Bedford House is dedicated to dialogue and social action with people from all religious traditions – and of none, in the service of our community, our local economy and eco-system.
Bedford House gathers small groups of people to share their stories about the intersections of faith and social action. From these conversations we incubate programs and projects to make a difference in the lives of our neighbours across the city.
We gather from all walks of life, from every flavour of church, from inter-faith connections, post-christian and post-church wanderers. And we welcome friends who wouldn’t check any of those boxes. We love the diversity of questions that people bring and how their stories inspire us all to grow spiritually, and in our commitments to social action.
We partner with those most affected by social inequities to bring about right relations. We create cracks in the status quo where we plant homegrown solutions with the curiosity, collaboration and creativity of our Peterborough neighbours.
At Bedford House we believe:
- adult education processes can address the root causes of an issue. Shared learning will lead to collaborations that meet the needs of diverse members of our community, from the most vulnerable to the most affluent.
- every person is entitled to live a dignified human life, with suitable housing, connections in their community, and the opportunity to work, volunteer, and achieve their dreams. “From each according to the gifts, to each according to their needs.”
- in working in ways that align with the earth that supports us all.
Bedford House Community Ministry Board of Directors 2018/19:
Mary Gordon is passionate about feeding people. She knows all about grassroots Arts & Community Development and brings a sharp pencil to proposal, policy and polity work from years as a government civil servant. Board Chair
Cheryl Lyon is well known in Peterborough as a catalyst for social transformation. She works as a local advocate of the global shifts emerging because people like her are paying attention and acting. She has a wicked sense of humour and a sly wisdom we really love. Board Co-chair and circle convenor.
Reverend Bill Peacock has taught decades of Fleming’s Social Service Workers about making a difference with compassion and spirit. Beloved for his humour and songs and listening ear, Bedford House benefits from his broad and deep knowledge of this community, its challenges and strengths. Board Treasurer
Margaret (Margie) Sumadh (ne’erdo well retiree). Activist wherever I meet a need. Life exposure across the global South. People and people. Board Secretary
Joint Venture Partners in the Bridging Teams Project. Representatives from Greenwood United Church.
Ruth Benson As a long-time member of Greenwood, she currently serves as its Treasurer. Ruth served as the deputy-treasurer of Douro township and deputy clerk before her retirement. She continues to serve the township as a volunteer and pursues her passion for the environment as beekeeper and avid gardener.
Bonnie Jull is a retired teacher and fabric artist. She journeyed with Lynn as a member of the Diaconal Ministry Circle of Accompaniment. This process inspired the seeding of Bedford House and the development of the Bridging Teams project. Bonnie represents Greenwood United on the Bridging Teams Joint Venture Project Management Team.
Program Hosts & Project Animators Lynn and Allan Smith-Reeve
Lynn brings extensive knowledge and creative energy as an educator and artist. Lynn’s lived experience of poverty – raising her five children and caring for a disabled husband for two decades – has inspired her desire to organize community resources to serve low-income families and lead her to become a certified Bridges Out of Poverty facilitator. She’s been pursuing the Emerging Church from evangelical roots, through the Third Wave movement, to Diaconal Ministry within the United Church. Lynn’s motto is “It has to be fun.”
Allan is an innovator and creator of many collaborative community projects. In Toronto’s east end, his church was a woodshop and business incubator. He’s taught Community Development at George Brown and Fleming colleges. Rev. Reeve has served both urban and rural congregations in Bobcaygeon and Peterborough. He is passionate about bridging class, religious, and cultural divides.
Katherin “Kat” Snajdr Zabehlicky has worn a few job-hats over the years in search of that special fit. Having received a BAA at Ryerson University in Media & Film, she dived into film/tv production as a Coordinator, a short-Film Producer, Product Placement Guru, Online Magazine Editor, Advertising Executive — and, an English Teacher in Asia. Returning to school, she received post-graduate honours in Social Services at Fleming College, an Indigenous Perspectives Designation, and a much welcome mind-awakening placement at Bedford House. Now, all grown up with a family of her own, she’s found that special fit through the Bridges Out of Poverty philosophy and hopes to ally her role in Community Development/Communications, Facilitation, and Business Operations, to connecting people and creating a community network for Building Bridges Out of Poverty Teams.
Todd came to us as a Getting Ahead Grad from the pilot program at Peterborough Social Services, and continued on with the Pilot Bridging Team Program at Bedford House. His openness to learn and willingness to listen alongside the Mentor-to-allies only solidified his commitment for the next 18 months. Now, after moving on and into the Bedford Internship Program, he became a certified Getting Ahead Facilitator, and is one step closer to fulfilling his goal of becoming a Teacher. Todd is presently one of the Co-facilitators of the new Building Bridges Out of Poverty Teams — Getting Ahead Program. Todd has a knack for bestowing pearls of wisdom on the group which have earned him a spot in all of our marketing material. “It’s hard to get motivated when someone is always telling you what to do…”