Progressive Youth Ministry - in Vancouver!

This is a big deal! And an excellent opportunity to continue growing your ministry and leadership, relationship building with and listening to youth and young adults and families in your settings.

Attending the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference in Vancouver this April 2020 is another way to support youth and their action in the world, today.

Offered in partnership with our Regional Council’s own Children Youth and Family Ministry Network!


The Wisdom of Alice Mann

Us with the LeaderShift and Pacific Mountain Regional Council Teams are really REALLY excited that this generous soul is coming all the way to BC to lead us in deep thinking and knowing about what it means to thrive within a smaller church framework. This is Alice Mann! Incredibly well published and respected, Alice is coming out of retirement to be our keynote speaker at Holy Shift Size-mic Upgrade. We’re keeping registration open till Friday at noon (Sept 27), and we have around 95 attending. There’s definitely room for more, if you can make it work. Oh! Alice says, “I look forward to being in Kamloops to get to know your beautiful province!” #holyshift #sizemicupgrade #churchriseup #alicemanntheogian #steadyandstrong Oct 4-6 #yka #leadershift

Music Drop Monday: The Time for Peace is Now

Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 9.53.24 AM.png

It's been a while since we've done a Music Drop Monday, and what better way to start this week -- mid-Global Climate Strike action, thick-in-it-all fall start up, chilly grey days -- with some music that will get you groovin' and warm you up, 70s gospel soul style.

Spotify: The Time for Peace is Now

Sounds of the Universe: The Time for Peace is Now

More about the album from the label that released it: Luaka Bop

A beautiful single track from the album: Willie Scott & the Birmingham Spirituals

If you're into reading about it, the review of Luaka Bop's album/playlist "The Time for Peace is Now" is here, on Pitchfork.

Newsletter: 17 Sept 2019

mentoring table.jpg

Want to know what Holy Shift will be about? Check out the Story Circle and Learning Circle descriptions - available now. We think you'll find something that speaks to you: September 17 LS Newsletter


Last week we released our Holy Sift draft program, outlining the flow for this October 4-6's Size-mic Upgrade Conference. This week we have the Story Circle and Learning Circle descriptions ready to share (scroll to read!). We are SO thrilled by, and honoured to share the quality and diversity of leadership and engaging topics at Holy Shift. There's still time to register, including for the Youth Circle (for teens, lead by the PMRC Youth Ministry Staff).

We were thankful for the full registration next week's Mental Health First Aid event - so the organizing team secured a second training happening on the same dates, at the same times (Sept 25 & 26th, 8:30-4:30) at Crossroads United. There are still a few spots open at Crossroads.

November isn't too far off, and we encourage you to pilgrimage to Delta BC/ Kwantlen/ Semiahmoo/ Musqueam/ Tsleil-Waututh territories, to tap into the leadership and experience of UK-based Michael Jagessar. Beyond Good Intentions is an important and timely topic of engagement and learning - so much so that the Pacific Mountain Regional Council staff are having a full team inservice with Michael on Nov 26th. The resulting breadth of common learning that will ripple across our Pacific Mountain Regional Council is incredible in terms of United Church leadership and ministry of presence. We hope you can attend.

The LeaderShift Team

Tressa Brotsky - communications
Allison Rennie - director

Brenda Wolff - administrative assistance
Rev. Rob Crosby-Shearer - LeaderShift Church Plant Project

PS. Have you checked out The Latest?

PPS. The LS Newsletter Archive is here.

Music with Dawn at Holy Shift!

dawn p.jpg

Have you ever sung with Dawn?! Winner of Best Urban Recording at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards, Dawn Pemberton knows how to harness her power and use her gifts! We are so stoked that we get to move and groove next month with Dawn at Holy Shift. Getting ready, Dawn sent us this: “This is me at Fuentes Georginas in Gautemala! I’m going to Holy Shift because real people talking about real ideas together is inspiring. This is an important and unique time for our church and what happens now will shape things in the future. We need to be open minded, ready to work, and move together with faith and courage.” #doittoit #dawnpberton #groovewithgod #holyshiftpmr #leadershiftpmr #sizemicupgrade #thisoctober #unitedchurchconference #yka

Music with Christopher at Holy Shift!

christopher giffen.jpg

Half of rEvolve and superpops to this little sibling in Christ, singer/ songwriter/ somatic + vocal psychotherapist AND Holy Shift Size-mic Upgrade music leader, Christopher Giffen beams this action selfie to us from his home in Bellingham. Chris says “I’m coming to Holy Shift to play! with music, with voices, with ideas. And maybe even with play dough!” Join us this Oct 4-6. Register here.

#holyshiftpmr #leadershiftpmr #liftingvoicestogod #sizemicupgrade #thefirstlanguagewesing

Great News - Second Mental Health First Aid training added

Mental Health IG second location added.png

Great news! The response to the Mental Health First Aid workshop was strong and we sold out the Jubilee United location (thank you!) so we've added a second opportunity over the same dates and time. Click here to register now for this workshop at CROSSROADS UNITED (Sept 25 & 26, 8:30am-4:40pm daily).

