the workshops and their presenters – 2019 edition

Welcome to the wonderful world of announcements! We are announcing here what the offered workshops will be this year, and who will be presenting them. So, you can stay tuned to this page to see it update as we add workshops. Thanks for checking us out!


[workshops presented in alphabetical order by title of workshop]

Communication Skills and Problem Solving in Activity Based Learning

Chris Harrison & Rianna Isaak

Workshop description :

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Eco-Grief

Lane Patriquin

Workshop description :

In the world today, we are alarmingly far along in global environmental catastrophe that will almost certainly continue to worsen before it improves. In this workshop, we will come together to examine some of the emotional, psychological, social and spiritual realities that accompany this experience of pervasive loss. Borrowing from the insights of grief theorist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross and Jem Bendell’s work on deep adaptation, we will discuss how we may prepare for unknown futures, build resiliency strategies, and explore the possibilities for hope and healing through civic involvement and building reciprocal Earth relationships.

Lane Patriquin is a community organizer, educator and recent Anglican living in rural Ontario. They have a YouTube channel in which they discuss political theory and activist skill-building, and they facilitate adult education sessions on transgender allyship, climate justice, and anti-fascism.

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Evaluating Three Possible Avenues to Creating Change: Direct action, deploying the medical model to build resistance, and reforming the system from within

Panel: Dan Oudshoorn, Dave Diewert, Stanislav Kumpferschmidt

Moderated by Sarah Mikhaiel

Workshop description :

Dan, Dave, and Stan will present three different approaches they have taken in their years of work and grassroots engagement and will critically evaluate those approaches and their effectiveness, engaging each other’s presentations while also being open to conversation with all participants. Dave will talk more about his work with the Alliance Against Displacement, Surrey Cop Watch, the Wet’suwet’en Camp, and other direct action. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Dan will talk about his efforts to create a life-giving community space at a Resource Centre nestled within a traditional Christian social service institution. In the middle, Stan will talk about his work with Overdose Prevention Ottawa. Each of these approaches has strengths and each has weaknesses but they might not all be equal… and, in the end, they might all be deficient, leading to the need for further engagement and conversation with all the participants of the workshop.

Dave Diewert grew up in Vancouver BC in a working class family. He followed an academic path that took him from Vancouver to Toronto to Jerusalem where he was exposed to the Palestinian liberation struggle that destabilized and eventually undermined his career plans. After teaching for 11 years full time at Regent College, he shifted to part time teaching while he ventured into grassroots community organizing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Canada’s poorest urban postal code), confronting the forces of gentrification and the war on drugs. He was a founding organizer with Streams of Justice, a faith-based social justice group in the city, and for the past 6 years has been a member of Alliance against Displacement, an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist organization working to establish sites of dual power alongside Indigenous sovereignty movements and working class struggles.

Dan Oudshoorn has eighteen years of experience working at all layers of the non-profit industrial complex in various territories colonized by Canada. He has always tried to pair this professional involvement with involvement with grassroots struggles, which has led Dan to have a complicated relationship with his profession. Recently, he co-developed the lowest barrier community space in London, ON, dedicated to being safe, welcoming, and useful to people who use drugs, who are deemed to be mentally ill, and who have been kicked out of most or all other social services because they are considered to be too “violent” or “non-compliant” or “psychotic” (or whatever). Dan has a Masters in Theology and his way-too-fucking-long thesis, Paul and the Uprising of the Dead, is being published by Wipf & Stock as a three-volume series (due out in the Fall of 2019). More importantly, Dan is the father of two, the bff of one, the uncle of seven, the brother of three, the friend of a few others, and the heated massage chair of Petrie the cat.

Stan Kupferschmidt lives in Ottawa, unceded Algonquin, Anishnabek territory. He was raised by working class refugee parents and taught never to trust a cop or the state. He has worked front-line social work for over fifteen years, and currently works at a Needle Exchange program where he works with those directly impacted by deep poverty, prohibition and the war on drug users. He has been involved in a number of anti-poverty and migrant rights struggles and a founding organizer with Overdose Prevention Ottawa which set up and operated Ottawa’s first overdose prevention site. He believes strongly in working with people who use drugs and live in poverty to directly challenge and heal the wounds of prohibition, capitalism and colonialism.

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Feet on the Ground: Outdoor Games

Jonathan Reed

Workshop description:

A competition involving three different games that require different amounts of agility, quietness and teamwork respectively. The point is there’s something everyone is good at and everyone can feel good using their bodies as best they can. Same for social justice. Everyone has something to contribute.

