Outreach conference looks at displacement and hospitality

hands hold a candle next to a flyr that reads "talking about social justice"
 on September 1, 2016

The diocese’s annual Outreach & Advocacy Conference will take place on Oct. 15 at Holy Trinity School in Richmond Hill. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Rivers of Babylon: Exploring Exile, Displacement, and the Call to Hospitality.” The theme is taken from Psalm 137: “By the rivers of Babylon – there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.”

The theme will be integrated throughout the conference, making connections between, for example, the recent unprecedented support of refugees in parishes across the diocese, issues of displacement and neglect experienced by Indigenous communities, and the Christian call to be a place of welcome and refuge for all those who suffer.

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be the Rev. Jeffrey Metcalfe, a priest, scholar and refugee advocate who will provide a theological foundation to the theme and help set the tone for the rest of the day’s activities. Mr. Metcalfe is a regular contributor to the Anglican Journal and is working towards a Ph.D. in Theological Studies at Trinity College.

Following the keynote address, morning and afternoon workshop sessions will be offered, focusing on a deeper examination of key social justice issues and how they relate to the conference theme. Workshops cover topics ranging from mapping the history of colonialism in Canada, to taking action on climate change, to exploring issues related to the experience of trans persons in the church. Practical workshops on tools for advocacy, or creating inclusive worship opportunities that celebrate the gifts of all parishioners, will allow attendees to build skills to engage more fully with the outreach and advocacy work of their parishes and communities. Time for common worship will also be included.

Several FaithWorks ministries will be present to share about their work, answer questions, and build their networks across the diocese.

Cost for the conference is $30 per person ($15 for students or those with low incomes) and includes lunch and refreshments. For more information and to register, visit


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