theUNDERGROUND Fall Retreat is just around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited!! There is something so significant about retreats. They leave a lasting impact in so many ways – from friendships formed while taking the bus up, memories made while exploring nature and playing ridiculous games, to significant life-change that comes out of moments of reflection, teaching, worship and intentional discussion with trusted leaders and friends.

There are a ton of fun elements in store for this fall retreat!

  • A ridiculous amount of candy – we know it’s Halloween weekend… my theory is that candy is made @ Muskoka Woods! ;)
  • Fall Fair on Saturday afternoon – complete with cotton candy, games, pumpkin decorating, caramel apples & more!
  • Masquerade Ball theme dinner on Saturday – a chance to dress up & have fun together over a meal!
  • Star Search site competition & dance party!
  • Fantastic indoor & outdoor ‘options’ on Saturday too – skate park, climbing wall, giant games, etc!
  • So much more – you’ll have to ask your kids when they come home!

Alongside that, we are excited about what we’ll be talking about throughout the weekend. Our theme is “Unmasked”. We recognize that students these days are faced with pressures and expectations around who they are “supposed” to be, how they’re meant to act, dress, etc. In the world we live in, it can be so easy to put on masks, to present who we think others want us to be, instead of really discovering and embracing our identity in Christ. That’s what we’re going to be exploring together over this weekend – the masks we wear, and what it might look like to be vulnerable, to remove the masks and live in the identity God has given us as His children. We’re excited to have Chris Tompkins as our guest speaker on the Saturday evening!

Our hope and prayer is that every student comes away from this retreat having had an incredible time, with fun stories to share, knowing they are loved and having had the opportunity to take a step closer in their relationship with God.

You can register for the retreat @ and friends are always welcome!!

Please be in touch with your site youth coordinator if you have any questions at all. We can’t wait!! :)

Jolt back to life Sept 9/10

Hey theUNDERGROUND!  Don’t miss our big fall kickoff nights next week!   This is going to be an incredible year.   We are so pumped




On the verge of something great


Every year around this time the staff and leaders at theUNDERGROUND start getting this unbearably excited feeling.  From years of experience it only means one thing….  theUNDERGROUND kickoff is right around the corner and we could not be more excited for the amazing year that is to come!
We have tons of expectation that God is going to do some very awesome things in our community this year and we are in prayer together for our students and leaders as we approach September.

We pray that:

1. God would prepare the hearts of both our students & leaders – to come expecting to grow as individuals and a whole community this year

2. That God would prepare us to be lights in our schools and wherever God has us this coming year

3. That students would discover the incredible gifts God has placed in their lives and put those to work for His glory

4. That we, as students and leaders, would be prepared to help make theUNDERGROUND an amazing place to invite friends who aren’t yet connected!

Would you join together to pray for us as staff, leaders and students as we prepare to launch theUNDERGROUND this fall!?

Can’t wait until September 9/10.  It’s going to be awesome!!

Tweet/Instagram/Facbook your favorite thing about theUNDERGROUND and hashtag #theUGfallkickoff

What to read this summer (for parents)

Hey Parents!  If your looking for something to read this summer that will help you grow in your cultural understanding, parenting skills and relationship with your kids check the latest parent blog post over at our parent blog.

Leadership Transition

For those connected to theUNDERGROUND community we wanted to share some news with you.

With lots of prayer and discernment Phil Prendergast has decided to step out of the Youth Support Pastor role overseeing the youth ministry and take on the exciting role as the Lead Pastor of The Meeting House London.  He will work with the existing community in London to build towards a full site launch sometime in 2015. Although we are sad Phil is transitioning away from leading theUNDERGROUND we are excited for him to become a lead pastor in our community.  As some of you know Phil is from the London area and this is a big win for him and his family. He will continue to work with theUNDERGROUND team well into the fall as we launch into another exciting school year.

So now what?

We are really excited to announce that Sarah Stanley will be moving into the Youth Support Pastor role in a 1-year interim basis. Sarah has done an excellent job of leading the Jr High Ministry in Oakville for the past 4 years. She has a passion for leadership development, while asserting strong administrative and leadership skills. She will be transitioning over the summer months.

