THE GO PROJECT
Vision: Faith-filled generations that transform communities
Mission: Creating welcoming programs for children, youth and leaders that support spiritual development, community building and opportunities to put faith and love into action
We believe that:
- Young people have the gifts, knowledge, insights and drive to transform their communities and the world,
- Inclusion, justice-seeking and community building are at the core of our identity as Christians and is what propels us unto action in our lives,
- Only through an intentional cycle of reflection and action can youth discern, strengthen and live out their values; and,
- This process requires a psychologically safe environment, individual reflection and discernment, diversity of thought and perspective that challenges existing perceptions
In 2007, the youth group of Islington United Church and their minister, Michael Shewburg, began planning for a mission trip overseas. Like many other young people, they sought an experience which would allow them to create change, grow together in faith, and learn more about the world around them.
Finding a partner organization whose values and understanding of theology matched with theirs proved to be difficult, however. Coupled with a growing awareness of the many areas of need in their own community, they decided to create their own service and learning experience in Toronto, and The GO Project was born.
In the 13 years since, The GO Project has facilitated youth programs in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Stratford, Montréal, Halifax, St. John’s, and of course, at Islington United Church in Toronto. 2014 saw the introduction of our Children’s Adventure Camps, which are less intensive than the youth programs, but also strive to help participants recognize how they can create change in the world using their unique gifts and abilities, all while living in community and serving as God’s hands and feet in the world. As of 2019, these week-long day camps have been hosted by faith communities in over twenty-five cities and towns across Canada.
All GO Project programs are safe and affirming spaces for participants, staff, and community members who identify as LGBTQ+, are of racial or cultural minorities, are questioning their faith, longing for a place to belong, and are of all physical and intellectual abilities.
We still call Islington United Church home and have two year-round staff who work in our office; Alana Martin, who serves as Minister to The GO Project, and Bailey Fleming, who serves as Program Director. The GO Project relies on the leadership and gifts of other staff and volunteers within the whole church community to help us offer inspiring, engaging, and meaningful programming.
Children’s Adventure Camps
Go Your Own Way