In January, 31 ministers from across all regions of the United Church gathered at Five Oaks Retreat Centre to begin the (Re)Generate Leadership Program with Moderator Carmen Lansdowne.  The Moderator and a creative team have put this 18-month program together as part of her dream of a Flourishing Church, as we listen for ways the Holy Spirit is enlivening the United Church of Canada at this moment.  The group will gather for four in person and two online residencies, meeting as a large group and in various configurations of smaller cohorts to support, encourage, and challenge each other as we grow our leadership skills and complete a capstone project that fits within the context of our own ministry setting.

Our Tri-Region area from Northern Spirit, Living Skies, and Prairie to Pine Regions was very well represented, with nine of us attending:

  • Rev. Dr. Dorcas Kanana (Beaverlodge United Church, Beaverlodge, Alberta)
  • Rev. Anna Constantin (St. Paul’s United Church, Edmonton)
  • Rev. Monica Rosborough (Athabasca United Church, Athabasca)
  • Rev. Janelle Shaw (Lafleche-Limerick Pastoral Charge)
  • Rev. Aurora Espenant (St. Andrew’s United Church, Outlook)
  • Rev. Lindsay Mohn (Delisle Vanscoy United Church, Regional YAYAC Minister)
  • Rev. Mitchell Anderson (St. Paul’s United Church, Saskatoon)
  • Rev. Jen Dresser (St. Andrew’s United Church, Yorkton)
  • Rev. Tricia Gerhard (Westworth United Church, Winnipeg)

We were led through our first residency by a team of leadership consultants, Moderator Carmen, and Rev. Laura Fouhse (Office of Vocation), and joined at various points by Executive Secretary Rev. Michael Blair and two of our General Council Executive Ministers, Rev. Dr. Jennifer Janzen-Ball and Rev. Jennifer Harvey.   Throughout the week we discussed leadership roles and organizational strategy, and accumulated many new tools and resources for the work that we do.  It was exciting to learn and toss around new ideas, but what felt possibly even more significant about this gathering was the opportunity to connect with other ministers who are passionate and ready to shake up the church a bit.  There was a tangible sense of hope throughout the week around the room and I know we all carried that spark back to our own ministry contexts, staying in touch throughout the weeks and months in between.

This is the part of the project that brings me the most joy – the chance to care for and support each other from afar as we do this work that we are all deeply committed to and called to doing… work that can be challenging and exhausting and lonely from time to time.  Knowing that there are others just a group chat away lifts my spirits on a daily basis! We are all very much looking forward to the rest of this adventure, and promise to take you along with us as it all unfolds.  We welcome your prayers for this endeavor and the entire church as we discover where God is guiding us all!


~ Submitted by Rev. Lindsay Mohn