Lisa Ball has been the youth support associate pastor for 3 years and has proven herself as a strong leader with many gifts. She will be moving into a new role as the Oakville Jr High Pastor. Lisa will do an awesome job of continuing to build the Jr High ministry and reaching many students for Jesus.


theUNDERGROUND is a huge priority for our church and we want to make sure we have the very best leadership in place to continue to disciple students and reach youth who are far from Jesus. We have experienced growth and momentum in the past few years and we want to see that continue. Please continue to pray for our youth leadership across all our sites.


Summer Leadership Development Trip!

Apply online



This summer, we have the exciting opportunity to partner with Muskoka Woods to host CITYCAMP  at our Oakville location. This will be an incredible chance to grow in your faith, as you learn to serve and lead with other Jr. and Sr. High students from across all of our Meeting House locations.

Students in Grades 7-12, and those interested in helping lead this trip, are welcome to apply today at This trip comes at a cost of $200 per person.


Muskoka Woods is a Christian youth resort that welcomes all young people to life changing experiences. Camp guests choose from water sports and athletics, media and arts, leadership and team building programs. Muskoka Woods operates all year round on Lake Rosseau and in the GTA as a non-profit youth organization. Our skilled staff are selected for their trustworthy character, ability with children and love for their Creator. Muskoka Woods is a safe place where kids grow mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. A place where creativity reigns, friendships flourish and confidence grows. FUN IS OUR TRADEMARK!

To learn more,


CITYCAMP a mobile day camp operating in neighbourhoods throughout the GTA this summer.

At CITYCAMP, kids entering Grades 1-6 get five full days of Muskoka Woods right in their hometown. Here, guests participate in a wide variety of day camp activities delivered at their community church, school or park. Take a ride down our water slide, climb up spider mountain, take aim at the archery targets and create a masterpiece in arts and crafts. There is something for everyone at CITYCAMP!

To learn more, visit



CITYCAMP is a place where creativity reigns, friendships flourish and confidence grows. It’s a place where kids can be kids; discovering new possibilities and endless adventures. The goal of CITYCAMP is to inspire youth to shape their world through a safe, fun summer camp experience. By partnering with CITYCAMP, we’re able to help connect families in our community with one another and our church.



1) Hands-On Serving Opportunities

We will be supporting the Muskoka Woods staff, as they run CITYCAMP for children in our community. These kids come from a variety of backgrounds, many of whom will not have attended our church.

This is our chance to connect with hundreds of elementary students from the Oakville/Mississauga region. We’ll create a safe space where they can grow in confidence, make new friends, and share on topics like personal values, character formation and Christian beliefs. Most importantly, we’ll help CITYCAMP guests have an unforgettable week of summer camp.

2) Learning to Lead

During this trip, we will take part in leadership-development training through workshops, guest speakers, service projects, team building challenges and more.


This team will be composed of up to 35 Jr. and Sr High students and five leaders.  If more than 35 students apply, preference will be given to Jr High students, as this is their only service trip opportunity with The Meeting House.

This trip is a cross-regional experience; we have opened the application process up to students in grades 7-12 across all of The Meeting House sites.


During the day, theUNDERGROUND Leadership Development Team will serve alongside Muskoka Woods staff to facilitate CITYCAMP at our Oakville site.

In the evening, the team will take part in various learning opportunities, including: team building, serving the marginalized, hands on projects, and learning from experienced leaders. We will also participate in musical worship, evening devotional times, and receive training from Muskoka Woods staff to improve our leadership skills.