The LeaderShift Team

Teensy Tinsy Tower

treena paris.jpg

Here’s PMRC’s Executive Minister, Treena Duncan, shifting our perception of size! She sends us this to us from time on holiday in Paris (obvs) , “I’ve always believed that congregational size dynamics is a powerful tool for understanding congregational life. It’s not new, and many people may think they know all about it, but I feel that it’s important to reconnect with this model at this time in our life. And... Alice Mann won’t be back, so it’s a huge opportunity to learn from her!” Treena’s really looking forward to connecting with more of the congregational members of our United Churches, as well as the clergy and staff. Size-mic Upgrade Conference isn’t exclusive or a Leaders-only event! Congregation members (‘new’ or ‘old’), all generations, and wider community neighbours are strongly encouraged to come! #theshifthappensfromwithin #alicemann #holyshift #leadershiftpmr #sizemicupgrade #allacrosstheregion #freshpersepectives

Throw Back Thursday

Growth Mindset 

It’s back to school and school-like routines for our Siblings in Christ, and us adults find ourselves in the fall vibe too. A rising tool in working with children and youth is being employed by educators, parents and coaches - it’s called theGrowth Mindset. We think it’s time for United Church leaders and congregations to embrace it as a tool, too.

A growth mindset is about identifying the fixed thought patterns that travel along established pathways in our brains, then writing new phrases that - when used instead of the fixed thinking messages - forge new routes in the incredible plasticity of our brains. Allow yourself a few minutes to read and wonder about growth mindset; invite yourself to identify one or two places in your ministry where employing a growth mindset practice will benefit you and those you serve.

Inspire Participation

We can't all make it to all things - wish though, that we might. For a lot of our church leaders across the Regional Council, the trip to Seattle for Inhabit Conference, Tom Keel in Maple Ridge, Holy Shift! Sowing Promises in Nanaimo, and more means we do have to know our limitations, and carefully choose what we can do next. If that's your situation, own it! Location, price, and at-home responsibilities are an ongoing juggle for everyone - leaders and organizers alike. We trust you to know what's possible for you. We also invite you to find ways to encourage others who want to, to get to the next great event.

Encourage others to go and share your wisdom - on group travel, good places to stay, ways you've supported your congregation in getting pulpit supply or covering your time away, sources you've accessed for additional funding, etc etc etc. We're excited for you to be part of fostering success of our events.

Fostering Closeness

A key emerging piece of the Pacific Mountain Regional Council work is bringing our United Church communities of faith closer together and supporting the rise of new ministry clusters across our Regional Council. It's a huge shift in our collective thinking of how to organize ourselves into relationships beyond our communities of faith. We heard at the GM that this is what our United Church people want - a belonging to a larger church family. LeaderShift is one way the PMRC is doing this relational work.

We hope you’ll reach out for funding and support to join your wider-church community at HolyShift Size-Mic Upgrade, Mental Health First Aid and Beyond Good Intentions.

The LeaderShift Team

From the heart of the Shuswap

Rev. Wade Lifton sent us this from the heart of the Shuswap! Wade will be Holy Shift! Size-mic Upgrade’s worship leader. We asked Wade why he’s coming to Size-mic Upgrade and he said: “My experience of community in small churches has been intimate, messy, and life-giving. Relational trust is more significant than any program. I’m excited to hear at Size-Mic Upgrade about the unique dysfunctions and opportunities others are experiencing.” You can read more about Wade, and the HolyShift leadership team on our website. #holyshift #sizemicupgrade #pacificmountainregionucc #conference #churchleaders #leadershiftpmr #iheartsummercamp #campmackenzie #shuswaplife

wade selfie.jpg

Back to the Fall Vibe

It’s back to school and school-like routines for our Siblings in Christ, and us adults find ourselves in the fall vibe too. A rising tool in working with children and youth is being employed by educators, parents and coaches. It’s called the Growth Mindset, and we think it’s time for United Church leaders and congregations to embrace it as well. A growth mindset is about identifying fixed thinking (too far, costs too much, there’s no one else who can cover my role) that travel along fixed pathways in our brains, then writing new phrases that, when used instead of the fixed thinking messages, wire new connections in the incredible plasticity of our brains. Google ‘growth mindset’ and allow yourself a few minutes to read and wonder. Invite yourself to identify one or two places in your ministry where employing a growth mindset practice will benefit you and those you serve. Rise from where you’re rooted! #growthmindset #growthmindsetforchurchleaders #nothingisimpossibleingod #holyshift #risingfromwherewearerooted #leadershift #unitedchurchofcanada #newpathways #sizemicupgrade

HOLYSHIFT! Draft Agenda for your planning pleasure

LeaderShift director, Allison Rennie, and the hosting congregations of Plura Hills, Mount Paul, and Kamloops United Churches, are building a conference for you that resonates – it’s responding to the issues and challenges and aloneness that we hear from you, our United Church congregations. It’s an invitation to be get grounded in our shared experiences of being small and medium sized communities of faith – and an intention to leave refreshed, connected and hopeful. Click here for the draft conference agenda.

Holy Shift! Size-mic Upgrade Conference is an ideal, sacred pause in your fall ministry and congregational life. It’s time to register.

