reVITALize 2019

This September reVITALize comes to northern Alberta! Jeff Crittenden came up with this great idea and hosted it between Metropolitan United Church and the Centre for Practical Theology in London for 3 years. Now we’re taking it on the road to Edmonton.

reVITALize is an opportunity to do just that: revitalize. The speakers are bringing what vitalizes their ministries, thoughts, and spirits. There will be time to chat with friends and colleagues, and enjoy the pleasant autumn of the city. There will b e books and music. We’ll provide lunch both days. There will be time to get here and home between September Sundays when so much of the church year gets identified and started.  

Registration is simple: simply a  $100 e-transfer to or by cheque with ReVITALize in the memo line.

The cost is low because of the generosity of the United Church of Canada Foundation and the Ministry Personnel Support Committee of our Northern Spirit Regional Council.

We begin Thursday September 26 at 9 o’clock and close Friday at 5. The event is open to everyone. The speakers will bring a variety of topics, from Leviticus to death to sex to missional leadership to blood to leisure gone wild to good religion! Some speakers are theologians, some are practicing clergy, some are therapists, some are bi-vocational, some are laypeople.

Please register straightaway so you’re prepared and we can be ready to welcome you. It will be good to see you!


presentations are 45 minutes

Thursday, September 26

  8:30     gather for coffee & music

  9:15     Welcome

  9:30     John Pentland, “Minding the Story”

10:30     Kimberly Heath, “Church Connected”

11:30     Gila Caine “Planet Earth as our Holy of Holies: Reading into Leviticus for guidance on atonement and re-connection”

12:15 – 1:30       Lunch

1:30        Malcolm Sinclair, “Raising Texts: Homelife Among the Words of Life”

2:30        Brad Morrison, “How Not to Have an Affair”

3:30        Doris Kieser, “Bleeding Bodies: God and Menstruation”

7:00       labyrinth walk at St. Paul’s or time on your own

Friday, September 27

  8:30     gather for coffee & music

  9:30     Susan Lukey, “Why I Don’t Believe in Self-Care”

10:30     Michael Kooiman, “Practical Ethics for the Present Age” 

11:30     Ross Lockhart, “Ikea Christians in the School of Jesus: Catechesis in Post-Christendom”

12:15 – 1:30       Lunch

1:30        Sue Browning, “Talking about Sex …  Bridging the Gap between sexuality & spirituality”

2:30        Andrew Kinoti Lairenge, “The impact of Bible translation to the non-literary languages and cultures”

3:30      Rob Fennell, “The Thriving Christian Communities Project”

4:30      wrap up and thanks

5:00      departure


music throughout the event with Sherry Steele and Gabrielle Heidinger Baerg

book room, lunch both days, old & new friends

Pop Ups:

David Armour United Church of Canada Foundation

Dirk Jessen Northern Spirit Ministry Personnel Support Committee

Jeff Crittenden more reVITALize

Many thanks!

to our United Church of Canada Foundation & Northern Spirit Region for significant support!


Rev. Dr. Jeff Crittenden created reVITALize by seeing the need for that very thing in the church, and trusting colleagues to bring thoughtful and helpful attention to it. Jeff is Senior Minister at Metropolitan United Church in London Ontario. His first doctorate is in preaching, and he is currently completing a PhD in Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa. Jeff is the Director of the Centre for Practical Theology. He teaches at Huron University at Western, and also in Wales and Scotland.

David Armour is Director of Philanthropy for The United Church of Canada and President of the United Church of Canada Foundation. His responsibilities include stewardship, Mission and Service giving, Legacy Giving, PAR promotion and the work of the Foundation. David came to this work having been President of the United Way of Canada, CEO of the Canadian Olympic Foundation, CEO of the Canadian Medical Foundation, and a Regional Director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. In his early twenties David worked with street kids in trouble with the law in Hamilton Ontario. David is a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Centre of the USA, Board Chair of the Pembina Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions, and Board Member of Food Banks Canada.

Rev. Sue Browning is a registered psychotherapist with CRPO and a registered marriage and family therapist with AAMFT and CAMFT. Sue is also a sex therapist and has a private practice in counselling in London, Ontario.  She is an ordained United Church minister and is serving part time with two congregations on the outskirts of London. Sue is a supervisor for the college of registered psychotherapists of Ontario and is also completing her supervision training for CAMFT the Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently supervising five interns preparing to become therapists. Sue is the mother of three young adults Jackson, Siobhan and Damian and the partner to Paul who is also in ministry.

Rabbi Gila Caine Born and raised in Jerusalem Rabbi Caine graduated the Hebrew University with a Masters in Contemporary Judaism and received her rabbinic ordination at the Hebrew Union College -Jewish Institute of Religion’s Israeli program in 2011. Her rabbinic thesis explored liturgical, spiritual, and ceremonial aspects of birth in Jewish tradition and contemporary practice. After some years serving Reform congregations in Israel, Rabbi Caine now serves Temple Beth Ora Synagogue in Edmonton, and together with her husband and two children is excited to learn all about Canada. 