A reflection from Camden

This year I had the opportunity to go to Camden, NJ. I was nervous and excited to go. New place, new people but nevertheless excited to see how  God was working in this city. It’s hard to choose my FAVOURITE highlight but I think having Devotion every morning with the Urban Promise staff is something I look forward to every year. I am baffled each time with the commitment and love the staff have for these kids. Humility is something we often talked about. ” Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less” and that is exactly what the staff do. It takes humility to do the lame jobs or the jobs where you live in a city with broken people, a city with drug and violence and corruption issues. It takes humility to have JOY in those jobs. When I got home I looked up the difference in Joy and Happiness. “Happiness is an emotion where you experience feelings from contentment to bliss or temporary pleasure.Joy is a stronger, a less common feeling than happiness. Witnessing or achieving selflessness to the point of personal sacrifice frequently triggers this emotion. Being connected to God or to others in a great cause. ” I believe Joy and Love go hand in hand.I constantly saw Joy and Love in the staff members over the week, I constantly saw beauty in the broken, my heart was constantly over flowing with Joy, Faith, Hope and Love. But the best of these was Love.

1071206_280123548818234_1325744561_o Sarah is one of our core Sr. High students in our Uptown Toronto Youth Ministry.  She’s always got a smile on her face and is so full of joy.  Thankful for the ways she invests in other peoples lives. 

Updates from our compassion teams!

Camden Update:

Camden has been such a blast so far! We arrived at around 7pm Sunday night and had pizza for dinner and our first worship night as a team. Monday morning we were up bright and early to meet the other work teams and get some orientation from the urban promise leadership. After an intro to UP, we were given an interesting yet thought provoking and challenging tour of the city and its neighbourhoods, a mass grave of still born babies from a heroin and cocaine crisis in the mid eighties, UP’s Boat Works where kids learn how to build canoes and kayaks, and general information about the city and its history and demographics. The afternoon was spent preparing for Junior High Olympics and we closed with another evening of worship.

Tuesday we opened the day with a devotional led by the principal of Urban Promise Forward School, then work projects before lunch and the first day of Olympics – Spirit Day – consisting of team building challenges. Our evening was filled by a screening and discussion of The Sunset Limited.

Today, Wednesday, was begun with more work projects around campus before kicking off day two of Olympics – Mental Day – featuring fear factor style challenges. We are now preparing for Youth Night (similar to The Underground).

We look forward to Physical Day of  Olympics and meeting up with the Wilmington team tomorrow before wrapping up Olympics and a trip into Philadelphia and the journey home.


Wilmington Update:

We’ve had such an awesome week so far!  We’ve been serving with the kids at camp freedom and doing various projects around the city and the camp.  Here’s a little glimpse of what we’ve been up too!

IMG_1937 Here’s Alison and MIchael scrubbing the grease off the doors of camp freedom on tuesday morning

IMG_7046Here’s Alison and Rahman doing after school program homework

IMG_2002 Matt Wells getting beat at a game of pickup basketball!


IMG_7756 Our team having lunch in the park yesterday.  NO SNOW HERE :)


March Break Compassion Trip!


We’ve raised money, planned the details, packed our bags and now the day is here to head down to Urban Promise for a life changing week of serving others.   Our grade 9/10 students head to Wilmington Deleware and our grade 11/12 students head to Camden New Jersey.  The mission of Urban Promise USA  has been to equip children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and leadership. They strive to fulfill this mission through after-school programs, summer camps, schools, experiential learning, job training, and a host of other programs that challenge youth to develop and realize their potential.  The neighbourhoods in which Urban Promise find themselves are economically struggling and the kids don’t have access to many resources to better their future, this is where Urban Promise fills the gap.  Our teams will be doing a variety of different jobs around the city as well as building relationships with children at the march break day camps.  

Ways you can pray:

- amazing attitudes of selfless service for God
- the children we will be working with
- that God uses this experience to grow our students spiritually
- that we get many opportunities to love people in the neighbourhoods we are serving
- unity in our teams
- safety

We have limited wifi but we are going to do our best to do more updates from both trips this week!  Check back!

SPRING RETREAT: INVITE: You have a place at the table

forwebINVITEOne of the most exciting things we do every April is pack our bags, join our friends, jump on a bus and head up to Muskoka Woods!  Its an amazing experience as we join together from across all our 14 sites as one big family.  Over 500 students and leaders pack the place, it’ll send chills down your spin!  Our next Spring Retreat is coming up quickly April 11-13th.  Our theme is INVITED: You have a place at the table.  You won’t want to miss this!  Get registered as quickly as possible to get the early bird pricing. 





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