Jonathon has a thousand years of experience working with kids and just as much love.

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Indigenous Resistance and Critical Support

Mike Lickers

Workshop description:

This session will include a talk about Indigenous resistance from the late 20th century to today, from Oka to Standing Rock. We will explore what it means to be an ally in word and in deed and discuss what reconciliation means in practice. We will look at a structural analysis of the systems that contribute to Indigenous oppression and how we as christians can be in solidarity and live out our faith. No prior knowledge is necessary and questions are greatly encouraged!

Mike Lickers is a Haudenosaunee Canadian from Six Nations Reserve. He is an activist, speaker, and musician with a passion for history and justice.

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Justice For Migrant Workers

Connie Sorio + Migrant Worker

Workshop description:

coming…

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Like a Tree Planted By Streams of Water: contemplative prayer in & among the forest.

Leanne Wild

Workshop description:

This workshop will use the practice of silent attentiveness to/in the woods as well as practices and texts from various ancient forms of christian contemplative prayer to provide an opportunity for prayer (possibly unlike anything you’ve called prayer before!) in and among the community of the forest: our fellow created beings. It could be called ‘lectio natura’ (something like ‘lectio divina’, an ancient method of prayer through silent attentiveness to specific words of scripture): we will ‘read’ from the book of creation. As we slowly wander a path through the woods we will alternately listen (to short readings; questions or prompts), perceive, meditate, share observations, walk, stand and sit.

Leanne has been a community development worker, trainer of camp leaders, writer, high school drama teacher, grief support facilitator, and theology student, and has been a lover of both the woods and Jesus since she can remember. Her recent experience of homeschooling her eldest led to new ways of seeing and being in the woods; and her experience of a Theology course in Contemplative Prayer led to new ways of knowing and understanding prayer. Together, these discoveries have opened a space for praying in a way that is instinctive, gentle and powerful, and she has been sharing it with others whenever she can.

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Magic and Counter-Magic

Kevin Guenther Trautwein

Workshop description:

Evil does not just live within people – societies replicate and conceal evil through structures like racism, transphobia, and borders. Rational-empirical explanations of social evil accomplish little toward undoing it and creating a new world. We will explore ‘magic’ as a social rather than supernatural phenomenon, and then work to name the magic in the world around us. Can we imagine ‘counter-magic’ to undo or reconfigure the sorcery around us? We will explore a variety of forms, including ritual, visual art, story and song to use the tools of religion to undo injustice.

Kevin Guenther Trautwein is a pastor and university chaplain in Edmonton, AB, with a longtime curiosity about magic, mystery, and ritual. “As I move between the university and the church, I am fascinated by the ways symbolic systems can close off some possibilities and open up others. As a called minister, I am simultaneously the shaper of a religious tradition and bound within it. How we perform the script determines whether the tradition will accept or reject us.”

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Mission and Justice: Mennonite & Jesuit Stories

Pieter Niemeyer & Nelson Mauricio Palacio

Workshop description:

coming…

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Patches Make Perfect: Learn to mend your clothing

Corcoran Peppley

Workshop description:

Even though having holes in your pants is all the rage today, come learn how to patch and mend the rips and stains that you don’t want or how to add some colour and flare to the clothing you wear. We will have lots of fabric, needles and thread. You are welcome to bring your own clothing and patches, or to come and learn techniques to apply later. Also you are welcome to come and sew other creations as you feel inspired. All ages welcome (though little ones may need a helper to come with them).

Corcoran Peppley…Making, mending and muddling about has always been something that I love. It clears my mind to have a needle, thread and fabric in hand. Being able to sew has been both an art medium to express ideas and a way that i can step away from consumer culture and be more self-sufficient. Having been raised on hand-made, pre-loved and precious hand-me downs that my own mother wore I’ve been covered in mended and patched clothing from a young age. Now as a mother I am passing on the family tradition of covering my children in patches and teaching them the art of making and mending…although so far they prefer the making and for me to do the mending.

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Planning Non-Violent Direct Actions

Andrea Budgey & Maggie Helwig

Workshop description:

Nonviolent direct action is a powerful tool for those resisting oppressive systems, but it can be an intimidating prospect. Come and explore the basics of nonviolent direct action from two experienced activists, including planning an action, basic nonviolence skills, and police/legal procedures. Alternative session title: Sticking it to the man while being unfailingly polite.

