What could spiritual community look like for those who have journeyed beyond a system of beliefs?

Explore this question and much more at Ever Wonder…an expansive spirituality conference

Ever Wonder...

Ever wonder…what ethical compass do we have for navigating these times in which we live?

Ever wonder…what humanists, spiritual but not religious, atheists, and progressive Christians have in common?

Ever wonder…how to nurture an expansive spirituality rooted in values rather than beliefs?

Ever wonder…what teachings the universe story might hold for us?

 

Ever Wonder is a conference for spiritual seekers who are open to wisdom from many sources, eager to learn from one another and willing to explore beyond the boundaries of belief systems.

Join us to experience meaningful music, inspiring spiritual gatherings, informative theme presentations, panel discussions, and workshops along with opportunities to have meaningful conversations with others exploring values based spirituality.  We will also celebrate the work of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity (2004-2016) and explore ways to cultivate an expansive spiritual network to serve us now.

Afternoon Sessions Saturday & Sunday

Conference attendees will be able to select two of the following sessions:

1. Is There a Place for Non-Theists in the United Church of Canada? (Sunday only – Public access)

In an environment where a minister has faced a review and a formal hearing for her theological views, and where a church in midst of institutional change is dealing with new and untested processes, what does the future look like for those who don’t subscribe to the traditional, but who have evolved theologically? A panel will explore the theological climate of the denominational leadership, what inclusion (or not) might look like, the implications of Gretta Vosper being placed on the Discontinued Service List (Disciplinary) and the future of congregations and leaders exploring non-theism. A panel of presenters explore these questions from various perspectives. Presenters: Fabian Jennings, Margaret-ann Armour

2. Welcome Home: How The ‘Great Story Of Our Unfolding Universe’ Is Shaping My Spirituality?

Presenter, Margaret Hetherington ‘The Great Story’ as it is sometimes called, with its deep time, amazing realities, and ever evolving nature has become my story too, connecting me with all that is. Oneness, belonging, wonder, gratitude, awakening, growth, resiliency, respect are becoming integral to my journey, as are spiritual practices that help me remember my connectedness with the universe. This journey as earth and universe dwellers is rich for some of us; tragic and deadly for vast numbers of other humans, other species and the earth’s well-being. We are not guaranteed an authority and a dominance as the old story of theism claimed. How can we become fully human, free and responsible, as we turn our attention to the religious issues of our day: to care for the earth in its fullest need? In our ‘belonging’ that makes us inseparable from all that is; what meaning can we find in a fragility that depends on our willingness or not to accept our full humanity. What does it all mean to you?

3. Toward Spiritual Gatherings: Expanding our Experience (Saturday Only)

Providing a consistent and theologically unified experience for congregations can be a difficult transition. Many speak about progressive ideas and understandings in study groups but then experience language, liturgy and music on Sundays that reinforce traditional and sometimes unhelpful images and actions. Learn some strategies and discover resources from congregations that have transitioned from worship to spiritual gatherings that express a more expansive spirituality in music, prayer and language. Presenters: Nancy Steeves, Christopher New, Charles Bidwell

4. The Ancient Connection: Values-Based Wisdom in the Jesus Tradition

From its earliest writings, the Jesus tradition offers a values-based wisdom.  The roots of what became Christianity was an expansive spirituality shaped and rooted in Jewish and Greek philosophical traditions; and rather than being formed around belief, dogma or creed, much of what we know of this early tradition centered in a new way of living and a practical experiential spirituality. Explore some of these values-based roots from the heart of the Jesus tradition and discover their relevance for today. Leadership: Bruce Miller

5. Rewilding Spirituality

For many, our lifestyle and social structures are alienated from the natural world.  We need a revolution in how we think, what we do with what we know and how we act.  Our planetary crisis is primarily a spiritual crisis. This session will begin a journey of ‘Rewilding’ of land, soul and society beyond traditional environmentalism and sustainability.  Come and learn together how to maximize the power of nature to enhance our minds, our personal and societal vibrancy, and our resilience. Presenters: Sherry Ann Chapman

6. (Saturday only) “Occupying Spirituality: Activism, Solidarity, Beliefs, Values”

Are you a theist, a post theist, a humanist, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Jew, a mystic, a Muslim, a pagan, a Quaker, a First Nation’s elder? Ever wonder whether that may not really matter? Ever wanted to cry out:

  • “Hey, don’t lay your theology or a-theology on me. Just tell me what you value: justice? Love? Compassion? The environment? That will tell me all I need to know about your beliefs; about the wisdom of your faith or even the wisdom of your lack of one.”

