Did you want to attend The Gathering, but couldn’t? Did you hear about it, but had other commitments that weekend? Come and get a taste of the excitement. For the 2017 National Presbyterian Women’s Gathering, Rooted in Love, we are accepting a limited number of one-day registrations for Saturday May 20.
Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Place: Sheraton Parkway Hotel, Richmond Hill, Ontario
Deadline: April 15, 2017
Day at a Glance
9:00 a.m. Worship and Praise
10:30 a.m. Keynote Address with Dr. Mary Jo Leddy
11:45 a.m. Book Signing with Dr. Mary Jo Leddy
12:00 p.m. Lunch (at your own expense)
2:00 p.m. Forum #1
4:00 p.m. Forum #2
5:30 p.m. Reception
6:00 p.m. Dinner, Drums, and Dialogue
Breakfast and lunch are not included
Dinner, Drums, and Dialogue
In the evening, you will have the opportunity to experience Aboriginal culture and dance. It will be an exciting evening of entertainment and learning.
First, we will enjoy performances by Tribal Vision, an Aboriginal organization that performs and teaches about Aboriginal dance and music. They had an Aboriginal pavilion at the Pan Am Games in Toronto and they have performed in the United States, as well as other places worldwide. You will be entertained and in the least, you will be tapping your toes to the sound of the drum.
Then, we will learn more about our Aboriginal sisters and brothers with a keynote address from Dr. Cindy Blackstock. As Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Cindy will speak about the welfare of Aboriginal children in Canada.
- Imagine joining with hundreds of Presbyterian women from across Canada as we pray, learn, play, and celebrate together.
- Be challenged by the words of Dr. Mary Jo Leddy, a Canadian woman who has dedicated her life to the pursuit of justice and who has been walking with refugees as the Director of Romero House in Toronto for the over 25 years.
- Worship with The Rev. Mona Scrivens as we come together and consider how much God loves us and how this changes our lives.Mona serves joyfully as the lead minister at Amberlea Presbyterian Church.
- Under the direction of the Rev. Hugh Donnelly, we will lift our voices in praise to God each day, and create beautiful harmonies as we learn new songs, and sing some old favourites.
- Meet and interact with international representatives from our partner churches globally.
- Let your spirit be renewed, again and again, in our spirituality centre, organized by the Rev. Theresa Cho, a PCUSA minister who has a wonderful ability to create sacred space.
- Choose from four different forums where you can explore our theme scripture, consider the life of women around the world, look at diversity and inclusiveness, or take time to nurture your own spirit.
- Indulge yourself in a superb venue that boasts a fully equipped conference facility attached to two hotels—the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North and the Best Western Parkway Hotel North.
- Experience Fair Trade shopping from around the globe at our Marketplace.
Mary Jo Leddy
Dr. Mary Jo Leddy is a Canadian writer, speaker, theologian, and social activist. She is the founder of Romero House Community for Refugess and currently serves as Director. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Regis College, University of Toronto.
Mary Jo is an active member of the Ontario Sanctuary Coalition and PEN Canada. She is active in various human rights and peace groups.
A frequent radio and TV commentator, Mary Jo has lectured on various topics nationally and internationally. She is the author of several books, including, The Other Face of God: When the Stranger Calls Us Home, and Radical Gratitude.
Mary Jo is the recipient of numerous academic awards and scholarships including: The Governor General’s Bronze Medal, the Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship, the Canadian University Presidents’ Award “Outstanding Young Woman of 1978”, The Ontario Citizenship Award (1993), the Order of Canada (1996)Gunther Plaut Humanitarian Award (2011), and several honourary doctorates.
Saturday Night Banquet Speaker
Cindy Blackstock is the Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta.
She is a member of the Gitksan First Nation and has 25 years of social work experience in child protection and Indigenous children’s rights.
Her promotion of culturally based and evidence informed solutions has been recognized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, the Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Frontline Defenders, and many others.
