Focus Event 2016 – Eastern Ontario, Canada



 – To learn about and experience the rich historical tapestry of the local people, cultures, and church traditions that comprise rural eastern Ontario in general, and Seaway Valley Presbytery in The United Church of Canada in particular. 
– To hear and learn about the local current agricultural livelihoods and farms that help provide and drive the social and economic life in this particular area of rural eastern Ontario, Canada. 
– To hear stories and testimonies from local congregants, lay leaders and ministry personnel/clergy about two innovative cooperative ministries and to learn more about the specific achievements of cooperatives to date, and the future challenges and opportunities they face in their particular rural context.
–  To learn about services and ministries offered by local community groups and congregations serving persons with disabilities and, also, serving rural, isolated families in improving health care and early childhood education.
Event Schedule:
Monday, October 24   (Monday is a travel day.) 
             Interview Committees meet      
Tuesday, October 25
6:30-8:00 a.m.   Continental Breakfast at hotel
   Welcome and Housekeeping, Opening Worship
             Welcome from United Church of Canada Representatives
                       —Montreal and Ottawa Conference Executive Secretary: Rev. R. Lambie 
                        —Seaway Valley Presbytery Chair and RUM member: Ms. Linda Suddaby 
 Welcome from Brockville Ministerial (Interdenominational), including progress 
  report on outreach to Syrian refugees now living in Brockville 
12:30-1:30 p.m. Group Lunch  
2:00 p.m.   —Presentations by Rev. Phyllis Dietrich and other staff from the Genesis  Cooperative. 
                     Rev. Dietrich shares ministry responsibilities with Licenced Lay Worship Leaders (unique to the                              United Church of Canada). This ministry team will be presenting their model of cooperative ministry.                        — Presentations by Rev. Melany Cassidy-Wise and lay leaders from Rural United Ministry (RUM). 
3:15-3:30 p.m.  Coffee/tea break
3:30 p.m.  Introduction to King’s Kitchen by Carol Casselman
 Introduction to the Prescott Historical Society by Shirley Shouldice 
4:00-5:00 p.m.  Theological reflection with Rev. Melany Cassidy-Wise and Dr. Marvin L. 
5:00-5:30 p.m.  Evening Vespers
6:00 p.m.  Group Supper 
7:00 p.m.  Rural Chaplains Association Business Meeting
Wednesday, October 26
6:30-8:30 a.m.  Continental Breakfast at hotel
9:00 a.m.           Leave to visit two dairy farm operations within RUM geographical area: 
  1) Maitland Meadows at Easton’s Corners, a Holstein dairy operation, and 
  2) Crystal Farm at Merrickville, which raises Purebred Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle. 
                       (45-60 minutes at each farm and about 15 minutes between farms)
11:30 a.m. Group Lunch prepared by Easton’s Corners United Church in Rural United Ministry
1:00 p.m. Free time to walk along the historic and scenic Rideau Canal and browse in the 
shops in Merrickville.
2:30 p.m.          Leave for Prescott, Ontario
3:30 p.m.          Arrive in Prescott for a Walking Tour hosted by the Prescott Historical Society. 
                     The Walking Tour starts at the historic train station restored by the Prescott Historical Society, 
                    and features homesteads, blacksmiths, shops, bustling pubs and Fort Wellington. The hosts wear
                     historical costumes and share stories from their United Empire Loyalists descendants.     
5:00 p.m. Depart for the Co-operative Community supper at King’s Kitchen  at the South
Grenville District High School in Prescott
5:10-6:00 p.m.   Group Supper at King’s Kitchen
Evening Vespers 
        Depart for Brockville
Thursday, October 27
6:30-8:30 a.m.  Continental Breakfast at hotel
8:30 a.m.  Leave for Algonquin United Church in Rural United Ministry  
9:00 a.m.  Opening Worship 
 Presentations of services and ministries offered by local community groups and   congregations:
                       —Brockville and District Association of Community Involvement,           
                           Brockville, Leeds County. Presentations by Bobbi Stevens and/or Elinor Utting.   
                           Historically serving people with disabilities as a segregated school, the 
                           Association pioneered in providing inclusive and mainline education. 
                          —Lanark Community Programs. Presentation by its founder, Donna Davidson. 
                          This program is a cooperative serving rural and isolated families in Lanark          
                          Highlands County. It has demonstrated success in improving health care, 
                          early childhood education and intervention for low-income families. It is also 
                          expanding its programs into neighboring districts.
                     —Healing Pathways. Sponsored by Christ Church, The United Church of       
                        Canada, Seaway Valley Presbytery, Montreal and Ottawa Conference.  This 
                        ministry has been well received.                       
12:00-1:00 p.m. Group Lunch prepared by Algonquin Church
1:30-2:45 p.m.    Presentation on and by First Nation People and Rev. Rosemary Lambie 
 2:45-3:00 p.m.   Coffee/tea break    
3:00-3:30 p.m.   Group debriefing of experiences; theological reflection with Rev. Melany 
              Cassidy-Wise and Dr. Marvin L. Anderson
3:30-4:00 p.m.   Evaluation of Focus Event 
4:00-4:30 p.m.   Break and set up for worship service 
4:30-6:00 p.m.    Rural Chaplains’ Certification Service with Celebration of Holy Communion      
6:00-7:30 p.m.   Group Supper prepared by Algonquin United Church 
   Return hotel in Brockville
Friday, October 28
 Continental Breakfast at hotel and Departure