If you’ve felt that, come and tell all the rest of us who may have felt it too. Come join a smudge and talking circle guided by First Nations friends. We’ll pass an eagle feather and share our wisdom as we seek to know how we can reach across spiritual and religious differences – not to cancel them – but to grow in our power to make real our shared values. A solidarity that doesn’t require making “the other” the same. Presenters: Carola Cunningham, William Blake, Fabian Jennings

Accommodations

1. Providence Renewal Centre 3005 – 119 Street SW Edmonton, AB, Canada

Single $50/night (shared bathroom from hallway)
Double $95/night (1 double and 1 single with ensuite bathroom)
Buffet Breakfast at 8am $8.75
Free parking and wi-fi
To book private accommodation 
– call Cressy at (780) 430-9491
– or e-mail csilveira@providencerenewal.ca

2. Holiday Inn Conference Centre Edmonton South
4485 -Gateway Blvd. Edmonton, AB T6H 5C3
P: (780) 431-1100 : F: (780) 437-3455; Reservations: www.holidayinn.com/edmontonsouth

Rates are based on double occupancy

Standard Queen Room: $109.00 Deluxe King Room: $119.00
Block reservations ends July 31st. Please quote SSUC’s name for negotiated rate. Includes breakfast for 2 adults. Children under 12 free of charge. Pool.

3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Edmonton South -Walking distance to SSUC
Standard 2 Queen $129
Single Queen $119
Free parking, wifi

2440 Calgary Trail Edmonton, AB T6J 4R1 (780) 440-5000
Private Booking and Payment
30 Doubles: /night; 10 singles /night.
Reservations@hiexedmsouth.com ; 1-877-660-8550; Direct line booking: (780) 784-4802 (Louisa)
Free Breakfast 6:30 -9:30 a.m. week days; 6:00 -9:30 week ends
Free Wifi., Parking, Pool & Hot Tub, Pet Friendly on Main Floor. No room service. Block reservation:ends July 31st, 2017. Please quote SSUC’s name.

4. SSUC Billet Options (no cost)

Contact SSUC @ info@smsuc.com

Transportation

Co-op Cab (780) 425-2525 Flat Rates: $41 from the Airport; #30 to the Airport Co-op Cab: call “BK” @ 780-9356900
LRT Airport Bus every 30 minutes for $5

Uber

SSUC pickups available from Century Park LRT to shuttle to any accommodation.

Speakers

Meet our Speakers

NANCY STEEVES

Minister

After completing a B.Sc. in psychology, Nancy studied at Fuller Theological Seminary in California and Toronto School of Theology. She was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1981 and served Valleyview Presbyterian in Calgary before moving to Edmonton to study law at the University of Alberta. She received a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching in May 2009. Nancy celebrates being part of this diverse spiritual community of seekers who embody genuine hospitality, engagement in greater social justice and a spiritual journey that is characterized by questions more than answers.

CHRISTOPHER NEW

Minister, musician, composer

Chris is in team ministry at SSUC where among other things, he interprets expansive spirituality for children and youth, creates programming and curriculum, and writes new music for congregational singing that expresses our deepest spirituality for the 21st century regardless of creed, tradition or custom. His song book, “Our Highest Values”, was published in 2016.

GRETTA VOSPER

Author, minister, atheist

Minister and atheist. She is a Best-Selling author of two books and founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity. Her best selling books include “With or Without God: Why The Way We Live is More Important Than What We Believe” in 2008, and “Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief” in 2012. She has also published three books of poetry and prayers.

Event tickets

Now Available!

EverWonder Event Pass
  • Covers conference registration
  • Lunch and supper Saturday & Sunday
$130
Buy now
6:15 PM
Event registration & Welcoming

Join us at SSUC 10740 19 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6J 6W9

Opening gathering by SSUC ministers Nancy Steeves and Christopher New featuring music by SSUC musicians.

Nancy Steeves and Christopher New

A panel of participants sharing their stories of moving in and out of religious/spiritual paradigms including an opportunity for participants to share something of their “progressions/transitions/evolution”

FABIAN JENNINGS & WHUC

Panel Discussion: What do atheists, humanists, SBNR and progressive Christians have in common? And what contributions do they make to the common good?

