May 31, 2024

Bedford House Spring 2024 Newsletter

The Spring 2024 newsletter is here.

Here is the quick read summary. The full PDF is below, which you can read, print or download.

Neighbour Network: The Neighbour Network consists of individuals who have been trained in understanding the systemic causes of poverty and the challenges of living with limited spiritual, material, and social resources. Members gather on the first Wednesday of each month at the downtown library to share meals, participate in “Subversive Faith” interviews, and share personal stories. The May interview featured Reverend Doctor Frank Emanuel, who highlighted the differences between traditional church models and the inclusive, exploratory approach of Bridging Teams. Emanuel shared his journey of following love, including a story about performing a wedding for two gay women, which led to his removal from his denomination.

Bridging Teams: Bridging Teams bring together people from various socio-economic backgrounds to study and address the hidden rules of class that divide them. These teams create safe spaces for sharing food, fun, and storytelling, leading to deep, soulful conversations and the formation of strong bonds of trust and friendship. The focus is on economic classes, but other divides such as race, gender, physical ability, and neuro-diversity are also addressed.

Bridging Artists Bridging Team: The team has introduced Terry Dactyl as a co-facilitator-in-training. Terry, passionate about bridging generational and economic class gaps, aims to create a new Bridging Team that combines the fun of children’s interactions with the meaningful discussions of adults.

Bridging Artists Event: A celebration of the “Future Stories” created by the Bridging Artists. June 5th at noon at the downtown library.

Online ChurchX Course: Scheduled to launch in Fall 2024, the “Bridging Poverty & Privilege” course will be presented by Lynn & Allan Smith-Reeve, United Church Ministers trained as Community Animators. This six-workshop series will share lessons, practices, and stories from their community-making experiments. Previously conducted on Zoom, the course will now be accessible for participants to proceed at their own pace.

City of Peterborough Grant: The City of Peterborough has increased its funding to Bedford House with a $10,000 grant, which will cover organizational overhead costs. With reduced overhead expenses in 2024, the funds will support new projects.

“On Class” Study Guide: Bedford House plans to collaborate with Deborah Dundas, author of “On Class,” to create a study guide/workbook based on her book. The guide will facilitate discussions and learning among Bridging Team participants, using Canadian stories, history, and statistics to address systemic poverty. For more details, visit On Class.

Acknowledgments: Bedford House expresses gratitude to the United Church, individual donors to the Catalyst Fund, and the City of Peterborough’s Community Partnerships grant program for their support. The Mission & Service Fund of the United Church is also thanked for its role in transforming lives and growing a better world.

Contact Information: Allan Smith-Reeve: bedfordhouse551@gmail.com / 705-957-2391


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