Playing the Holy Fool


with Mäki Ashe Van Steenwyk

Within Christianity there is a strange subset of the prophet called the “Holy Fool.” Holy Fools defy social convention in both word and action–sometimes in bizarre ways–out of their religious devotion. In this workshop, we will engage this “archetype” of the Holy Fool. We learn about specific historical examples, spend time in spiritual practice, and explore ways of allowing the Holy Fool to shape our praxis in the world.

about the facilitator

Mäki Ashe Van Steenwyk (they/them) is a writer, teacher, organizer, and spiritual director. For nearly 15 years, they have sown seeds of subversive spirituality throughout North America. Ashe is is the Executive Director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination in Minneapolis. They co-founded the Mennonite Worker in Minneapolis in 2004 with their spouse Amy. Ashe is the author of That Holy Anarchist, unKingdom, and A Wolf at the Gate.

Biblical Storytelling for Beginners

(All ages welcome, though participation will be easier for those who are able to read.)

with Michele Rizoli

We will take a piece of scripture and bring it to life by creatively telling it in our own words. Come and see how stories you have heard before take on new meaning when told by your Cahoots friends!

about the facilitator

Michele (she/her) is a pastor who is passionate about lifting scripture off the page and recovering the tradition of oral storytelling. She is a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers.

Screenprinting – Drop In (All ages)

with Rachel + Astrid Erb

Once again we will be offering folks the opportunity to make their own Cahoots apparel. Bring a shirt, skirt, bed sheet, knickers, etc., and adorn it with the lovely Cahoots logo. If you have a Cahoots shirt that you made last time and no longer want, bring it along to give it to someone else.

about the facilitators

Rachel and Astrid are a mom and daughter living in Kingston, Ontario where they’ve spent many years learning together as homeschoolers and dabbling in various artsy-craftsy and musical endeavours.

BikePacking and Stealth Camping 101 (All ages)

with Mark Graves

We will begin by looking at the ways that biking allows us to interact with the world and how to get started in bikepacking. We’ll talk about hardware, bikes, routes and where to set up for the night, whether that is stealth camping or parks or public lands. Lower technology equals more connectedness!

about the facilitator

Mark has wandered through many careers over the past 30+ years. He has pastored, started IT businesses, worked as a bicycle mechanic, corporate trainer, writer, musician and manager. In 2017 when his corporate career eroded he rode his bicycle from his home in Stratford across North America. It is in this that he discovered a new enjoyment in bike-packing and cycling. He is a passionate advocate and evangelist of seeing the world from the seat of a bicycle.

Like a Tree Planted By Streams of Water: contemplative prayer in the forest (12+)

with Leanne Wild

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.

about the facilitator

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 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.

Drag as a Spiritual Practice: Theology and Performance Art

with King Julez

In this session we will look at the history of drag and very key figures in the development and popularization of the art. Participants will learn the different forms of drag, queer performance, theatre, and music. Participants will be guided through different skills and themes that artists have needed through the ages, and how drag can now fit into religious spheres as an expression of theology.

about the facilitator

Julian/ King Julez (they/them) is the chair of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, a national non-profit organization that works for full inclusion and affirmation of 2S-LGBTQ+ folks in religious spaces and in all of society, and a board member for Student Christian Movement. After getting a BA in Diversity and Equity, King Julez is studying their Masters of Divinity with the goal of becoming a drag clown reverend with their own congregation to serve. Drag as a spiritual practice embodies theology and works to express understandings of God’s word in new and exciting ways while paying homage to the queer artists that paved the way so we can exist freely in the world today.

Wool Felt + Weaving (all ages)

with Jubilene + Kiki Wild-Brewster + Leanne Wild

Fibrearts are for everyone! Come play with wool and string and explore different ways of crafting with re-purposed materials. Make a pocket or little bag or bookmark…or an abstract art piece. Old wool sweaters and blankets can be recycled (shrunk!) into wool felt, which is a lovely, rich material that is easy to sew, even for beginners. Weaving is similarly accessible with a simple cardboard loom and pieces of yarn or string. You are welcome to bring your extra bits of yarn or that sweater you accidentally felted, or use the materials we will have available. We’ll also have various loom and wool crafting methods on hand for demonstration. *Note there will be needles and scissors, so smallish people may need a bigger buddy.

about the facilitators

Kiki, Jubilene and Leanne live in Toronto. Between them, they have fifteen years of experience learning and creating with wool felt and simple looms. Jubilene’s early sewing projects were all wool felt creations, and wool is still her preferred crafting material, especially in needlefelting. Kiki is currently smitten with weaving, and has been known to visit the Textile Museum of Canada just to access their table looms.

Wet’suwet’en: An Indigenous Community’s Struggle For Justice

with Esther Kern

We begin with stories from Wet’suwet’en, a community taking action in opposition to Coastal Gas Link constructing a pipeline through their unceded territory, without consultation or prior consent. As a settler seeking to be in solidarity, Esther will share her experiences as part of a team offering on-the-ground support, and we will explore what solidarity can mean in each of our contexts.

about the facilitator

After a 34-year career as a Registered Nurse, Esther took early retirement and joined Christian Peacemaker Teams in 2004 as a “second career”. This commitment has taken her to Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, Colombia, the USA/Mexico Borderlands, and to many Indigenous communities on Turtle Island, to stand in solidarity with their struggle for justice. Social justice and activism have been an integral part of her life beginning in 1969, when she came to Canada with her War Resister fiance to seek asylum and to be able to live in freedom with one’s conscience. In addition, Esther has participated in humanitarian aid missions to Russia, Cuba, and has joined a Medical Team to Honduras on sixteen occasions.

Gardening is for everyone: permaculture 101 (All ages)

with Alicia Good

This is an introduction to the idea of permaculture gardening with an emphasis on simplicity and accessibility. We will discuss how to feed and care for the soil, whether that’s a small pot on your porch, or a big yard you don’t know what to do with. We’ll talk about choosing suitable plants and how to care for them. This session will be well suited for beginning gardeners as well as those with more experience.

about the facilitator

Alicia Good has a full time job, a teen, and a toddler. She’s also a person who deeply loves the land. She has been gardening since she was a small child and has developed many tricks over the years that she’s eager to pass on to interested learners. She enjoys growing with whatever she’s got, whether that’s a tiny worm composter under the sink, a pot of sunflowers on her balcony in Toronto, or the large garden in the countryside where she grew up. She believes gardening is for everyone.

Drag Story Sharing Time and Face Painting (all ages)

with King Julez

This session will be a sharing time of children’s stories, poems, and scriptures with optional face-painting! King Julez will answer questions about what it means to be a drag clown and how that works in their work as a student and future ordinand in the United Church of Canada.

about the facilitator

Julian/ King Julez (they/them) is the chair of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, a national non-profit organization that works for full inclusion and affirmation of 2S-LGBTQ+ folks in religious spaces and in all of society, and a board member for Student Christian Movement. After getting a BA in Diversity and Equity, King Julez is studying their Masters of Divinity with the goal of becoming a drag clown reverend with their own congregation to serve.

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