News, ideas, and questions for Intercultural Ministry in Canada
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FILL is community! While we offer programs, tools, and resources to support ministry across Canada, our primary purpose is to be and support Just Intercultural community. This is a collective activity that includes the effort and person of every one of you as we work together. 
You will find in this e-newsletter several ways you can be part of this work: we gather together on-line for webinars, we celebrate the gifts of our community, we listen to each other's stories, and we learn and discern together how we are called to be part of a more just world. Please find below:

News and Upcoming Events

Recognition, Justice, and Development: People of African Descent and Canadian Churches

Register for this event on Eventbrite. 

[Veuillez faire défiler vers le bas pour le français]

Christians across Canada are invited to this unique, livestream dialogue to bear witness to the experience of people of African descent in a Canadian Christian context. The evening will feature a keynote presentation by the esteemed Dr. Afua Cooper on the realities of current systemic anti-Black racism in the Canadian context and challenges to the Canadian church as well as a multifaceted panel discussion from diverse Christian voices across Canada, small group discussion in breakout sessions, and a time of prayer. The objective of this Cross-Canada Conversation is to raise awareness of the International Decade for People of African Descent and encourage action on the part of Christian communities and individuals in Canada to work to end anti-Black racism.

This event will be fully accessible and bilingual in both English and French.

WHEN: Thursday, November 26, 7:00-8:30 PM (ET)

COST: This Cross-Canada Conversation is free for all who would like to attend, but a registration fee of CD$20 per participant is requested to offset the cost of the event.


Événement: Reconnaissance, justice et développement: les populations d’ascendance africaine et les Églises canadiennes : Conversation transcanadienne sur la Décennie des personnes d’ascendance africaine (IDPAD) Les chrétiennes et les chrétiens de partout au Canada sont invités à ce dialogue en direct exceptionnel sur l'expérience des personnes d'origine africaine en contexte chrétien au Canada. La soirée comprendra un exposé de la distinguée Professeure Afua Cooper sur la réalité du racisme systémique anti-noir dans le contexte canadien actuel et sur les défis que doit relever l'Église canadienne, une table ronde à plusieurs volets réunissant diverses voix chrétiennes de tout le Canada ainsi que des discussions en atelier dans le cadre de séances en petits groupes et un temps de prière. Cette conversation pancanadienne a pour objectif de sensibiliser à la Décennie internationale des personnes d'ascendance africaine et d'encourager les personnes et les communautés chrétiennes au Canada à passer à l’action pour en finir avec le racisme anti-noir.

L’événement sera entièrement accessible et bilingue (anglais-français).

Quand: jeudi 26 novembre, de 19 h à 20 h 30 (HE)

Prix: Cette conversation transcanadienne est gratuite pour tous ceux et celles qui souhaitent y assister, mais on demande des frais d'inscription de 20 dollars canadiens par participant pour couvrir le coût de l'événement.

Register for this event on Eventbrite. 



Our Previous Webinar
On September 16th, 2020, we held our fourth webinar, "Preparing for a Change of Era." Jonathan Schmidt, The Canadian Council of Churches Associate Secretary, Intercultural Leadership and Learning; Justice and Peace described the learning of the 5-day program, "Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry" and the profound impact of the program. In conversation, the webinar participants shared glimpses of Just Intercultural community in their contexts and together dream next steps to help resource the Canadian church.
To learn more about this webinar and view the recording, visit the FILL website.

Our Next Webinar  -  January 2021

A Seat at the Table: Exploring Characteristics and Practical Application of Beloved Community

Join Niki Andre and Dianne Hope for a deeper exploration of the goal of Beloved Community. Come, explore a more detailed description of what the journey might involve. The webinar includes:

  • An introduction to a unique model for representing Beloved Community, drawing on ideas from Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings, Bill Millar’s “Open Out” podcasts and the Engage Difference! “Continuum for Moving from Monocultural to Intercultural”
  • Considerations when planning more inclusive, equitable events in your community

Using the methodology employed in the “Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for intercultural ministry” course, draw on “the wisdom in the room” to practise elements of:

  • Just Intercultural Community
  • sharing power
  • resolving conflicts

Dianne identifies as an Afro-Caribbean woman and a Canadian citizen. Since her retirement from the field of education in 2014, Dianne has taken and helped facilitate the “Engage Difference! Deepening Understanding for Intercultural Ministry” course, now offered by the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning (FILL). Niki Andre is a songstress, poet and yoga instructor whose lay ministry uses embodied practice to connect people across diverse cultures and faiths. She designs and facilitates faith-based, social justice programming – including her signature A Cappella Jams – for groups across the country and beyond.

