2018 TrueCity Conference Speakers

Introducing this year’s TrueCity Conference Speakers!

Friday Evening

Jeff NevenExecutive Director of Indwell

For 17 years, Jeff has worked with the Indwell team to grow a charity serving just seven people into one that provides affordable housing with supports to more than 450 people, with 200 more housing units in the works. The current Executive Director of Indwell, Jeff lives with his wife Maria and their children in Hamilton’s Crown Point neighbourhood, where they are active in the community.  Ten years ago, Jeff and Maria helped to plant New Hope Church that meets in Indwell’s Perkins Centre on Main Street East.  Recently, Jeff and his son Isaac led the Crown Point Youth Council in proposing and developing the Gage Park Bike Pump Track. Jeff is the co-founder and board president of New Hope Community Bikes and serves on several other committees relating to housing and homelessness prevention. He holds a Masters of Social Work in Community, Policy, Planning and Organizations from Wilfred Laurier University.

Saturday Kids Conference

Natalie FriskCurriculum Developer at The Meeting House

Natalie Frisk is the curriculum pastor at The Meeting House. The curriculum produced by The Meeting House is used by a number of churches from True City, and is being accessed by hundreds of churches in various countries. Natalie is also content curator of The Parent BlogNatalie lives with her husband, Sam, their daughter, Erin, and Goldie – the fish that won’t die – in Hamilton. They’re all big fans of Hamilton. Saturday Morning

Greg TedescoSocial Worker and Housing Advocate 

Greg is a proud Hamiltonian, continuously striving to support the ongoing development of our city to be a place where all are welcomed, included and valued. A social worker, advocate for the right to housing, and believer in the power of community, he is interested in issues around community development & neighbourhood change. Greg lives in the Strathcona neighbourhood and can often be found: walking or biking around downtown, cooking Italian food, drinking coffee or playing tennis (although not all at once)!

Bernadette Arthur, Community Developer. 

Bernadette Arthur is a Beasley neighbour and a proud Hamiltonian.  She intentionally moved to Hamilton in 2015 after being offered a position as a Race Relations Coordinator with the Christian Reformed Church in North America.  When considering relocation, she was attracted to Hamilton because of its strong history with citizen-led neighbourhood development, inter-church collaborations and its thriving prayer movement. She trains, consults and coaches on the strategies of ABCD in community based and faith-based settings in Canada and also the U.S.. Bernadette was vital to the facilitation of TrueCity’s faith-based ABCD learning events and the co-designer and lead implementer of the Neighbourhood Listening Project.

Jeanette EbyNeighbourhood Organizer

Jeanette is a resident of the downtown  Beasley neighbourhood and has been a member of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association for 11 years. She is a part of the Commons Church and works in community mental health with an amazing team. She loves Hamilton and it’s people and is committed to being part of the work to ensure this city is a place where everyone is valued and can live in community with dignity. And very importantly she is always up for a good dance party!

Brian DijkemaProgram Director: Work and Economics (Cardus)

Brian Dijkema is program director for Work and Economics at Cardus, a Hamilton based think-tank, and a member of First Christian Reformed Church. Along with colleagues, Brian has done extensive research on payday lending reform in Canada, and has been involved in applying that research to reform in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba, as well as in the city of Hamilton. His work at Cardus also explores the theological implications of money, lending, and debt, and how our views of God and the human person are made manifest by our use of money.

Seán McGuirePastor at Wentworth Baptist Church 

Seán McGuire is the Lead Pastor at Wentworth Baptist Church, a diverse intergenerational congregation that worships, disciples, sends, and serves from the corner of Wentworth and Cannon. After working in the field of Science Communication for a decade, Seán moved from Sudbury, ON to Hamilton in 2011 to purse postsecondary education and quickly fell in love with the city. He holds a Master of Divinity in Theological Studies from McMaster Divinity College. Seán and his wife Jessica live in the International Village, and are preparing to welcome their first child to the world in August.

Alison WittRefugee Advocate

Alison has worked amongst immigrants and refugees in Hamilton for over 15 years and has been involved with the TrueCity network since the very beginning. This has shaped her life and her faith in profound ways. She is committed to seeing local churches fulfill their call to welcome the foreigner and pursue reconciliation. Currently she works with the International Association for Refugees (www.iafr.org) a Christian ministry focused on helping people survive and recover from forced displacement.

Graeme Kirk, Pastor at Bethany Gospel Chapel 

Graeme Kirk is a pastor at Bethany Gospel Chapel in the Stipley neighbourhood of Central, East Hamilton.  Along with his wife Jen and children, Emily, Ruby and Finn, he lives in a/the white house two blocks East of Gage Park.  He’s fond of preaching, catering seniors dinners (less dietary stipulations), board games, coaching Delta SS football, classic Newsboys albums and youth ministry; not necessarily in that order.  Graeme has been involved with the TrueCity movement from the jump and is excited for what God will do this year though “churches together for the good of the city.”