recover after the initial COVID lockdown. The project generated nearly $90 Million in economic activity across Canada and attracted national news attention.
He is happily married to Barb and proud dad to Brittany, Zack and Tyler. He is part owner of Maverick, who knows how to ‘play dead’ when he wants to. Tim and Barb live in Victoria, BC.
Tim loves to cycle and enjoy ‘road therapy’ on his Harley in his free time.
Leadership Development and Coaching
Motivational Speaking, Conference Speaker
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
These workshops are designed to help you build your tool base in ministry context. Every one of these speakers are practitioners and thought leaders in their respective field.
Reverend Dr. Lisa Pak currently serves as the Global Strategist for Finishing The Task (FTT). Her previous experience includes serving as the Regional Director for Ontario and Nunavut at the Canadian Bible Society in addition to 14 years of pastoral ministry and church experience in the United States, South Korea, Singapore and Canada with a particular focus amongst the Korean Diaspora community. She is a second-generation Korean Canadian and Toronto native, ordained by the Korean Association of Independent Churches and Missions (KAICAM). She holds a MDiv and a MABL from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has earned her Doctor of Ministry in Leadership at Tyndale Seminary. Lisa has travelled globally and is passionate about diaspora communities and mobilizing the young generation for the Gospel.
Grant Writing 101
Andrea works part-time for the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre (TIM Centre) as an Assistant Leadership Consultant where her role includes research, grant writing and an intercultural development facilitator. Andrea also works for Anchor and Serenity where she is a Spiritual Director and consultant.
She has assisted churches and organizations in navigating the grant writing for their respective projects. Considering the value of resources in Community work, her experience and expertise is incredibly valuable.
Cultural Competency for Ministry
Brian has been with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre for over 5 years, where he serves as a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®). He coaches and facilitates intercultural learning for individuals, teams, and organizations. Brian has been serving as a pastor for over 14 years and is currently one of the lead pastors of a church plant in Toronto. He's also the Executive Director of a faith-based charitable organization serving a subsidized community housing neighbourhood in York Region.
Making it for the long-haul. Ministry is a Marathon.
Bill Ryan started his ministry in the city after graduating from Ontario Bible College in 1982. This led to his work at Yonge Street Mission where he served for over 25 years in numerous roles first serving as Program Co-ordinator at Evergreen, Pastor of Church on the Street, Director of the Christian Community Centre, Director of Staff care and Interim Program Officer. He later served as Director of Men’s Ministry with Scott Mission until 2021. He is a seasoned Urban Ministry practitioner for the past 30 years and teaches from his vast experience in ministry. He is a spiritual director and passionate Social Justice advocate. Bill's ministry life has been grounded by being a husband to Lillian and father to Jordan and Caitlin.
Better Together: Building Partnerships in ministry
Cheryl is a passionate follower of Jesus – serving Him in all that she does, believing that Jesus has called her to live out her passion and calling in her everyday life. In the past, God has called her to serve internationally – living in and visiting over 30 countries; however, her heart for the world and passion is to serve is in Canada. Having worked for 14 years with Canadian Not-for-Profit organizations, Cheryl now serves as the Executive Director of Converge Canada since September 2020.
Cheryl lives in downtown Toronto with her missionary husband and daughter where they serve together and minister to their marginalized friends and those in need. Her hobbies include baking, biking, the love of the outdoors, and keeping an open door for family and friends to sit around the table.
Bridging the general gap in Cultural Churches
Heskias has been serving in pastoral ministry for over 17 years at his church. He currently serves as pastor of the English congregation at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Toronto. He strives to lead with ideas that are well thought through biblically and culturally. He is a passionate a cultural translator with a burden of engaging ethnic churches to reach "our" city Toronto.
Fav TV show - The Office
Hobby - Learning new musical instruments
Our dream of rebuilding Scarborough
Andrew Ramalingam & John Emore
Coach John Leadership & Community Engagement Initiative
John “Coach John” Emore
Coach John is a leader in community development through sport and recreation in Scarborough. Weekly, Coach John directs programs for over 1400 children and youth across 18 communities in Toronto; partnering with the TDSB, TCHC, and The Jays Care Foundation to name a few. This year, Coach John will inaugurate the Rouge Games, bridging people from across the city for two days of competition and community celebration.
John is also a spiritual mentor to pastors in the GTA, and leader of Redeemed and Relevant Church. His teachings on Kingdom-minded faith, principles and practice have equipped many to change and affect their own communities for Jesus.
