We are excited to announce uplift 2024, a gathering of youth, young adults and church leaders under the banner of Audacious Hope.

Presbyterian Audacious Hope graphic

2 Corinthians 3:12
With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back.


July 3–7, 2024


Brock University
(St. Catharines, ON)


$625 includes accommodations, meals and programming

What is uplift?

As in the past with previous CY (now known as uplift) gatherings, there will be three streams at the conference: Youth (ages 14-18), Young Adults (ages 18-25) and Leadership (ages 18+).

Each stream will focus on that group’s unique needs and faith expression, exploring Audacious Hope through activities, learning, worship, prayer, relationship building and fun. The whole gathering will worship, play, and dine together.

The Streams

As in the past with previous CY (now known as uplift) gatherings, there will be three streams at the conference: Youth (ages 14-18), Young Adults (ages 18-25) and Leadership (ages 18+).

Each stream will focus on that group’s unique needs and faith expression, exploring Audacious Hope through activities, learning, worship, prayer, relationship building and fun. The whole gathering will worship, lay, and dine together.

Youth Stream

Here is where you’ll find activities designed for high schoolers (ages 14-18), celebrating your unique place as youth in our church and providing a landmark event in your faith journey while exploring what it means to have Audacious Hope. uplift will be fun, challenging, relaxing, exciting, exhilarating and exhausting!

Theme Time Storytellers

Sophia Kim

Sophia Kim

Sophia Kim is a student at the University of Toronto who is enrolled in the Literature and Critical Theory program for her Bachelor’s degree. Her father, Dr. Rev. Joon Ki Kim, is a minister working for a pastoral charge at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and Little Harbour Presbyterian Church in Nova Scotia. With her deep passion for the arts, Sophia loves to write poetry, play the piano, and sing in her church choirs.

Robert Revington

Robert Revington

Robert Revington recently completed his PhD in Church History at Knox College in the University of Toronto. He is now a postdoctoral researcher at Queen’s University. He is an elder at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Aurora, and occasionally gets invited to preach in churches. Robert is also a men’s league hockey player and Hamilton Tiger-Cats season ticket holder, and once went skydiving in a Superman costume. He is excited to return to this event, since it was grown out of CY, which he attended as a youth in 2009.

Julian/King Julez

Julian/King Julez

Julian/King Julez is the chair of Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble, a national non-profit organization that works for full inclusion and affirmation of 2S-LGBTQ+ folks in religious spaces and in all of society, and a board member for Student Christian Movement. After getting a BA in Diversity and Equity, King Julez is studying their Masters of Divinity and Masters of Pastoral Studies at Emmanuel College in Toronto. Drag as a spiritual practice embodies theology and works to express understandings of God’s word in new and exciting ways while paying homage to the queer artists that paved the way so we can exist freely in the world today.

Jonisha Lewinson

Jonisha Lewinson

Jonisha Lewinson.



Torrin is a Master’s student at the Atlantic School of Theology. They research the theology of neurodivergence and are particularly interested in how these identities help us envision Christian justice. They helped form Christianity at the Margins, a justice-focused young adult church.

Dave Whitecross

Dave Whitecross

I’m Dave Whitecross. I was born in west end Toronto and grew up in a very conservative Presbyterian church there. I studied astronomy and physics at the university of Toronto, but I eventually graduated with a degree in statistics and actuarial science. Don’t ask me what actuary science is. I never really knew. My last year of university, I got called (arm twisted) by the Holy Spirit to go into the ministry, and so I studied at Knox College. For some reason they graduated me, and so I accepted my first call to ministry in Calgary. Since then I have served in Lindsay, Fergus, Dunnville and now Ottawa. There was a two year break in there after 27 years of ministry, between my calls to Fergus and Dunnville, where I came out as gay. Due to courageous leaders, the theology of the church finally opened to LGTBQ+ clergy, and so I could once again answer my call to ministry. I have been in the ministry 33 years now and still God seems to have plans for me.

Young Adult Stream

An opportunity for young adults (ages 18-25) to be truly oneself, to think deeply about your gifts, and to be empowered to be strong servant & leader. In your churches, workplace, relationships, and beyond.

Theme Time Speakers

Andrew Hyde

Andrew Hyde (he/him)

Andrew Hyde (he/him) is the Ecumenical Campus Minister at the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario). Andrew has given leadership at numerous different Rendezvous and Presbyterian Youth gatherings, and has a real interest in helping young adults find (or create) spaces of belonging and purpose in faith communities. He is the author of “My Daily Discoverment” a resource that provides 40 days of vocational discernment for young adults, and loves to engage young people about their gifts, hopes, challenges, and faith.

