YU North York comes alongside local churches to engage with the youth in their community. By reaching out in compassionate service, churches can become the heartbeat of their community, connecting young people to a greater sense of hope and purpose.
We have staff working as part of the outreach of the local church, programs run in partnership with churches and other mutually supportive relationships with churches. These include:
|Lisle Memorial Baptist Church
Audley Goulbourne has been the pastor of Lisle Memorial Baptist Church (located in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood) since 1987. Lisle runs several ministries in partnership with one of YU’s community outreach workers, Benjamin Osei. Read more about this partnership.
|Spring Garden Church
Spring Garden provides an office space for Scott Moore, North York Area Director, enabling YU North York to have a central hub where staff can meet and access necessary resources. Spring Garden also partners with YU in our Revolution(s) program, offering space and support to Willowdale Community Outreach Worker Jesse James.
|Jane-Finch Church Coalition
YU is a supporting agency to the JFCC, an organization consisting of 11 churches working together to transform their community. The coalition has seen various programs administered with volunteers from different churches. Visit their website at janefinchchurchcoalition.com
IN-DEPTH PARTNERSHIP PROFILES
IMMANUEL BAPTIST CHURCH // PASTOR CURT ERB
Curt has been involved with IBC for close to 22 years. He was involved primarily with the youth and worship ministry and is now the pastor of leadership development, but still provides overall leadership and encouragement to the youth ministry team at IBC.
Immanuel has a long history of ministry to children and youth in the community. It is a very diverse congregation with a heart for mission and outreach in their community. Their vision is “gathering nations to reach the nations.”
Benefits of partnering with YU:
For Curt, connecting with YU through the Community Youth Outreach Worker role at IBC is a “wonderful partnership”, and is one that makes a lot of sense from both sides. It benefits IBC because this worker can bring new energy, spiritual maturity with a vision and passion to show young people God’s love through Jesus, and plays a significant role in IBC’s youth ministry. The previous Outreach Worker initiated a new program called “Skillstream” which is beneficial to the church and its youth ministry.
The benefit for YU is that the Outreach Worker is working with an established ministry, which creates a context to move into existing programs—making it faster and easier to connect with youth and the community. Over time the Outreach Worker will be able to expand these relationships to contact new people in the community.
Curt says that it is a good idea for a church to have a YU worker, as it a symbiotic relationship and a “win-win” situation.
LISLE MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH // PASTOR AUDLEY GOULBOURNE & YU WORKER BENJAMIN OSEI
Pastor Audley was born in Jamaica, and later moved to Canada where he began ministry as a youth pastor and a staff person of YU. In 1987, he was appointed as pastor for Lisle and has been leading the congregation ever since.
Part of Lisle’s mission is to be closely connected with the Jane-Finch community. One way they do this is by working directly with local schools. Through their partnership with YU programs, Lisle has been able to support the schools and encourage young people to attend school and participate in a positive way.
Benefits of partnering with YU:
For Pastor Audley, partnering with YU has widened the church’s area of influence because they work closely with Benjamin Osei, a community worker with YU who is also a member of the church. Lisle has been able to make connections through Benjamin’s ministries, allowing the church to have a positive influence on these children and youth.
Lisle has been the base for many programs run by YU staff. They have hosted the “Seeds of Hope Summer Day Camp” for the past 4 years, and currently host the “Hoop 2 Hope” basketball program, the “Sketch&Believe” Program and also provide a rental space for the Jane-Finch YU team and YU summer staff.