The Wellspring Centre (The Spring)
Andrew and his partners operate The Spring, a community hub for young adults, especially neurodivergent people, and others with developmental disabilities, and mental health challenges. Chronic loneliness, notably among neurodivergent people, has become an epidemic and identified as the silent killer for young adults. Andrew believes Scarborough, unlike any other city in the world, is uniquely positioned to alleviate chronic loneliness among young people in the city. With the help of community leaders and government representatives, he has developed The Unlonely Challenge to work towards this end.
Andrew is also on the pastoral team at Global Kingdom Ministries, a church deeply rooted in Scarborough for over 65 years
Praxis & Theory: Bridging the gap between academia and practice.
Dr. Michael Krause
Dr. Michael Krause brings with him a broad range of urban ministerial knowledge and an eclectic portfolio of experience in the non-profit sector in the Toronto area. This includes senior leadership in churches, social service agencies and educational institutions. It also includes Master’s level studies in program development and doctoral studies in organizational change. He completed BscF at University of Toronto, 1981, MDiv at Tyndale Seminary, 1985 and DMin at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 2009. Urban Ministry, Missional Ecclesiology and Bible Interpretation are his areas of specialization. He is currently the Pastor of Hills Community Church, an innovative church plant in Thornhill. He also functions as the interim Director of Staff Care at Yonge Street Mission where he provides leadership development, psychometric testing, coaching and counseling to staff members working with the urban poor. He has been teaching courses with the TIM Centre Diploma program since its inception in 2010. He is married to Brigitte and has two adult children who also live in Toronto.
Food for life: Our Story behind our foodbank.
Pastor Vir Mateo and Rhema Annett
Vir is the lead Pastor of Christ for Life Ministries, a church he planted 28 years ago. He has a desire for the church to be the hands and feet of Christ and to spread His Gospel and make disciples. In collaboration with his daughter, Rhema, they started Good Measure Food Bank as the need in their community became apparent.
His mission can be defined simply: Operation Agape Love. Love God and Love People.
Rhema felt called by the Lord to start Good Measure Food Bank in 2016. Her expectation? Small Closet Food Pantry. The reality? A full fledged operation that she had no idea how to operate. Through mistakes and continuous learning she realized that her community didn't need another food bank based on efficiency, but a place where people could go for not only their physical hunger, but spiritual. It would soon become not only a space for those in need to know their value and be loved, but for Christians to be equipped to share the gospel. Since the start of the food bank they have seen salvations from both people who receive food and volunteer.
Dedication. Expertise. Passion.
Vision and Logistics Partner
Ejay is an Urban Missionary to Downtown Toronto through Mission Canada, the local missions agency for the PAOC. He believes his marginalized friends cannot be saved through programs. Loving people with deep compassion is a precious calling. This is why he believes in serving in whatever capacity he is able in order to meet these needs. Ejay, and his wife Cheryl, serve to be a bridge to their neighbours both rich and poor, building community amongst them and practicing radical hospitality. They do this so they may have a glimpse into the kingdom of God.
Favourite Netflix Snack
Popcorn freshly popped through our vintage air popper. Loads of butter on it, with white cheddar powder and a big glass of coca-cola with lots of ice.
Marketing Strategy Partner
Jazelle is a Mission Canada worker reaching university students at Ryerson/X University. She is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at a campus church called LifeLine. From university student to staff member, Jazelle has been involved with urban ministry for almost 10 years. She and her husband, Brooker, live in Brampton, ON and their favourite shows are Blackish and Modern Family on Disney+.
Administrative and Logistics Partner
Sheryce lives in East Scarborough with her husband Micah, and son Noah. Sheryce has been involved in urban ministry for the past nine years, serving for the past seven years as part of the MoveIn Vision Team. Sheryce is passionate about truly learning to love God and our neighbours.
Partnerships and Marketing Partner
Julius is well known as “Kuya”, which means “big brother”. This title is a solid representation of his role within the community of Warden Woods. Since joining our team, he has been an important role model for many youth & has used his passions for sports, technology & comics to bring the community together. In his spare time, he loves exploring coffeshops in Toronto, Muay Thai, & is well connected both online & off.
Favourite Netflix Snack
Stik-O Chocolate Wafer Stick
Creative Partner & Logistics
Timothy lives in the rapidly evolving neighbourhood of Regent Park, growing up in the suburbs he's always felt a pull towards the city.
Timothy has a Bachelor of Theology, works as a fixer of first world problems, and loves being able to go for runs through the city - when it's not cold outside.
Conference Logistics Partner
Kevin Rogers is the urban ministry consultant for Mission Canada and pastor of New Song Church in Windsor Ontario. He has a long history of involvement in all things urban.
Kevin also has a podcast highlighting different Urban Stories from practitioners all over Canada. Here's the link to the site: https://www.sidewalkskylinepodcast.com/