The Leadership at HolyShift!

With All-the-Way from Whitehorse Guest Preacher: Rev. Beverly Brazier (photo and bio to come),

The Queen of Funk: Dawn Pemberton

Leaning-Into-the-Hard-Places Worship Leader: Rev. Wade Lifton,

Musical Activists and Educators: Chris Giffen and Josh McHan,

Keynote Speaker: Alice Mann – leading consultant, educator and author in the field of congregational development,

and On-the-Ground United Church Leaders from our very own communities of faith and ministries, sharing from experienced and learned ministry in small and medium-sized congregations just like yours…

The LeaderShift team and host congregations of Kamloops and Mount Paul United Churches are excited to welcome you to the Thompson-Okanagan this October!

Holy Shift! Size-mic Upgrade Conference Registration is Open!

Leader Bios

Alice is a leading consultant, educator, and author in the field of congregational development, with emphasis on creating new pathways for small and struggling churches; breaking through size plateaus; defining judicatory roles in growth and revitalization; and helping church leaders to discern and care for the “soul” of their local communities. Alice draws insight from two decades of pastoral experience, nineteen years as an Alban Institute consultant, and twelve years of intensive volunteer leadership in her local community. She engages large and small groups in practical learning and candid conversation about the choices church leaders face today.

Vibrant, genuine and soulful, Dawn has deep musical roots that take her powerful voice from gospel and soul to jazz, funk and world music. She has become a staple of the Vancouver music scene and can often be found tearin’ it up as a vocalist, pianist, teacher, adjudicator, choir director and “go to girl” for live performances and studio sessions. She currently spends her time touring with her own original music project as well as with Canadian blues juggernaut,The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer. Dawn has toured extensively throughout Canada and Europe and has performed with musical greats such as  Betty Levette, John Boutte, Kenny Werner, Kurt Elling, Nick Jonas, Toni Braxton, Robert Randolph &The Family Band, Randy Bachman and has opened for musical heavyweights Maceo Parker and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Dawn is the founder and Artistic Director of Roots ‘N’ Wings Women’s Choir and teaches masterclasses and workshops all over North America. Her debut solo album, Say Somethin’,  released on DoRight! Music won Best Urban Recording at the 2015 Western Canadian Music Awards and has received praise from around the globe forecasting her as “…the  new queen of Canadian soul.”  A passionate educator and performer, Dawn approaches music with a sense of adventure, quirkiness, and serious groove and shapes it into her own unique and dynamic package. Tight, expressive and bold, Dawn will hit you where it counts, funk you up and make you say “Go ‘head!”.

A composer, performer, music therapist and somatic counsellor, Chris has a private practice in which he integrates voice work, embodiment and spirituality with healing. From the late 90’s on, Chris’ musical and liturgical passion was expressed by a long and involved commitment to reshaping music ministry in The United Church of Canada. For over a decade, he played with the nationally cherished music ensemble, rEvolve, at all levels of the church, and almost every summer at Naramata since 2003. Chris worked as a youth and music minister at the congregational level, writing and directing two youth musical theatre productions and founding an intergenerational music ministry ensemble. For Chris, songwriting is multifaceted – foremost a personal spiritual practice, from which he writes and improvises songs expressly for communities to sing to them. Since 2010 Chris has studied with Buddhist scholar and systems theorist Joanna Macy, and assisted her in facilitating the ‘Work that Reconnects’, most often as a musical animator for her transformational ecological work. rEvolve bandmate, Gord Oaks Jr. followed a call to Buddhist Monasticism, evolving Chris and Josh McHan (rEvolve bassist, and best friend) to write and share music as a duo, lead communities together in song and cook up new recording projects. Chris is located in Bellingham WA, where he loves to sing with his partner Clara and improvise lullabies for their 2 year old.

A graduate of the McGill Jazz Performance program in Montreal, Josh now makes his home in Edmonton where he is a regular feature on the jazz scene. Josh has performed with a number of high-profile jazz artists including Tommy Banks, Brad Turner, Mike Murley, Kevin Turcotte and Mike Rudd. He is a member of several groups including The Writers’ Guild and A/B Trio, both of which have had albums nominated for Western Canadian Music Awards for Jazz Recording of the Year. Josh has performed numerous times as a guest with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for their pops series, and is in high demand as a sideman for singer/songwriters in the folk and pop genres, performing both live and in the studio. In 2013, he received his Masters of Music degree in classical performance from the University of Alberta. Currently, Josh works as an adjunct professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Raised and rooted in British Columbia, Wade is a playful and contemplative leader who wonders about how we stay gentle and courageous in all that life brings.  He has dabbled in theatre making, international development, and pig farming, while primarily working with people of all ages in church, camp, and retreat settings.  Wade lives in a cohousing community in Vancouver and is a spiritual health practitioner at a hospice and complex care centre.

October 4-6, 2019

You can help us prepare this conference with confidence by registering yourself now. Coming with a group but those details aren’t settled yet?  Brenda Wolff, LeaderShift’s administrative staff, is available to make group rate adjustments as your group forms.