(2 positions – Indigenous communities; Newcomer/Muslim communities)
Five Oaks Centre is a not for profit, Interfaith, Intercultural retreat centre seeking to curate program experiences that work towards right relations, decolonization, Interfaith understanding and growth and the work of retreat, that is the inner and outer work for the healing of the world.
Five Oaks is inspired by Mary Jo Leddy’s use of language, that of Indigenous, Settler and Newcomer peoples on Turtle Island, language that encapsulates the importance of the work of Interfaith/Intercultural programming. Leddy writes,
“The question about the meaning and purpose of life is as ancient as it is always new. It is deeply personal and worthy of lifelong, longer than life, consideration. It is also a question that shapes cultures, nations and empires. Much depends on whether we have the courage to hear this question and allow it to search out our future as a country. I am convinced that the question of the Tsimshian chief – Why are you here? – now addresses us as a country. For we are all here and we are all now, Indigenous peoples, settlers and newcomers. This remains and must become even more our question together: Why are we here at this time and in this place called Canada?”
This program model will hire from our Interfaith partners Partner Program Coordinators to animate this way forward.
Five Oaks’ vision is of Partner Program Coordinators working together to develop program initiatives for the diverse communities which Five Oaks serves and seeks to serve. These include those who are included in Mary Jo Leddy’s designations of ‘indigenous people’, ‘settler’ and ‘newcomers’ and those who would not necessarily identify with these terms. Five Oaks, which in its historical roots was primarily a ‘settler’ culture, has been developing ongoing relationships with the Indigenous community (primarily at Six Nations but also more recently with the Mississauga of the New Credit) and with the Muslim community, primarily in Brantford and the GTA. Five Oaks seeks to broaden and deepen its intercultural, interfaith, and multi-spiritual presence and programming. Interested candidates are invited to explore with us the way forward in this uncharted and complex endeavor, and demonstrate a commitment to Five Oaks’ mission, values and strategic priorities.
Summary of Duties and Responsibilities
- Must all have a demonstrated understanding of Indigenous sovereignty, migrant rights and Muslim faith principles.
- To animate the Five Oaks vision by bringing together the vision of being an Interfaith/Intercultural community by supporting existing partners and inviting new ones and by encouraging suitable program development for all ages and all peoples.
- To animate the principle of mercy, compassion and justice which are foundational to interfaith work and to work amidst the full breadth of the Muslim, Christian and Indigenous experience – across intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class – can engage with Five Oaks and its vision.
- To work alongside (two) complimentary Partner Program Coordinators offering programming that reflects ‘Indigenous’, ‘settler’, and ‘newcomer’ streams, and to offer opportunities in collaboration for cross stream programming that is in line with the current program direction as set by the Board of Directors and Executive Director.
- To work under conditions of pandemic and increased awareness of racial injustice to generate relevant, timely, adaptable, responsive program models for racial justice.
- This position is a one-year contract position, with an opportunity for extension and growth of hours dependent on achievements and deliverables.
Partnership Support and Recruitment:
- Meet with faith and spiritual communities and with Interfaith and First Nations organizations to promote the Five Oaks vision and their use of the Five Oaks facilities.
- Seek out potential leaders, supporters and programs among our partners.
- Meet the needs of our existing faith and cultural partners so they feel welcome and comfortable through such services as appropriate dietary requirements, accommodation, prayer room, visual arts, sacred sites, sacred artifacts or scripture, etc.
- Seek new faith, spiritual and cultural partners.
- Meet with faith and spiritual communities and with Interfaith and “First Nation Organizations, Communities, and Communities of Faith” to promote the Five Oaks vision and their use of the Five Oaks facilities. (In order to reach a variety of potential users of the Centre these are all areas that can be approached)
This work would be accomplished with the support of the Partner Program Team.
In Collaboration with Partner Program Coordinators, Maintain Interfaith/Intercultural Vision for Five Oaks Programming:
- Oversee the vision of Five Oaks programs as an Interfaith/Intercultural centre, ensuring that the spiritual, educational and leadership development needs of its different constituencies are well served.
- Create and facilitate new pathways and opportunities for engagement, especially with communities for whom the idea of “retreat” and the use of and partnership with a center like Five oaks is new or emerging.
- Regularly plan and evaluate the overall vision for Five Oaks programming in consultation with the Partner Program Team.
- Develop programs that generate enough revenue to cover the cost of the Interfaith Program Model.
- Enhance private retreat options for individuals.
- Promote the “call for programs” model with a clear outline of program expectations to fulfill the Five Oaks vision.
- Where necessary, help potential program leaders fill out the “call for programs” forms and ensure programs are well prepared, presented, staffed and evaluated; appropriately budgeted and funded; effectively promoted.
- If the “call for programs” model is not attracting a balance of programming to fulfill the Five Oaks vision, develop Five Oaks programs that do so with the support of the Executive Director, the Partner Program Team, and our Partners, recruiting leaders, planning program outlines, using the call for programs format to deal with details of their travel, accommodation and program costing in consultation with the Program Administrator.