Maggie Helwig is the rector of the Church of St Stephen-in-the-Fields, an author, and a nonviolence trainer.

Andrea Budgey is the Humphreys Chaplain at Trinity College/University of Toronto, the priest-in-charge of St Theodore of Canterbury, and the chair of the advisory board of the University of Toronto chapter of the Student Christian Movement. Sometimes they lock themselves to banks.

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Playfully Engage With the Wisdom of Your Body

Rianna Isaak

Workshop description:

How can play help to grapple with major life impacts, from career challenges to climate change? InterPlay is a practice full of fun, laughter, and creativity which develops flexibility and resilience. This will be an active workshop of play, movement, contact, storytelling, and experimenting with our voices. We’ll learn some of the forms and tools of InterPlay, developed by Phil Porter and Cynthia Winton-Henry. InterPlay has been a transformative and liberating force in the lives of participants, emboldening our voices and releasing the wisdom of the inner child!

Rianna jokingly refers to herself as a “recovering serious person”. She is currently working on her Masters of Christian Formation through Anabaptist Mennonite Bibilical Seminary and has been studying spiritual direction, trauma healing, and environmental sustainability. She is excited about InterPlay, an active creative way to unlock the wisdom of the body through improvisational play with voice, movement, and story, and for the last year has completed 50 hours of training to be an InterPlay leader.

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Racial Justice Panel

Janet Collins & Colleagues

Workshop description:

Members of the Congress of Black Women in Canada, London chapter, lead us in a panel discussion exploring some of the intersections between race and justice in Canada today.

The Congress of Black Women of Canada is a national non-profit organization, started by Kay Livingstone in 1973. The organization is dedicated to improving the lives of all Black women and their families in their local and national communities.

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Sex, Consent and So on…

Sarah Mikhaiel & Peter Haresnape

Workshop description:

coming…

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Tear Up Tear Down: Culture-jamming

Jonathan Reed

Workshop description:

Focused on challenging gender stereotypes and binaries. We start with a stylized version of capture-the-flag that brings out our fierceness. We discuss gender stereotypes and the power of art in changing the world before embarking on individual culture-jamming collage-style art projects.

Jonathon has a thousand years of experience working with kids and just as much love.

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Theatre of the Apocalypse

Nevada Jane Arlow

Workshop description:

Do you ever feel like a spectator of ‘The End of the World’? What happens after the curtain falls?

This workshop will draw upon ‘Manifesto of Theatre of the Apocalypse’, exploring the meanings of apocalypse as unveiling, sharing skills to reveal what is really going on, processing fear, lamentation and possibility. We’ll be ‘writing’ with words, pens, bodies, voices and concepts, offering theatrical interpretations of the ancient genre of apocalypse. The workshop will coalesce in the creation of a collective performance text that we will offer to the Cahoots festival.

Nevada Jane Arlow got her name from a series of dreams about the Mojave desert. A fan of poetry, ecology, and lizards, Nevada published ‘Tooth and Claw’ in 2017 and has recently created her first film ‘Evocation of Large Lake Monsters’. As the author of ‘Manifesto of Theatre of the Apocalypse’, Nevada is embarked on a multi-year journey to work out what it actually means.

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Third Space: Social enterprise & community development

Charissa Sanche & Chris Clarke

Workshop description:

Social Enterprise and Community Development. Buzz words yes, but, at the Third Space Cafe in Niagara Falls these two trendy ideas are really beginning to take shape together. In this chat Charissa and Chris will go through some of the theories and ideas which made the idea of running a local coffee shop as a social enterprise so exciting, then talk about some of the challenges and successes the Third Space has had before commenting on the role social enterprise can have in community development efforts in other contexts.

Charissa Sanche graduated from Brock University with her Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at Acadia University. Combining a love for the arts and social justice, Charissa uses her passion for advocacy, creativity, and community development. In March 2018, Charissa was offered the opportunity to establish Third Space Cafe as a social enterprise and non-profit organization to make a social impact in Niagara Falls. As Third Space Cafe’s executive director, Charissa has taken on the challenge of creating an inclusive safe space on Queen Street where relationships are formed and community built.

Chris Clarke has been part of the Cahoots Organizing Team since its inception. Chris lived in Toronto and worked for a variety of churches and non profits while doing a BA in English at Tyndale University. Now living in Niagara Falls, Chris works as a Community Development Coordinator for a local church plant. A song-writing, hockey-playing, D&D-loving something or other; the best word to describe Chris is probably eclectic. Above all other things Chris cares for people and their well being and believes that somehow in some way God is at the centre of this love and is working towards the redemption of people and creation.

