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united fresh start logo tree branchOn November 6-9 at Five Oaks, 8 new facilitators from Toronto Conference for the United Fresh Start (UFS) program were trained.

United Fresh Start is an educational resource based on a program developed over the last 20 years by the Episcopal Church in the USA. The program was adapted by the United Church General Council Office and approved as a suitable program for use within the United Church. The curriculum consists of 22 modules designed for 3-hour gatherings of ministry personnel and lay members. Each module presents critical information for congregations that desire to work effectively together and nurture a healthy pastoral relationship.

At the end of the training, the group from Toronto Conference gathered and discussed how to implement the UFS program within the 4 presbyteries.  There was agreement that the UFS program would be invitational, not mandatory at the time of a new pastoral relationship. 

The UFS program does have modules that can be used at other times in a community of faith’s life, but for this implementation time (next 12 months or so), the facilitators will focus on doing the preventative work of helping a healthy new pastoral relationship form.  A healthy new pastoral relationship will also be the focus of promotions within the Conference and presbyteries.

Each facilitator hopes to report back to their presbytery meetings and present United Fresh Start in addition to co-leading a module in their own presbytery in the next six month period.  In the spring of 2018, facilitators will meet again to check in and offer modules for new ministry personnel in the Conference.

Learn more about United Fresh Start on their website.

Download the United Fresh Start brochure

Contact the following Toronto Conference staff for more information:

Anne Shirley Sutherland

Ian Manson

John Neff

Norm Greene

Jane Sullivan