Exploring Spirituality through Creative Arts

MGOSSSUC offers a program for youth, called Many Gifts One Spirit. Our intent is to present our children and youth with ways to meet and explore their spiritual nature in community. Our unique expression in this world is as personal as our fingerprint. Through the arts, Many Gifts One Spirit acknowledges, supports, and nurtures the personal voice of our youth.

Who is welcome? All children and youth from four to sixteen years old living in the Kingston area are welcome.  Invite your friends, neighbors, cousins! There is no obligation for regular weekly sessions—join us when you can. You will always be welcome.

Where do we meet? At Sydenham Street United Church, one of Kingston’s historic churches in the heart of Kingston. Come in through the William Street door, go through the door in front of you, we gather in the chapel (the first door on the left hand side).

When do we meet? Children ages nine to thirteen meet every Monday, 4:00 pm till 5:30 pm. Children ages four to eight meet on Sunday mornings from 10:30 till 11:30 during our regular worship service.

Why are we doing this? Our youth and children are the future in action now! Nurturing the spirit offers creative options for personal expression. In a busy world, Many Gifts One Spirit is a place for a young person to form positive relationships, discover, develop, and showcase unique gifts, and share ideas with friends. Personal experience with brilliant artists who work in our community and abroad can be life changing. The beauty around us and within us can be found in the turn of a phrase, the singing of a song, an image created.

How do we plan our program? By listening to the interests of our members. By providing a place for young people to meet their friends and make new friends, a place where they can eat together, have fun, discover and create beauty, discuss big ideas or what happened at school that day, hang out in a positive and supportive environment.

Some Examples of Our Activities

Job ProductionIn 2010, Many Gifts One Spirit presented the music drama Jonah, an intergenerational musical by renowned Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. The next year MGOS received a $9000 grant to commission and produce an original work, "JōB – A Cosmic Tapestry", based on the old testament story of Job.

In August, 2010, MGOS hosted a wonderful camp featuring Ghanaian dancing and drumming expert Kathy Armstrong. Joining Kathy as facilitators were Ghanaian dancer and drummer Kofi Duanyo, Kingston musician and teacher Andy Rush, and Northumberland County visual artist Alice VanderVennen. Check out our blog mariemgos.blogspot.com for pictures, a small video, and description of our summer camp.

Building on the success of the two R. Murray Schafer productions of the last few years, two weekend workshops were presented in 2011/12.

Gary Diggins led “Darkness and Light: a seasonal journey” in which the creation of and listening to sounds provided a joyful, transformative community experience for the 30 participants. This led to a second workshop "Sacred Circle: Thresholds in the Human Cycle".

In February 2012, Kathy Armstrong of the Baobab Community (see www.baobabtree.org) led about 30 participants in a workshop of Ghanaian drumming, dancing and singing. Again, Kathy and some of the participants participated in the church service the next day. On the Saturday evenings of the workshop weekends, after a group potluck dinner, both Kathy and Gary talked with workshop participants about their work in using the arts in social justice and community development.

Highlights of the JōB Presentation

Messy Church