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What is it?

Canadian society gives each of us various labels—black, white, Hispanic, Caribbean-Canadian, Indigenous, and so on—and treats us accordingly. In this workshop we’ll explore together how each of our lives are impacted by these social categories, which privilege some and oppress others. We’ll learn together, by the light of scripture, using storytelling, personal reflection, dialogue, and group spiritual discipline practices. Together we will seek to create an environment of respect, safety, and inclusion.

What you’ll learn:

By the end of the workshop we hope you will leave with:

  • A greater awareness of anti-racism, resistance, and reconciliation in Canada
  • A desire to move the discussion and learning further in your circles of influence
  • A willingness to grow in a prayerful and self-examining posture regarding racism and racial injustice

Workshop overview:

Session 1: Our True Identity: Exploring Faith and Culture

We’ll discuss these questions:

  • How does faith and culture help to form our identities as individuals and as a community?
  • How does Reformed theology respond to the discussion of faith and culture?
  • What ways has faith and culture shaped our personal stories and our collective story as a church?

Session 2: Oh Canada: Exploring Canada’s Relationship to Race and Racism

We’ll discuss these questions:

  • What are the visible and invisible aspects of Canadian culture?
  • What is race and racism?
  • What are Canada’s historical and contemporary relationships to race and racism?

Session 3: Steps to Wholeness: Dismantling Racism in our Communities

We’ll discuss these questions:

  • What can we learn from the Bible about racial justice and reconciliation?
  • Does engaging in racial justice issues detract from spiritual growth and development?
  • What does it mean to be an ambassador of reconciliation in our generation?
  • How do we use our talents, roles, and influence to build communities that promote justice, re-conciliation, and healing?  

What past participants are saying:

“So many great takeaways! Intent vs. impact, Canadian history, self identity, biblical truths. It was unsettling at times, in a good way. It definitely made me think! I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. I thought the co-facilitation by two women of different races worked well and was appropriate in this context. I'd highly recommend this workshop to all that I know in work and other environments.” - Widening the Circle participant

“I appreciated the skills and transparency of the facilitators and how we were “called in” to engage with racism and anti-racism in a safe space.” - Widening the Circle participant

How much time does it take?

1 day (about 6 hours)

Interested in hosting Widening the Circle?

Contact the Office of Race Relations (Canada) at 800-730-3490 or email Mike Hogeterp ([email protected]


I just found this when I was reading the article posted by Youth Unlimited.  Is this something that is still being offered?  If yes, this is definitely the time to be promoting this type of workshop. 

Hello Hilda:


Thanks for the question and the recommendation.  Widening the circle is still in use and has been appreciated a great deal by participants.  Given some transitions in our race relations staffing in Canada and covid related restrictions we can't run the workshop easily right now.  If you, or others are interested in scheduling a workshop, please get in touch with me:  [email protected]


Mike Hogeterp


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