Are you involved in writing, editing, marketing, fundraising, videography, podcasting, graphic design or other communications work? Would you like to meet Christian professionals in these fields? Then the Canadian Christian Communicators Association (formerly the Canadian Church Press) is inviting you to join our restful, casual, in-person conference and awards gathering May 25-27.
Hang out with peers and meet some new ones, attend a ceremony awarding the best work of the past year, learn about ethical storytelling on human trafficking, the advantages a Christian perspective can bring in mainstream broadcast media, strategies and practical tools to break through on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and email, and be encouraged by presentations on sabbath, connecting with creation, and what Jesus said and modeled about recharging ourselves.
The Ontario location is an hour away from the Hamilton Munro airport and Toronto Pearson airport and even closer to the Waterloo airport (location near Hwy 401 and Hwy 6, to be precise 7098 Concession 1, Puslinch, ON N0B 2J0 or see map at crieffhills.com/contact). Local CCCA members will taxi out-of-area attendees from any of these airports to the venue at no charge (where possible).
Come for an evening, a day or the whole thing (see pricing below)!
Schedule, Day 1 (Thursday, May 25)
- 4:00 p.m. arrivals at Crieff, settle in room, say hi to others, check out trails or labyrinth
- 5:30-6:30 supper
- 6:30-8:00 Sabbath as a Vital Christian Practice in the Post-Covid World. Practical ways to address our Covid exhaustion hangover: the tiny and big ways we can observe the Sabbath command, why that is so important right now (and it is!) and how it makes a difference. Kristine O'Brien is the executive director at Crieff Hills Retreat Centre and an ordained Presbyterian minister.
- 8:00 until whenever: outdoor fireside chat (we supply marshmallows, bring your own roasting stick)
- Note: we have indoor backup locations for outdoor events in case of inclement weather
Schedule, Day 2 (Friday, May 26)
- 8:00-9:00 a.m. breakfast
- 8:30 and throughout the day: optional Complimentary Massage/Reflexology appointments. Donna-Michelle Rancoeur is a registered reflexologist and owner of Time for Healing in Oakville, Ont.
- 9:15-10:45 Retreat With Jesus. In Mark 3, Jesus invites the disciples on retreat. Let's explore the three movements of that retreat: (1) Come Away--hear the invitation from Jesus, and as best you can, let go of distractions and worries, and centre in this place; (2) Be With--spend time with Jesus in a beautiful setting; hear him name you and call out what he sees in you; and (3) Be Sent--go as one called, blessed, named and sent by Jesus. Some of us may be good at one of these, but how many of us experience the rhythm of all three? Janet Bauman is a part-time pastor and spiritual director. She grew up on a dairy farm near St. Jacobs, Ont., and was nurtured in the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. She's a retired teacher and mother of two young adults. She lives with her husband in Elmira, Ont. She enjoys gardening, reading, writing, walking and cross-country skiing.
- 10:50-12:20 Word Made Digital. How do we communicate the timeless message of Jesus, and other good messages we believe in, when everything has changed? In this session we’ll look at communication in the digital age and post-Covid world. We’ll explore strategies and practical tools to break through the noise on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and email. Bring your questions on anything from 2023 trends, to what tools to buy, to where to spend your limited time to be most effective. We’ll have a planned presentation, but also focus on whatever areas you want to dive deeper into. Joanna la Fleur is a speaker, podcaster, TV host and communications consultant. With a business communications degree and a Masters in Theological Studies, she has been helping the Church communicate the best news in the world for over 15 years.
- 12:30-1:30 lunch
- 2:00-3:30 Re-Membering our Connection with Creator & Creation. In large part, we as North Americans have forgotten our place in God’s beloved community of creation. This disconnect has an affect on our bodies, spirits, mental wellbeing and on the ecological crisis in which we live. During this workshop, Wendy Janzen will begin with a bit of background to her work as an eco-minister and the story of how Burning Bush Forest Church and the larger Wild Church movement came to be. We will then shift into a time of experiential worship in the style she leads at Burning Bush. Come prepared to be outdoors. (We will move indoors in the event of inclement weather.) Wendy Janzen serves Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in the role of eco-minister, and is the pastor of Burning Bush Forest Church, an outdoor worshiping community that celebrated its 7th anniversary this year.
- 3:45-5:15 What Advantages Does a Christian Perspective Bring to Mainstream Journalism? Anna-Liza Kozma has spent more than 30 years as journalist, columnist and producer, first at BBC Radio and then at CBC Current Affairs and CBC.ca. She wrote and produced for As It Happens, Tapestry, Ideas, Canada Reads and Cross Country Checkup. She was a syndicated columnist and feature writer for the Chicago Tribune and is currently working on a series of detective novels.
- 5:30-6:30 supper
- 7:15-8:00 awards presentation
- 8:00 to whenever: Option 1: casual afterparty, with cash bar. Option 2: game
- Note: Self-guided hiking trails, labyrinth always available
Schedule Day 3 (Saturday, May 27)
- 7:00-8:00 a.m. optional Complimentary Yoga Class led by Angela Bryson of Angels Landing Yoga and Wellness in Waterloo region, Ont. This gentle session is perfect for anyone who spends time on computers. Loosen up your muscles and learn some stretches to improve your circulation and posture. All the movements will use a chair, so you can repeat them on your own in the future, at home or in the office.
- 8:00-9:00 breakfast
- 8:45-9:30 CCCA annual general meeting
- 10:00-11:30 Ethical Storytelling About Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. This recorded virtual presentation (made especially for us) will provide some basic understanding of modern slavery and human trafficking, outline key terms and concepts and why they are relevant to us. As storytelling is used more and more in fund appeals, conversations with government officials, articles and presentations, this session will explain and connect the importance of ethical storytelling while providing general guidelines to follow and discussion on images used to represent this social injustice. Maj. Rachele Lamont is coordinator for modern slavery and human trafficking at The Salvation Army–Canada & Bermuda Territory. She used to serve in Greece.
- 12:30-1:30 lunch
- 1:30 goodbyes (trails and labyrinth remain open and available for the afternoon)
Prices (please register a.s.a.p. to enable food ordering)
- Friday-only, full day including workshops, lunch, dinner, awards and party $99
- Friday dinner, awards and party only $50
- Full conference: $399 (double occupancy), $499 (single occupancy). Includes food, accommodations, awards evening and more
- Full conference without accommodations (drive in from Hamilton, Guelph, etc.) $299
- Note on week-ahead registration: If wanting to register May 19-25, call CCCA first to see if it is possible (chef will already have placed food orders).
- Note on Connect IRL Option: This is our first in-person gathering in four years! To nudge ourselves off the bench and into conversation, we’re delighted to offer a 1-1 attendee matching program. Just tick the box for this on the signup form, and you’ll be matched up with one other person at the conference. Your only task? Have a minimum of one conversation together – over breakfast, on a hike, by the fire or for coffee during one of our breaks! Share the joys and challenges of your work with someone in your field. It’s like networking for introverts, with none of the employment-related pressure.