Thank you to everyone from across Canada who came to Discipulus’18! We had a great time learning from Joan DeVries and our many workshop leaders about how to re-energize our communities for disciple-making and evangelism.


Keynote speaker: Joan DeVries

Joan DeVries speaks at Discipulus'18The Rev. Dr. Joan DeVries is a seasoned pastor, liturgist, writer, leader and teacher. She received her PhD in (practical) theology from McMaster Divinity College, focusing on how theological education can be reformed to reach its intended goal of formation (both spiritual and other) and not simply information. She has held a number of leadership roles at Tyndale University College and Seminary. In the summer of 2018, Joan relocated from Toronto to Langley, BC to assume the position of Professor of Worship Arts at Trinity Western University.

Joan is ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and has served as senior pastor in several congregations, leading a significant turn toward a missional focus. She has a particular interest in faith formation as it happens in outreach, in small groups, in worship and in church structure and leadership.



In addition to keynote addresses, Discipulus’18 featured two sets of workshops on specific strategies, tools and resources for evangelism and disciple-making. After workshops, we gathered with others from similar contexts to share and compare our insights from all the workshops.



Bishops & Diocesan Executives enjoyed separate sessions designed just for them.

Thursday: Equipping for disciple-making

What’s the real centre of gravity that binds our community together? Our Thursday afternoon workshops helped us to consider how discipleship can be at the heart of everything we do as Church. Each workshop featured three leaders in conversation.

1. Making disciples through church operations & finance

How can our structures, committees and budgets help us make disciples?

The Rev. Canon Beth Benson

Following an active lay ministry and a 20-year career in the not-for-profit sector, Beth returned to theological study at Wycliffe College and was ordained in 2004. After serving as the priest-in-charge in two parishes in the Diocese of Toronto, Beth is presently serving as the priest-in-charge of St. Mary and St. Martha, a newly amalgamated parish in the historic northwest end of Toronto. She is overseeing the missional initiatives and strategic redevelopment of the properties of this large geographic parish. Her commitment to discipleship is key to the emerging missional identity of the new multi-cultural congregation and the stewardship of its property portfolio.

The Rev. Morning Wang

Morning is the assistant curate for St. George on Yonge Anglican Church. She has been actively involved in Mandarin ministries in the Diocese of Toronto for several years.



The Rev. Canon Dr. Philip Der

Philip graduated with an M.Div from Wycliffe College and was ordained in 1994. He holds a certificate in conflict resolution and a D.Min, specializing in missional leadership. He is the incumbent of St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Richmond Hill. Philip is the author of two missional small group study series, “Love Your Neighbours” and “Love Our Mission Field.” He was awarded an Outstanding Ward 3 Volunteer Achievement Award, a Canada 150 Community Builder Pin Award (shared), and installed as an honorary canon of St. James Cathedral in 2017.  He believes that the Holy Spirit wants to turn seekers into disciples and makes disciples express their gifts as God’s instrument on earth.

2. Making disciples through community life

How can our dinners, rummage sales and coffee hours help us make disciples?

The Rev. Canon Joan Cavanaugh-Clark

Joan has been serving at the multi-point Parish of Minden, Kinmount and Maple Lake since 2011. Joan has a passion for all ministry, but especially rural. She brings the experience of serving as the ACW chaplain for the Diocese and is a member of the Executive Council, Budget Working Group, Area Council and Social Justice Committee. She is chaplain of the Minden Legion. She has taken courses in church building, Interfaith Social Reform (SARC), innovative missional outreach programs, Threshold Ministry, Missional Leadership Program and Biblical Storytelling. Joan is an avid reader and in her spare time enjoys playing the harp and tap dancing.

The Rev. Jeff Potter

Jeff is the priest and lead pastor at St. Stephen’s, Maple, a church plant of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. Jeff practised law at a large Bay Street firm before responding to God’s call to full-time ordained ministry. He is passionate about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and works to build up well-equipped disciples. Prior to his post at St. Stephen’s, Jeff served as a lay pastoral associate at the Church of the Transfiguration in Toronto. He currently serves as co-chair and creative director of the Spirit of Invitation working group and is a member of the Discipulus organizing committee. Jeff’s wife Becky works as a tax lawyer and also serves as the children’s ministry coordinator at St. Stephen’s. They live in the rectory next to the church with their daughter Josie and their dog Harriet.

The Rev. Vinaya Dumpala

Vinaya is the assistant curate at St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea Anglican Church. He is passionate about congregational development, stewardship and social justice, as well as reconnecting with the unchurched and helping people to become brand new disciples of Christ. His professional career in advertising, PR and media research spanned 28 years before he completed an MDiv at Trinity College, Toronto. Vinaya, his wife Geetha and their two sons have been active members of a persecuted church, planting 30+ home groups and the launch of creative ministry opportunities in an extremely challenging environment. Vinaya enjoys the outdoor life, photography, music and old English bikes.