The webinar registration will soon be opened. In the meantime, if you have any question or concern, contact Pablo Kim-Sun

Stories of our Community

My name is Rev. Lloyd Nyarota. I was born and raised in Africa, Eastern Zimbabwe. I am currently a PhD student at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo, Norway. I was ordained in Zimbabwe United Methodist Church as a Deacon in 1995 and as an Elder in 1997. My clergy membership is with the Zimbabwe East Conference of The United Methodist Church, though I have been serving in The United Church of Canada since September 2015. I have served two pastoral charges of The United Church of Canada, one in Southern Alberta and another one in East Central Alberta. Presently, I am appointed to a shared ministry at St John's United Anglican Church in Manning, Northern Alberta. In all these appointments I have been the first African and Black minister to all-white congregations and these settings have given me opportunities to practice cross cultural ministry.
Working in these settings requires one to have an open mind and open heart, to be ready to learn and share your experiences as well as gifts and grace with the community you are serving. Being open helps to enrich each other's faith and trust in serving God in an intercultural setting.
Lately, I have developed an interest in Indigenous peoples' cultures as well as other minority and dominant cultures. I have realized that to learn, one has to move away from any stereo types or mistrust if you are to benefit from other cultures and to enrich your faith. I have engaged cross cultural bible studies that have helped me and the parishioners to share biblical stories. Through this engagement, we have gained a much wider and better understanding of the biblical stories through the lenses of other people as we listen to other people's history and experiences.
I believe that pastoral visits are key to connect with people whenever I move to a new community/parish. These help me to share my story and my culture with people I will be shepherding, as I actively listen them sharing their culture and faith stories. With the pandemic situation, I am faced with new challenges but I have managed to engage in ministries through online services. In order to meet members of my new congregation I have opened up my lawn deck for open space visits and the conversations that we have through the visits have enriched my relationship with my new community. The virus surely brought new challenges but it also helped me to think outside the box and innovate ways of doing ministry. I have done activities like joining a community walk for cancer and used the time to connect with people from the community. In all of these, I am reminded again that intercultural ministry requires us to have an open heart and mind, and being open to share.


Open Out Podcasts
The new episode of Open Out is now out! The second season begins by looking at the 'edge effect' - this burst of creativity experienced by many communities who are actively welcoming folk who are somehow different, in the process of intentionally opening themselves to diversity.
The 'Edge Effect' refers to the fertile and creative zone created when two or more ecosystems meet -  unique natural environments where new life forms can develop and old life forms morph. Bill Millar looks at this effect in music with the vibrancy created when different musical forms intersect. He then explores whether diverse faith communities have experienced something similar - in conversations with 2 current pastors of intercultural churches.
Download it wherever you get your podcasts or directly from here:
Bill Millar is on the FILL reference group and has been part of our webinar series.
Listen to the podcasts at
Intercultural Ministry in the United Kingdom

If you are interested to see how intercultural ministries are being done in another region, check this website from the United Reformed Church (URC) in the United Kingdom. The website is filled with good stories, great resources, and various ways to get connected with the work of URC.

Help Support the Resourcing of
Intercultural Ministry in Canada

The work of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning is only possible with your help. If you support providing a space in Canada for intercultural ministry leadership and learning,
please consider making a donation today.
One of the strengths of our programs is the participation of marginalized communities. Consider making a donation to our bursary fund to help support their participation.
How to donate:

Mail a cheque payable to “Canadian Council of Churches”.
(Write donation to FILL in the memo line or in a note)
Send to:

Canadian Council of Churches
Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning
47 Queens Park Crescent East
Toronto, ON M5S 2C3

Donate to our program bursary fund
Several years ago a grant allowed us to establish this fund which supports participation in programs by individual's from marginalized communities. This has profoundly shaped  our work!
Help to continue this important way FILL is Intercultural by donating to the bursary fund
The Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning is a reference group of
The Canadian Council of Churches

Copyright © 2020 Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning, All rights reserved.

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