Afternoon Sessions (participants will choose one of 6 possibilities) SEE THE TAB ABOVE

Various
2:15 PM – 3:45 PM
1. Is There a Place for Non-Theists in the United Church of Canada? (Sunday only – Public access)

In an environment where a minister has faced a review and a formal hearing for her theological views, and where a church in midst of institutional change is dealing with new and untested processes, what does the future look like for those who don’t subscribe to the traditional, but who have evolved theologically? A panel will explore the theological climate of the denominational leadership, what inclusion (or not) might look like, the implications of Gretta Vosper being placed on the Discontinued Service List (Disciplinary) and the future of congregations and leaders exploring non-theism. A panel of presenters explore these questions from various perspectives. Presenters: Fabian Jennings, Margaret-ann Armour

Margaret Hetherington

Presenter, Margaret Hetherington ‘The Great Story’ as it is sometimes called, with its deep time, amazing realities, and ever evolving nature has become my story too, connecting me with all that is. Oneness, belonging, wonder, gratitude, awakening, growth, resiliency, respect are becoming integral to my journey, as are spiritual practices that help me remember my connectedness with the universe. This journey as earth and universe dwellers is rich for some of us; tragic and deadly for vast numbers of other humans, other species and the earth’s well-being. We are not guaranteed an authority and a dominance as the old story of theism claimed. How can we become fully human, free and responsible, as we turn our attention to the religious issues of our day: to care for the earth in its fullest need? In our ‘belonging’ that makes us inseparable from all that is; what meaning can we find in a fragility that depends on our willingness or not to accept our full humanity. What does it all mean to you?

Margaret Hetherington

Providing a consistent and theologically unified experience for congregations can be a difficult transition. Many speak about progressive ideas and understandings in study groups but then experience language, liturgy and music on Sundays that reinforce traditional and sometimes unhelpful images and actions. Learn some strategies and discover resources from congregations that have transitioned from worship to spiritual gatherings that express a more expansive spirituality in music, prayer and language.

Nancy Steeves, Christopher New, Charles Bidwell

From its earliest writings, the Jesus tradition offers a values-based wisdom. The roots of what became Christianity was an expansive spirituality shaped and rooted in Jewish and Greek philosophical traditions; and rather than being formed around belief, dogma or creed, much of what we know of this early tradition centered in a new way of living and a practical experiential spirituality. Explore some of these values-based roots from the heart of the Jesus tradition and discover their relevance for today.

Bruce Miller

For many, our lifestyle and social structures are alienated from the natural world. We need a revolution in how we think, what we do with what we know and how we act. Our planetary crisis is primarily a spiritual crisis. This session will begin a journey of ‘Rewilding’ of land, soul and society beyond traditional environmentalism and sustainability. Come and learn together how to maximize the power of nature to enhance our minds, our personal and societal vibrancy, and our resilience.

Sherry Ann Chapman

Are you a theist, a post theist, a humanist, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Jew, a mystic, a Muslim, a pagan, a Quaker, a First Nation’s elder? Ever wonder whether that may not really matter? Ever wanted to cry out: “Hey, don’t lay your theology or a-theology on me. Just tell me what you value: justice? Love? Compassion? The environment? That will tell me all I need to know about your beliefs; about the wisdom of your faith or even the wisdom of your lack of one.” If you’ve felt that, come and tell all the rest of us who may have felt it too. Come join a smudge and talking circle guided by First Nations friends. We’ll pass an eagle feather and share our wisdom as we seek to know how we can reach across spiritual and religious differences – not to cancel them – but to grow in our power to make real our shared values. A solidarity that doesn’t require making “the other” the same. Presenters: Carola Cunningham, William Blake, Fabian Jennings

Carola Cunningham, William Blake, Fabian Jennings
10:00 AM
Spiritual Gathering

Join us for a special Spiritual Gathering at SSUC

Afternoon Sessions (participants will choose one from about 6 possibilities) SEE THE TAB ABOVE

Various

CCPC shares narrative a few presenters offer thoughts about future possibilities

(small group conversations, reporting, celebrating)

Thank you for joining us

2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Afternoon Session Options (choose 1)

Visit http://everwonderconference.ca/sessions/ for the options

Location

  • 10740 19 Avenue Edmonton, AB
  • info@smsuc.com
  • (780) 435-2028