The Living Presence Ministry: Helping people live healthy, meaningful, spirit-filled lives.

The town of East Gwillimbury is poised to undergo a surge of growth and will soon witness the development of tens of thousands of new homes, businesses and services.

Living Waters Presbytery has embraced this growth as an opportunity and, with the active support of Toronto United Church Council‘s Centre for Church Development and Leadership, has spearheaded the creation of the Living Presence Ministry. This ministry is developing a unique approach to mission by starting a new community (pioneer) ministry while simultaneously revitalizing the existing congregations in the area. This ‘both – and’ approach means working to find new ways of connecting with people who are not drawn to traditional church and helping the local congregations become as attractive and inviting as possible for those who might be looking for a spiritual home.

  • East Gwillimbury is slated to grow to approximately 87,000 people by 2031. This is a nearly 300% increase from 2006.
  • Georgina is expected to grow to about 70,000 by 2041. This is a 58% increase from 2006.

Investing in Ministry and Mission

In an act of visionary leadership, Living Waters Presbytery has committed 3 years of funding for the Living Presence Ministry. Following best-practices, and with advice from other churches that have started community–based pioneer ministries, the plan is to eventually extend the funding commitment to 10 years. This will give the new ministry a chance to take root while, at the same time, resourcing and strengthening the more traditional congregations. The hope is that this project will become a model for others throughout the country and beyond.

Toronto United Church Council & The Centre for Church Development & Leadership – CONSULTANTS AND PROJECT PARTNERS

Toronto United Church Council (TUCC) is supporting the Living Presence Ministry in a variety of ways:

  • Council carried out a demographic study for Presbytery in 2014. The report was then shared with the congregations and leaders of the area through late 2014 and early 2015, and a proposal on how the church might respond to the new situation was developed in June 2015.
  • Currently the main emphasis is on facilitating and resourcing the project plan through the steering team and its sub-groups. This is provided by Janet Marshall, Director of TUCC’s Centre for Church Development & Leadership (CCDL) and Ron Ewart, Executive Director of TUCC.
  • TUCC has made a major capital investment in the project through the purchase of a house on behalf of Presbytery in the new Queensville development as accommodation and ‘work-base’ for the new Community (Pioneer) Minister.

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Previous LPM newsletters

Living Presence Ministry Issue Newsletter 001
Living Presence Ministry Issue Newsletter 002
Living Presence Ministry Newsletter Issue 003

For more information contact:

Bri-anne Swan
Community (Pioneer) Minister
Living Presence Ministry


Janet Marshall
Director of the Centre for Church Development & Leadership
(905)771-5124  ext. 25