She is an author of over 50 publications and a widely sought after public speaker. Cindy has collaborated with other Indigenous leaders to assist the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in the development and adoption of a General Comment on the Rights of Indigenous children. She also recently worked with Indigenous young people, UNICEF, and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to produce a youth friendly version of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Cindy is currently completing a Master of Jurisprudence in Children’s Law and Policy at Loyola University, Chicago.
1. Filled with All the Fullness of God, Ephesians 3:16–21
Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset
What does it mean to live a life of expectation? Doesn’t it just set a person up for disappointment? Paul’s soaring words about the unfathomable love of Christ is both hopeful and daunting. Come and imagine together what it might mean to be embraced by a love so deep and broad and high. Come and explore what it might mean to be strengthened in your inner being, as a woman in today’s world, shaped by the power of God’s spirit to surpass our imagination.
The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset has been Minister of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto since July 2012. She graduated from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA and received her Doctorate of Theology (in homiletics) from Knox College of Toronto in 2007.
Emily has been involved in the life of the national church in a variety of ways including, preaching and coordinating worship for General Assembly, preaching at Stewards By Design, coordinating worship for Canada Youth 2016, and leading retreats and Bible studies. Emily has written curriculum for the PCC and served as Adjunct Faculty at Knox College.
Emily is married to the Rev. Alex Bisset, who is Minister of Riverdale and Westminster Presbyterian Churches in Toronto. They have a 5 year old daughter, Rachel.
2. God’s People Inside and Out: Biblical Inspiration for Identity and Mission
Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls
Who we are “inside” as a people created by God, redeemed by Christ, and inspired by the Spirit makes us who we are “outside” in witness, openness, and mission. This forum will help participants listen for the Old Testament call to ground our identity in God’s loving intentions for well-being for creation and to have that call shape our lives as a loving, welcoming, missional community.
The Rev. Dr. Dutcher-Walls is Dean and Professor of Hebrew Scripture at Vancouver School of Theology. She enjoys teaching a variety of Hebrew Bible courses for all levels from auditors and lay education folks to masters and advanced degree students. She is also the Dean, giving administrative oversight to the academic curriculum.
With her love of teaching, she has led numerous adult education courses, retreats, continuing education courses, and lay education courses in local congregations and presbyteries across Canada.
3. Half the Sky: Video and Discussion
Rev. Sarah Kim, facilitator
Quote from DVD:
Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn’s groundbreaking book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide.
Take an unforgettable journey with six actresses/advocates and New York Times journalist Kristof to meet some of the most courageous individuals of our time, who are doing extraordinary work to empower women and girls everywhere. These are stories of heartbreaking challenge, dramatic transformation, and enduring hope. You will be shocked, outraged, brought to tears. Most important, you will be inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the capabilities of women and girls to realize their staggering potential.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world’s women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity.
Our future is in the hands of women, everywhere.
In this forum, we will watch one or two of the six videos and have a moderated time of discussion.
The Rev. Sarah Kim is the Executive Director of the Women’s Missionary Society. She has visited many of our partner churches and learned from women around the world.
4. Leading Congregational Change in the 21st Century
Rev. Theresa Cho
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are rooted in God’s love. Our faith, strength, call, and identity is rooted in God’s love. Yet, in this post-Christendom time, our sense of rootedness can seem shaky and loose. On the contrary, our roots have never been deeper and more connected. The Rev. Theresa Cho will provide a fresh framework on how we can live out our call to “live in our hearts through faith,” and “grasp love’s width and length, height and depth.”
The Rev. Theresa Cho balances her time by serving as a church co-pastor, subverting her husband’s diet with baked goods, cheering her son at soccer games, delighting in her daughter’s unique displays of being herself, and dutifully obeying her dog’s daily demands of being walked, petted, and adored.
She is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago with awards in preaching and theology. Before coming to St. John’s Presbyterian Church in 2003, she completed a full-year chaplain residency program at UCSF Medical Center, where she continue to volunteer as a baby cuddler and serve as a member of the Professional Advisory Group for Spiritual Care Services.