Faith, Art and Activism

For the fifth year, St Stephen’s is collaborating with the Trinity College Chaplaincy and the Student Christian Movement to present a month-long series of events dealing with the intersections, relationships and tensions between faith, artistic expression, and social justice work. A few events are still being worked out, but here, subject to small changes, is our schedule:

The Monday night group will be talking about how we move through, use, and occupy space with our bodies in both political and religious actions. On Monday September 11th, we’ll be looking at rallies, marches, and what it means to “take the streets”; on September 18th, we’ll consider processions and pilgrimages; on September 25th, we’ll look at occupations and blockades; and on October 2nd, we’ll talk about ways of creating sacred space.

Saturday September 16th, St Stephen’s: Early music benefit concert

Wednesday September 20, Hearing the Word, 7 pm, Rigby Room, St Hilda’s, Trinity College — a panel discussion looking at the many and varied ways in which Christians, Muslims, and secular literary people “receive the Word” (sacred scriptures, other devotional and literary texts, through public and private reading, chanting, more complex musical treatment, “enactment”, and other practices which convey important texts to their intended audiences; also, how those audiences respond to what they hear. Andrew Winchur will moderate a panel, with the Reverend Andrea Budgey, Dr Shabir Ally of the Islamic Information and Dawa Centre, and Banoo Zan, curator of the Shab-e She’r reading series.

Thursday September 21, St Stephen’s, 6:30 pm: Screening of Low-Down Tracks, a documentary by Shelley Saywell and Lorraine Segato, featuring the music and stories of marginalized people in Toronto. There will also be live musical entertainment. A project of our Street Souls All-Night Safe Space.

Saturday September 23: A Pinch of Salt: Everyone belongs in the kitchen, St Andrew’s by the Lake, Toronto Island, 9 am to 5 pm.The Student Christian Movement is starting off the year with a day of building skills for change! Join us for conversation, crafts, and cooking, active nonviolence training with Christian Peacemaker Teams, and anti-oppression exercises and reflection.
Registration $25 (includes lunch and ferry). Location is wheelchair accessible. Register at

Saturday September 23, St Stephen’s, 7 pm: War in the Neighbourhood, with Seth Tobocman! Seth’s classic graphic novel, War in the Neighbourhood, is a powerful and politically incisive story of the community battle against gentrification in New York’s Lower East Side, which has recently be re-issued by Ad Astra Comix. We’ll welcome Seth, who will talk about the book, along with speakers from the Kensington Market community to talk about tenant resistance here.

Tuesday September 26: Shab’e She-r Poetry Night, St Stephen’s, 6:30 pm with feature poets Janet Marie Rogers and Cole Forrest, and an open mike. $5 at the door.

Thursday September 28, 7 pm, Trinity College, George Ignatieff Theatre: A workshop on drumming as an ensemble, with the St Stephen’s resident drum group, Samba Elegua.

September 30th, 9 pm to October 1st, 6 am: Nuit Blanche installation at Trinity College Chapel, more details soon

Sunday October 1: Evensong, St Stephen’s, 7 pm

Wednesday October 4: Blessing of animals, 7 pm, St Stephen’s (front lawn at College and Bellevue) — We do not live on this earth alone; we share it with all the other animals of God’s creation. On the feast of St Francis, we take the time to acknowledge our relationships with and dependence upon God’s non-human creatures, and to commit ourselves to stewardship of our common world.

All events are free, though donations are always welcome.

For more information, contact: