Welcome to New Waters.
Listen in on a genuine conversation about where we’re finding ourselves as the church in Canada.
Designed for church leaders and ministry workers who are hungry to know how to navigate the sea of change we find ourselves in, the New Waters podcast will help you ask big questions and lead thoughtfully. Our desire is to equip you to engage with faith today in our current time and space in Canada.
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Episode 1 | This Cultural Moment: Missing the Mark or Missing Out?
In the first episode of the New Waters podcast, our participants discuss this cultural moment: the complicated relationship of the church and culture, the kinds of questions people are asking today, and the extent to which the church’s voice is valued in society - if at all. Pulling in issues of identity, gender, and technology, this episode will help you pursue better conversations about how to be the church in this cultural moment.
Season One Participants
VIJAY KRISHNAN | Lead Pastor at Upper Room Community Church in Vaughan, ON
As a young adult, both in business school and corporate life, Vijay encountered many people who found the church to be an obstruction - rather than a pathway - to finding God. His conviction was that many people had walked away from a Jesus they had never even met. This set him on a path to be part of, and eventually pastor, a community of faith who were fixed on introducing the unchurched, de-churched and post-everything people of the Greater Toronto Area to Jesus. Vijay contributes thoughtful, whole-hearted insights as part of the table.
DOM RUSO | Lead Pastor at the180 Church in Laval, QC
Hailing from la Belle Province, where he pastors a vibrant New Venture in Greater Montreal, Dom describes himself as "the friendliest" of our Season One podcast participants. Dom's early faith experiences came from going to a Roman Catholic Church and later experiencing an added understanding of his faith within a Protestant context. The richness of this upbringing led to numerous questions which eventually drew him to making a commitment to follow Jesus and pursue pastoral ministry. With a PhD in historical theology, Dom lends a forward-thinking, thoughtful, and assertive (read: Italian), voice to our conversation.
JOANNE BEACH | Director of Alliance Justice and Compassion in Toronto, ON
Joanne directs the relief and development department of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. With a Master’s of Theological Studies (with a focus on International and Urban Development), she has traveled to over 50 countries, allowing her to experience what God is doing in many different cultures and contexts of ministry. With an obvious heart for the marginalized, she advocates for the church's special role in remembering and serving the neglected as part of Season One.
JOSH KOH | Pastor at Fraser Lands Church in Vancouver, BC
With Chinese parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan and Malaysia, Josh was raised in Chicago and is American by nationality. After completing his Bachelor's degree at Wheaton he pursued his Master's of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, where he is now settled and holds the role of Pastor of English Ministry at a multilingual church. He explains part of his calling as a desire to preach the gospel in a clear and life-giving way to his generation - a generation which is exiting the church in large numbers. Josh contributes his mindful perspectives as part of Season One.
LEE BEACH | Associate Professor at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, ON
Lee is an Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. With 22+ years serving in pastoral ministry, a scholarly passion for "exilic spirituality," and time serving with a new church initiative in Ancaster, Lee is not unfamiliar with what it means for the church to grapple with new things. Lee offers his insights into developing a hopeful and prophetic imagination as he guides the conversation in Season One.
NATHAN WESELAKE | Lead Pastor at Prairie Alliance Church in Portage la Prairie, MB
Following the completion of a BA in Political Science and a Master's of Christian Studies at Regent College, Nathan decided to move home to rural Manitoba before pursuing postgraduate studies. He took on what he thought was a temporary pastoral position and now, 17 years later, he is still (happily) a pastor! With strong leadership skills and a passion for communicating the narrative of Scripture, Nathan lends his keen insights to our Season One conversation. Nathan is also currently rediscovering the prominent role of his ancestors in reconciliation among the Metis nation in Manitoba.