- Schedule the programs on the Five Oaks calendar in consultation with the Program Administrator and Bookings Coordinator.
- Ensure all programs are adequately promoted through the Five Oaks website, Newsletters, social media, newsletters and Interfaith/Intercultural media.
- Ensure the creation of a flyer or other print material for each program and its appropriate distribution.
- Build partnership with individuals, organizations, organizing spaces and media within Muslim and Indigenous communities to amplify, lift the awareness and promote Five Oaks programming.
- Create relationships beyond mere marketing to tell the story of Five Oaks, its vision and diverse programming.
Program Support and Evaluation
- Communicate program offerings to the Grand River Bookstore Manager to ensure the resources for programs are available to participants and leaders.
- Ensure, along with the Program Administrator, that all Five Oaks staff are prepared for the program:
- Booking reservation information is available to hospitality staff
- Arrange with the Financial Administrator for payments of honoraria and travel reimbursement.
- Give a list of room set-up needs to Housekeeping Coordinator with diagram of the room set-up.
- Ensure programs are evaluated taking into account the feedback of the participants and leaders. With Program Administrator, collect contact information of each participant so that it can be included in a Five Oaks mailing list.
- Work with potential program leaders and the Fund-Raising and Donor Development team to develop, write and complete grant applications and solicit donations for Five Oaks programs.
- Consult with the Financial Administrator about the granting of Five Oaks bursaries (which enable participants to attend programs) and the allocation of funds designated for programs (for example, Ferns Endowment, Craig Peters Fund).
- Engage with and build a broader funding base which draws on all of Five Oaks’ family of faith communities and partners.
Five Oaks encourages involvement of volunteers to support the mission of the Centre. The Partner Program Coordinator will recruit and support volunteers that relate to the work of this position.
Other areas of Responsibility
- Be aware of current trends in Interfaith issues, Truth & Reconciliation work, church and mosque leadership, theology, biblical studies, spiritual deepening, etc.
- Liaise with staff of other United Church Centres; with congregations and the new structures of the denomination; with other faith and Interfaith organizations.
- Expand relationships with Muslim and Indigenous community organizations, movements, organizing spaces, student communities, with a special emphasis on engaging marginalized and racialized groups.
- Be attentive to the Five Oaks membership and maintain a network of support for people connected with Five Oaks, such as youth ministry practitioners, spiritual directors and volunteer leaders.
- Fulfill other emergent duties as part of the Five Oaks staff team.
educator and facilitator leadership development
mature decision maker works well in a team environment
creative problem solver good communication skills, both written and oral
independent worker organizational and program design
computer and digital: Microsoft Office suite including Publisher, PowerPoint; familiarity with social media engagement
respects and relates well with people from diverse faith, cultural, age and human sexuality backgrounds
flexible schedule including working overnight and weekends when required
Education and/or Experience
- Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience and/or theological training,
- Knowledge and experience of experiential and adult learning principles,
- Training and experience in education with all ages,
- Familiarity with Interfaith work,
- Experience engaging meaningfully Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities,
- Track record of engaging with Muslim communities and/or issues and concerns,
- Experience of organizing with and within Muslim communities will be looked at favourably,
- Knowledge of Indigenous traditions, culture, values and rights in particular, the nations that reside within the boundaries of the province of Ontario,
- A solid understanding of First Nation issues and programs and be astute in recognizing the diversity from Nation to Nation,
- Understand the history and relationship between First Nations and the Crown and be versed in the Treaty relationship,
- Knowledge of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the articles of the United Nations Declaration on Aboriginal Peoples, the Royal Proclamation, the Indian Act, the Doctrine of Discovery and the fiduciary responsibilities of the Crown(s)
The Partner Program Coordinators report to and is directly supervised by the Executive Director, and in their absence, the Chair of the Board. The relationship between staff and Board of Directors is founded on a basis of honesty and mutual respect. It is understood that the Partner Program Animator and management team are there to support and uphold the mission of Five Oaks Education and Retreat Centre, and in this regard, are working together toward the same goal. A vulnerable sector records check will be required.
This offer is conditional upon the results of a vulnerable sector police records search to be provided by you, which must be satisfactory to Five Oaks in its sole discretion.
Hours of Work
This position will be 10-15 hours per week as negotiated upon hiring. Shifts are scheduled mainly during the day between 8am am to 6pm. You will be required to work some weekends and/or holidays per month, based on business demands or as needed on-call as negotiated.
All relevant aspects of this position will be carried out and supervised in compliance with human rights legislation and employment equity objectives as set out by the Ontario Employment Standards Act.
This position is a one-year contract position, with an opportunity for extension and growth of hours dependent on achievements and deliverables.
Five Oaks is committed to all aspects of the principle of equity in employment. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates.
Date of Revision: October 22, 2020