Rev. Dr. Rob Fennell has a dual vocation as a minister and professor. He is Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Atlantic School of Theology. Rob is co-editor of The Theology of the United Church of Canada, author of several books and articles, and past president of the Canadian Theological Society.

Rev. Kimberly Heath has been ordained for 20 years. She was the past and last President of the Bay of Quinte Conference. She currently serves Wall Street UC, an active church in the heart of the Thousand Islands in Ontario. In 1999 Kimberly was settled to Claresholm-Stavely PC in southern Alberta and served also in Calgary. She can’t wait to be out west again this September for ReVITALize.

Gabrielle Heidinger Baerg holds a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario where she studied with Anita Krause-Wiebe, and Irena and Theodore Baerg. Mrs Baerg has performed various roles such as La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Mrs Olsen in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and as Donna Elvira in the 2010 production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Mrs Baerg has attended Opera NUOVA as the third lady in Magic Flute, the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, performed in Suor Angelica as La Zia Principessa, and Midsummer Night’s Dream as Hippolyta at Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s Newfoundland, as well as various Oratorios. Singing has taken her across Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  Currently, Gabrielle is finishing a Masters of Divinity at Vancouver School of Theology and Huron College and is a Candidate for the Order of Ministry leading worship at Dorchester United Church.

Dr. Doris Kieser, PhD,is Associate Professor of Theology at St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta. Her teaching and research interests include sexuality, bioethics, death and dying, women’s spirituality, and female bodies in the Church. She is also a psychological counsellor at Insight Psychological Inc., in Edmonton.

Rev. Dr. Michael Kooiman serves Central United Church in Weston, Ontario.  He is a consultant with the EDGE Network, and coordinates the Ministry of Supervision program at Emmanuel College. Michael has a Doctor of Ministry in preaching from Chicago Theological Seminary, and is often found on flickr or on a sailboat.  

Rev. Andrew Kinoti Lairenge is currently minister in Vermilion-Mannville Pastoral Charge. He holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree from St. Paul’s University Limuru, Kenya and Masters of Theological Studies from Drew University, New Jersey. He’s been working on his PhD on New Testament and Early Christianity in McGill University, Montreal. Andrew is a member of the United Church Board of Vocation.

Rev. Dr. Ross Lockhart is Associate Professor and Director of Denominational Formation at The Vancouver School of Theology where he teaches courses in Worship, Polity, Evangelism, Church Planting and Catechesis. He is the founding Director of The Centre for Missional Leadership at St. Andrew’s Hall and author of Lessons from Laodicea:  Missional Leadership in a Culture of Affluence as well as Beyond Snakes and Shamrocks:  St. Patrick’s Missional Leadership Lessons for Today. He is co-creator with Rob Fennell of the blog “Creedal and Loving It: Good Theology for Regular People”. Ross has served congregations from Halifax to Vancouver.

Rev. Susan Lukey is an ordained minister with a background in education, certified in grief support and in the developmental paradigm of child development. She comes to us from High River. Susan is editor of Gathering worship magazine, and active in Scouts Canada. She is grateful to be in daily life and ministry with her life-partner, David Robertson.

Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean is Senior Minister here at St. Paul’s. Her practice of ministry is informed by a strong commitment to preaching, pastoral care, and theology. Catherine is immediate past president of the Canadian Theological Society, author of numerous articles, and a frequent speaker at church and academic events such as Peter Lougheed Leadership College Lecture Series, Berwick, and the AST Aitken Workshop on Preaching. She is the recipient of two Louisville Institute grants.

Rev. Brad Morrison is minister at Strathroy United Church and assistant professor of practical theology at Huron University College at Western University. He is a registered psychotherapist and teaches counselling courses to ministry students. He is author of Already Missional: Congregations as Community Partners.

Rev. Dr. John Pentland is Lead Minister at Hillhurst United in Calgary. He is the author of Fishing Tips – How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith and is a highly sought-after speaker. He recently finished Board work at VST. We have read his writing in the Calgary Herald and The Globe and Mail. John was one of the organizers of Minister reCall.

Rev. Monica Rosborough serves in ministry in Athabasca. Before she entered theological college she brought a love of books and spirituality to Revelations Books. Monica is coordinating our book room with UCRD.

The Rev. Dr. Malcolm Sinclair is recently retired after forty-eight years as a preacher, (the last thirty at Metropolitan United Church, Toronto). Malcolm has preached across Canada, and as a guest in several foreign countries. His newest passion is to discover the meaning of the Gospel, and the great texts, without the church wrapping paper around them all the time. 

Sherry Steele is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. She has performed with orchestras and in musical theatre throughout Canada, and toured internationally as a featured singer in Riverdance – The Show. Sherry performed with the Broadway company of Riverdance at the Gershwin Theatre for more than a year. She has been teaching piano and voice for more than 20 years, most recently at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, and currently at the University of Alberta. Sherry is a cherished part of the life of St. Paul’s church.