3. Making disciples through worship

How can our liturgy, preaching and music help us make disciples?

Scott Weidler

Scott WeidlerScott is the director of music at St. Stephen’s, Maple and is passionate about creating accessible, sacred space through music. Drawing on extensive experience and a deep love of a variety of musical traditions, he works to build community and enhance worship. He served the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for 21 years as program director for worship and music. He serves on the national board of the Leadership Program for Musicians, a cooperative program between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church, and on the board of trustees for Music that Makes Community. Scott has earned degrees in education, music and liturgy from Concordia College, Wittenberg University and the University of Notre Dame. He lives in downtown Toronto with his husband, Zia Ahmed.

The Rev. Matt Pamplin

Matt is a pastor at St. Clair Community Church in downtown Hamilton. Matt is originally from the UK (so he loves football and curry) and is married with 3 children. Matt loves Hamilton and what God is doing in the city. He has a passion for discipling people and seeing them step into the mission of God.


The Rev. Dr. Valerie Michaelson

Val is a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s University, cross-appointed to the School of Religion and the Department of Public Health Sciences. She is also an ordained Anglican priest. Using Christian theologies and evidence from the social sciences, she is passionate about helping Christian churches create environments that help young people navigate a complex and challenging world, and set them up to thrive. She is also very involved in reconciliation, with a particular focus on Call to Action 6 of the TRC Calls to Action. She is a regular speaker about children and youth ministry, and has taught courses in these areas at Tyndale University College and Seminary and Wycliffe College.


Friday: Resourcing for disciple-making

On Friday, hear about specific tools and resources from people who’ve used them in their own church communities.

1. Alpha

Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that explores the basics of the Christian faith. Typically run over 9-12 weeks, it allows anyone to explore life, faith and God in a friendly, open and informal environment. In each session there’s food, a short talk and discussion in small groups. It runs in churches, homes, bars, coffee shops, prisons and schools around the world.

The Rev. Dr. Sean Davidson

Sean is currently an assistant curate at the Church of the Resurrection in Toronto, and a visiting professor at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan. Over the last 20 years, he has taught and pastored in various ministry contexts across Canada. Sean has a BA in Theology from Briercrest College, a PhD in Renaissance and Reformation Literature from McMaster, and a certificate of Anglican Studies from Wycliffe College. He currently lives in downtown Toronto with his family, and enjoys fly-fishing in local rivers.

2. Pilgrim

Pilgrim is a major teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England. It aims to help every local church create a place where people can explore the Christian faith together and see how it can be lived out each day. Pilgrim approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but through participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion with a group of fellow travellers.

Sonya Lawley





3. Christian Foundations

Christian Foundations is an introduction to the good news of the Gospel and an overview of the Bible, church history, key Christian beliefs, and core practices of the faith. The material has been designed for people with no Christian background, and for those wanting to refresh their basic grounding.

The Ven. Stephen Vail

Stephen began his ministry in Nova Scotia and has been a parish priest for almost 30 years. He loves to preach and teach, with a special focus on deepening people’s level of discipleship as Christ followers in a secular world. Helping churches grow in their dedication to Christ has been a key for him in helping them grow and become healthy in other ways.


4. Revive

Revive is a discipleship program for active lay leaders to help them grow in confidence as spiritual leaders who love God and want to live a Jesus-shaped life.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Dawn Davis

Dawn is the faith formation coordinator for Greater St. Catharines and the Diocese of Niagara. She has been ordained for over 30 years, serving in the dioceses of Nova Scotia, Toronto and Niagara. She was the director of ministry resources for the Diocese of Toronto, where she oversaw human resources and congregational development. For 11 years, she served as the rector of Trinity Aurora, where she lived with her husband, the Rev. David Harris, and their daughter Yohanna. Dawn just completed her doctorate of ministry, focused on spiritual formation, from Tyndale College Seminary, after creating Revive. Revive was further developed by the Forward Movement of The Episcopal Church and is being launched this summer and fall.


Bishops & Diocesan Executives track

Jason Gaboury (Thursday)

Jason directs the ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to undergraduate students in New York and New Jersey and serves as a warden of All Angels’ Church. His work brings together spirituality, leadership development, organizational health and mission. Jason has contributed to two books published by InterVarsity Press and one booklet produced for the Urbana Missions Convention. He is a member of the Anglican Order of Preachers, a religious order in the Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Judy Paulsen (Friday)

Judy is professor of evangelism and director of Wycliffe College’s Institute of Evangelism. As the daughter of Anglican missionaries, she lived her early childhood years in northwest India until her family moved to Ottawa. She holds a Master of Applied Science from McGill University, a Master of Divinity from Wycliffe College and a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. Judy has served as a parish priest in four parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and as a speaker at conferences, retreats and workshops. Her areas of expertise include evangelism, the interactions between the Gospel, church and culture, contemporary Christian worship and missional leadership.