Vital Church Maritimes Conference (VCM)

VCM 2016 Conference

Sept. 29, Sept. 30 & Oct. 1, 2016

VCM 2016 took place at Atlantica Oak Island Resort & Conference Centre in Western Shore, NS.

Conference Resources


Sports, Fitness & Games:

God created humans as holistic creatures and to have fun! Sport engages us not only bodily, but in mind and spirit as well. Our church’s ministries can support engagement in a physically active life as a means to connect with the Divine. In this panel presentation, explore how fitness can help forge relationships and deepen engagement in Christian community. (Presenters: The Rev’d. Matthew Sponagle, Parish Priest, Anglican; The Rev’d. Dr. Jody Clarke, Academic Dean of Atlantic School of Theology, Anglican; The Rev’d. David Campbell, Congregational Minister, United Church.)


Outdoor Adventures:

Churches in the Maritimes are blessed to have parks, beaches, and wilderness areas right at our doorsteps.  We know that many people encounter God in nature – and our ministries can build on this natural connection.  This workshop will showcase opportunities to worship in the wild, find faith while hiking together, or glimpse the Creator in the changing of the seasons.  (Presenters: The Rev’d. Dr. Rob Fennell, Professor at Atlantic School of Theology, United Church; The Rev’d. Marian Lucas-Jefferies, Retired Parish Priest, Anglican; The Rev’d. Dr. Debra Burleson, Retired Parish Priest and Formation Director at Atlantic School of Theology, Anglican)


Food Ministries:

Jesus revealed the Kingdom as he shared meals with people. Today, our community times of eating together can be formative for the mission of the local church. Preparing, cooking and eating food is something everyone can be involved in, regardless of skill or age. Learn how several churches use food to build relationships and church in remarkable ways. (Presenters: Chris Pharo, PWRDF Diocesan Representative, Anglican; The Rev’d. Matthew Fillier, Congregational Minister, United Church; The Rev’d. Tammy Hodge, Parish Priest, Anglican)


Movement & Worship:

Stretching, breathing and mindfulness – all techniques for spiritual movement. Explore how intentional, gentle motion and spiritual disciplines can be incorporated into building Christian community. Participants will learn about and then try two activities: Christian yoga (chair and mat yoga) and walking a labyrinth. Wear loose clothing and bring your yoga mat (if you have one). (Presenters: Gail Fullop, Yoga Instructor and Parish Administrator, Anglican; The Rev’d. Cathy Lee Cunningham, Parish Priest and church consultant, Anglican.)


The Arts:

From the earliest times of God’s people, artists have sought to inspire others in their faith and devotion through various forms of artistic expression. Whether through images, music, poetry, drama or craft, the arts have always played an important role in the life of the Church. Today these creative approaches are being enlisted to engage newcomers in exploring Christian spirituality and forming intentional faith community. (Presenters: The Rev’d. Ralph Moore, Parish Priest, Anglican; Norma Veinot, Lay Leader, Lutheran; Rick Ratcliffe, Lay Leader, Anglican)


Messier Church:

Faith-filled, fun-filled alternatives to traditional Sunday morning services for children and their families are being adapted in a variety of ways. Messy Church is a way of being church using crafts, worship celebration, Bible stories and eating together. Messier Church explores the next level in this style of Fresh Expression ministry model. Hear from creative leaders about ‘messier’ approaches to building community for all ages. (Presenters: The Rev’d. Ed Trevors, Parish Priest, Anglican; Debbie Fice, Lay Leader, Anglican; one more T.B.A.)

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