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Trophies For The Frogs

Jonathan Reed

Workshop description:

Kids and kids-at-heart play the classic camp-wide game: Survival. Carnivores chasing herbivores, herbivores searching for food and water, and everyone hiding from the hunter in an hour of energy, strategy and interdependence. Debrief about what strategy means in the context of social justice, and what sacrifice means in the context of Jesus, for all those interested. Bring your running shoes and your wild heart. Participate to understand why frogs get trophies.

Jonathon has a thousand years of experience working with kids and just as much love.

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Ultimate Frisbee: a competitive-collaborative sport that provides a model for life

Jon Brandt with Ezra Unger Brandt and Ani Unger Brandt

Workshop description:

Sports are often seen as a highly competitive and sometimes contentious activity. We frequently seen examples of a ‘win at all costs’ mentality. What if there was a sport that offered a different way to play and to relate to your opponents? What if sport could be built on the desire to see everyone play their best and wanting the best for the other?

Ultimate (or Ultimate Frisbee) is just that sport. It is built on the “Spirit of the Game: a spirit that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play.” This should never stop someone from playing competitively or trying to win, just never at the cost of relationship.

This is a model for life as well. We can’t expect anyone else to swoop in and set things right. We must do it ourselves, expecting, and teaching others to do the same.

Jon will explore this concept of Spirit of the Game, how it works in a competitive game and how it might be a way forward in community as well. Examples will come from personal experience as well as highlighting some organizations that are using ultimate for relationship-building, such as Ultimate Peace, which works in the Middle East, particularly with Palestinian and Israeli youth.

And then the actual playing! – learning backhand, forehand, hammers, and scoobers. Come out and learn about a great sport where competitors respect each and the game, and then stick around to play it for yourself.

Jon Brandt is passionate about change, pushing ideas, doing good, and catching discs. He has been playing ultimate (frisbee) for the past 20 years and coaching for the past 10. He has played at world championships and coached absolute beginners. Jon has worked in the non-profit world for the past 20+ years, committed to helping people who are doing good do it better.

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You Know What Cathedral You’re Building: Shelter-building

Jonathan Reed

Workshop description:

Young people take to the forest to experience the potential of imagination combined with collaboration. We work together to create something that we can all fit inside, and explore the different roles involved in making a vision come to life. “What you win in the immediate battles is little compared to the effort you put into it / But if you see that as a part of this total movement to build a new world / You know what cathedral you’re building when you put your stone in” — Anne Braden, sampled in ‘Anne Braden’ by Flobots

Jonathon has a thousand years of experience working with kids and just as much love.

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You’re Praying: Now what are you doing about it?

Awit Marcileno & Lauren Wilks

Workshop description:

The facilitators will introduce two international Christian movements – World Day of Prayer & the Fellowship of the Least Coin – to show how women’s leadership, faith, and actions have made and continues to make an impact in the lives of women and girls in communities all over the world.

Facilitators will invite people into a discussion that promotes a feminism that is inclusive and acknowledges intersectionalities of race, culture, ability, sexuality, religion, and class; affirms women as leaders in the church and in all other areas of life and faith; and gives people a chance to talk about the oppression and resilience of women and being a follower of Jesus.

Participants will have an opportunity to create some art that they can take home. A full tutorial will be provided – no DIY experience is necessary.

The workshop is open to people of all genders!

Awit Marcelino is a person of faith. She gets excited about de-cluttering, thrifting, room makeovers on YouTube, youth empowerment, women’s leadership, and inter-faith conversations. She gets furious about injustice, poverty, discrimination, and half-assed recycling sorting. She is a former union rep, soup kitchen food preparer, and youth worker. Currently, she is a Master of Divinity student at Emmanuel College in Toronto and the pastor of Sugarbush Christian Church, an open and affirming congregation in Guelph. She is a board member for The Hunger Project Canada and Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. She is also the Canadian rep on the International Committee for the Fellowship of the Least Coin.

Lauren Wilks is also a person of faith. She is passionate about social justice, love, her dog, and finding new ways to up-cycle old flea market finds. She spends her free time trying out new Pinterest DIY projects, working to make the world a better place, or organizing her tea collection. Lauren likes to volunteer at a local food and hygiene bank and at pop-up events that require some extra hands. She is a member of the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada and is the Canadian liaison and Caribbean-North American regional representative on the World Day of Prayer International Committee.

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