Tag Archives: support raising

Back in the saddle


Happy autumn! I/we are back in the swing of things at The Dale, after a very full summer and then some time away.

Thanks to the generosity of a dear friend, she and I were able to spend the last couple of weeks away from our regular lives, doing some traveling: exploring, reading, hiking, thinking, swimming, praying, eating and resting. This time away was a gift in so many ways, and I’ve come back feeling grateful and refreshed. I am also grateful for Meagan, whose presence at the Dale made it possible for me and Erinn to have overlapping holidays for the first time ever (without The Dale being closed the whole time)!

I spent some time reflecting on the first thirty years of my life while I was away, and marveling at the fact that I get to do what I love for my job…and that I’ve been doing this work at the Dale for five years now! Half a decade of life in community: learning from each other and from God (often through each other), laughing even in the midst of hard things, getting frustrated with each other and seeking to work through it, grieving with and for each other, seeing changes in one another. What a ride it has been, and will continue to be!

This weekend we’re heading up to Camp Koinonia in Parry Sound for our annual fall retreat. About thirty of us will pile into a school bus with all of our stuff, and spend a few days up north. This is some of our folks’ only chance to be out of the city all year, so it’s a pretty special time. We’ll go for hikes, go paddling, and have camp fires. Some of us will go fishing, and some others will go swimming. I’ve already promised to paddle alongside a friend who would like to swim across the lake! If you think of us, please pray/send good thoughts for safety and harmony.

After the retreat is over, the next big Dale event will be the Ride for Refuge on September 30th! This bike ride/walk has become our annual fundraiser for our general budget (which comes entirely from donations). If you would like to join us on the 30th, we would love to bike or walk with you!! You can register at:


If you’re not able to join us but can donate, you can do that here:


Again, happy autumn everyone. May this season be full of apple cider, cozy sweaters, and fresh perspectives.

The Great Outdoors


Being outside is just good for the soul. I spent part of this afternoon weeding our plot in the community garden, and it was great. Sure, I grumbled a bit about the very luxurious dandelions that had taken root, but being outside, tending a plot of earth is one of the loveliest, and most satisfying ways to spend time.

I really love living in Toronto, for many reasons. I also really love getting out of Toronto every once in a while, being in wide open spaces, breathing forest-fresh air, jumping into quiet, tree-lined lakes, gazing at the stars, and hearing the sound of silence.

This summer, from July 6-9th, The Dale is taking a trip out of the city, up to a lovely little camp outside Parry Sound. People have been talking about this trip for months and months, and excitement is growing as the time gets nearer. People are talking about fishing, canoeing, hiking, and just being.

Many folks from the community have committed to contributing towards the trip financially, which is wonderful. And we still have a ways to go, to cover the cost of the trip. So we would like to invite you, dear reader, to consider helping us bring as many people as possible up to camp! The cost per person is approximately $120.

If you’re interested in contributing, just click on the “Donate to the Dale” tab, use any of the methods listed, and make a note that it’s for the Camp Fund.

Thanks for considering this!

Peace to you.



The next step! And a story.


Hello again,

I hope that 2014 is off to a good start for you!

When I started this blog, I told you that I had just lost my job at Alternative Grounds, and that I was taking some time to consider next steps.

It is with excitement and some trepidation that I announce…

After a good deal of thinking and praying, I’ve decided to increase my support-raising efforts, in order to work full time at The Dale! This would allow me to be available for more pastoral care, outreach, supporter care, and potentially another drop-in (perhaps a cooking club, a music drop-in… who knows!).

I need to raise approximately another $900/month, in order to reach my income goal. If the support doesn’t come in by March, I will then look for another part time job. I would not see this as a failure, but as an indication that having a part time job is a good option for me.

So, dear reader, if you are not currently a financial supporter, would you consider partnering with me at The Dale in this way? There a three ways to do this:

1)      Go to canadahelps.org, enter Parkdale Neighbourhood Church, and follow the prompts

2)      Send a series of post-dated cheques to P.O. Box 94, Station C, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M7

3)      Fill out a Pre-Authorized Remittance form, and sent it to the address above, with a void cheque. This form is available under the “Donate to the Dale” tab.

(We are still working on the legal paperwork, so for now we still use “Parkdale Neighbourhood Church” for support/donations. I will let you know when this changes.)

Before I sign off, I’d like to share a story with you from this week.

At The Dale we are, for the most part, pretty open about our struggles. This includes me and Erinn, because we firmly believe that we need the support of this community just as much as we seek to be a support to the folks here. This does not mean that we dump our emotions on anyone and everyone, but that we are open about the fact that we have our own struggles, and welcome the wisdom and encouragement that our community has to offer.

This Monday I showed up to drop-in, and was greeted by a friend who spends most of his time playing one of his many guitars, and talking about his many pet snakes. He’s a softy, but he doesn’t often show it. This friend handed me a delicate little nativity scene, and said “I know you’ve been having a tough time, so this is to let you know that someone was thinking of you.”


Whoa. Beautiful. I am so thankful to be part of this community!

I welcome you to join me in this community, by coming to a drop-in or to church, by praying for us, and/or by providing financial support. We are a family that is always welcoming new members!

Peace be yours,


A new stage on the journey…


Hello there!

As you may know, I’ve been working part time at The Dale (previously Parkdale Neighbourhood Church) for about 16 months now, as a Community Worker. The Dale is a community in Parkdale, where we work to create a safe and welcoming space in which all people, particularly the vulnerable and broken, are encouraged to participate fully, to the best of their abilities, and journey together toward a deeper experience of the life God has given us. Being part of this community is a great privilege and joy!

Up until the end of November I was also working at Alternative Grounds, an independent/fair trade/organic type of cafe on Roncesvalles. Due to really unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, the cafe shut down about 2 weeks ago, with only a few days notice for everyone involved.

And so… I find myself in a new stage on the journey! And I’ve decided to start blogging about it.

People have been asking me, “What’s next?”, “Will you look for another job?”, “Will you go full time at The Dale?”. The truth is, I don’t really know. I raise my own support, and up until now I have raised enough to work part time at The Dale. However, in God’s superb timing, I received a significant donation towards my salary the very day before I found out that I would no longer have a job at Alternative Grounds! So I can afford to increase my hours at The Dale, at least for a month or two, while I consider my options. This means that I get to come to our Wednesday art drop in (I used to work every Wednesday at the cafe), engage in more outreach and pastoral care, and focus on support raising and supporter care.

The question remains… What comes next? Should I increase my support-raising efforts, and trust that God will provide the funds for me to work full time at The Dale? Should I look for another coffee shop job, or another type of job to supplement my income and provide a bit of balance to the intensity of ministry? I honestly don’t know.

And so, I invite you to join me in praying for wisdom, clarity and peace, as I discern my next steps. I will be using this blog to keep you posted, and to share more about my life at The Dale.

I am so thankful for the many wonderful people who are with me on this journey!