Spencer Edwards

Spencer Edwards (he/him)

Spencer Edwards (he/him) has been working with youth and young adults in a variety of camp, community, campus, and church contexts since he was a young adult. Spence has deep roots in the United and Presbyterian churches. He loves to help people explore who they are to discover their path. His recent role as an employment coach had him engaging with clients to navigate the changing world of work.

Leadership Stream

This stream is specially designed to consider all types of church leaders (ages 18+). If you are clergy, lay, paid, volunteer, full-time, contract or part-time leadership, the Leadership Stream will have something for you.

Theme Time Speaker

Dr. Jim Cain

Dr. Jim Cain

Teambuilding Guru Dr. Jim Cain is the author of 30 well-loved books filled with team and community building activities from around the world. His real-world in-person train-the-trainer events are legendary in the adventure-based learning community and his virtual activities are used around the world. Jim’s most recent books include: Extraordinary Facilitation, The Teambuilders Toolbox, The Adventure Trail, and Print & Play.



Adele Halliday

Adele Halliday

Adele Halliday is the Anti-Racism and Equity Lead staff at the national office of The United Church of Canada. She brings personal passion and a deep dedication to this work, and has been offering leadership for anti-racism and anti-oppression with churches in Canada and beyond for many years. In addition to her ministry with the United Church, she also is the Moderator of the World Council of Churches’ Reference Group on Overcoming Racism and Xenophobia.

She is a creative and engaging educator, and with a long history of youth ministry leadership. She was at the very first Rendez-Vous as well as subsequent ones offering workshops. Adele has also been a keynote speaker and preacher at previous Canada Youth Conferences of the Presbyterian Church, as well as the Presbyterian Church USA’s Multicultural Youth Conferences and Montreat Youth Conferences.

She is an award-winning writer, dedicated to social justice work, and is eager to create spaces of belonging for people of all identities. She loves being outside and loves to laugh.

Adele’s educational background includes a master of education as well as a master of theological studies, and she is currently studying towards a doctorate of education in social justice education.

Adele’s roots are in the Caribbean island of St Kitts, and she lives in Toronto with her family.

Mitchell Anderson

Mitchell Anderson is lead minister at St. Paul’s United Church in Saskatoon. St. Paul’s has grown rapidly during Mitchell’s leadership by innovating and expanding ministry to reach new and younger people and to welcome newcomers to Canada. In addition to his leadership at St. Paul’s, Mitchell also serves on the United Church’s national executive and as a trustee of the United Church pension plan. Mitchell was cochair for the very first ever Rendez-vous, and has supported youth ministry ever since, including launching the Saskatoon and area youth ministry, a collaborative youth ministry between 9 United Churches, in 2023.

In addition to Mitchell’s work for the church, he is also a leader in social finance. Mitchell is the board chair of Saskatchewan’s largest credit union, on the board of a credit union central, and on the advisory council to a social impact investment fund. He previously was chair of a national foundation that shifted 100% of their endowment to impact investments.

Mitchell has a diverse educational background, with an undergrad degree in gender studies, a masters of business administration, and a master of divinity. He was ordained in 2019.

Mitchell is dënesułiné and a member of the English River First Nation and lives in Saskatoon with his partner Jordan.

Mitchell Anderson

Uplifting Justice

Dr. Johonna McCants-Turner (she/her)

uplifting justice speaker: Dr Johonna McCants-Turner

Dr. Johonna McCants-Turner (she/her) is a Black feminist scholar and educator whose scholarship and teaching is deeply informed by participation in liberatory anti-violence activism. As Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College, University of Waterloo, her areas of research and teaching include restorative and transformative justice, contemporary anti-violence movements, carceral abolition, and faith-rooted organizing. Her writing is featured in several publications including Beyond Equity and Inclusion in Conflict Resolution and Colorizing Restorative Justice. Johonna is at work on her first book, Love in the Wake of Wounding: Reparative Justice and Womanist Ethics (under contract with Eerdmans Press), which turns to God-talk by womanist and Black feminist followers of Jesus as a resource for advancing a justice that repairs and resists state and intimate violence against Black women. She is a founding member of Life Comes From It, a U.S. based grant-making circle that supports community-based responses to harm led by people of color. Dr. McCants-Turner earned a PhD in American Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, and a Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Partnership with the
United Church of Canada

A new feature, uplift 2024, will run parallel with the RENDEZ-VOUS hosted by the United Church of Canada. This partnership will allow the sharing of resources, programming and lower costs.

We hope to see you there!

For more information about UPLIFT 2024 call 1-800-619-7301 ext. 255 or email the Coordinator Jessica Foy .