Recordings from previous Our City Conferences
Many thanks to Sidewalk Skyline collating resources from our previous conferences. If you want to see other episodes check them out HERE
2022 Conference: Rebuild
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 anothers’ 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.
Ejay and Cheryl live above a coffee shop on Queen Street in Toronto. As parents of a toddler, they exemplify urban disciples of Jesus living on mission in their neighbourhood.
In this session from the Our City Toronto conference (2022) they share life lessons and guiding principles on the power of collaborative relationship. They depend on each other and rely on other community members in accomplishing good work for their city and neighbourhood.
Ejay and Cheryl
Brian Yu has been with the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre for more than five 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 The Change Community Church in Scarborough.
He's also the Executive Director of Flow Ministries, a faith-based charitable organization serving a subsidized community housing neighbourhood in York Region.
Heskias Mandefro has been serving in pastoral ministry for over 17 years at the Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Toronto. As the English pastor in an Amharic language church, he finds himself functioning as a cultural translator between generations.
Heskias strives to lead with ideas that are well thought through biblically, and culturally. He is passionate to engage ethnic churches in reaching their city.
Pastor Vir Mateo and his daughter Rhema Annett started the Good Measure Foodbank out of their church. Listen to their story as to how they saw a need in their community, responded to serve and found critical partnerships to feed their hungry neighbours in Mississauga. This session was recorded at Our City Toronto Conference 2022.
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.
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.
Vir Mateo and Rhema Annett
Andrea Chang 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.
Bill Ryan started his ministry in Toronto 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.
Urban Ministry is a Marathon
2019 Conference: This is our City
Paula Castrucci has lots to say about living as a single person involved in urban ministry. This session was recorded at the Our City Toronto 2019 conference.
Combining her two passions of working with youth and with the homeless, she has found a way to blend these in her work for Youth Unlimited Toronto. Part of this work is with Light Patrol, an initiative helping homeless youth.
As the city goes, so follows the country.
Urban centres are the most frequent epicentre of innovation and change and that is true around the globe.
Cheryl Walsh works for Bible League Canada where part of her job is to study and share trends happening across the land.
This is not just textbook and data details, but also her own experience as an urban missionary with her husband Ejay Tupe and daughter Jemma.
Cheryl spoke at the Our City Toronto conference in September 2019.
Dr. Michael Krause has a broad range of ministerial experience in an urban context in churches, social service agencies and educational institutions. He was the director of Evergreen, Yonge Street Mission’s outreach to street-involved youth, supervising 20 staff overseeing a thriving menu of programs including health care, housing support, employment training, drop-in and meal programs, and a broad range of advocacy support.
He was the youth pastor at Flemingdon Park Church, the assistant pastor at the Stone Church in downtown Toronto and the senior pastor at Church on the Street, an experimental church reaching out to street youth in the urban core. He has been active as a church planter in other contexts, pioneering Hills Church, an innovative, house church network based in Thornhill.
Before joining the faculty of Tyndale in 2014, he functioned as the Staff Care director at Yonge Street Mission where he provided leadership development, ministry coaching and counselling 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 also has a private practice as a leadership coach and church consultant. Michael is ordained with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. (description from Tyndale faculty page)
In this session from the Our City Conference (2019) in Toronto, he shares principles of longevity. How do you prepare and maintain a ministry life for the long haul?
Dr. Michael Krause
Darryl Dash, a pastor who has planted a church in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood. It’s an old industrial and institutional neighbourhood that has been transformed into residential condo developments.
Liberty Grace Church is a young Fellowship Evangelical Baptist church. They are in a neighbourhood where most people can go through their secure entry, hop on an elevator and disappear into their home without really needing to encounter their neighbours.
How do you crack the community code and make a lasting impact in a place that the average person will live in for just a couple years?
Our session today is a workshop that Darryl gave at the Our City Toronto conference in September 2019. This was an urban practitioner event with some incredible people from the GTA sharing their stories and insights. The event was hosted at Stone Church. Down the road, we will feature a few more episodes that came out of that conference.
He’s also the author of ‘How To Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Life’.
Darryl Dash is also the cofounder of Gospel For Life and director of Advance Church Planting Institute. He has a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and has over 25 years of ministry experience.
We all can point to low income high rises that struggle with multi-level problems—gang and drug activity, mental health issues, food insecurity, pest control and the list goes on.
But, how about the other, high rise buildings that people live in?
Have you lived or stayed in a downtown condo in a major city? In my travels I usually prefer to book an Airbnb over a hotel chain. More than once I’ve stayed downtown in a condo and caught glimpses of what that kind of urban life may be like.
Well, if you live in a condo you are not alone. It has become a desirable domicile for many.
In 2017, CBC’s reporter Pete Evans wrote an article on Canadians living in Condos.
Let me read some key points for us to consider:
Statistics Canada says almost 1.9 million Canadian households were living in condominiums as of 2016. Among that group, just over two-thirds were owners, while 616,570 Canadians rented them.
As is to be expected, there is wide variety across the country when it comes to the popularity of condos as a choice of places to live.
In Vancouver, for example, more than 30 per cent of the population lives in condos, the highest percentage in Canada by far. Condos are home to 21.8 per cent of Calgarians, followed by Abbotsford-Mission, Kelowna and Toronto, all of which have more than one out of every five households living in a condominium.
In other cities, meanwhile, condos barely rate as a living option. In Greater Sudbury, Ont., Saint John, Thunder Bay, Ont. St. John's, Peterborough, Ont. and Belleville, Ont. less than one out of every 20 people live in a condo.