persevering together
in the way of jesus

MARCH 1 + 2


Welcome to this year’s truecity conference

We’re tempted to chase what is “fresh” — rapid growth and quick profit, new jobs and fresh adventures. But this constant shifting can lead to a lack of depth, both for us and for our communities.

Jesus invites us into a different way of living — a long obedience in the same direction. Persevering in the way of Jesus invites us to see God’s Kingdom come where we already are: In our neighbourhoods, our families, our work and ourselves.

TrueCity is a year-in-year-out network of churches working together for the good of the city. What does it look like to pursue this good over the long haul? Through relevant speakers, storytellers, and times of worship, this year’s TrueCity Conference will explore how God has worked over the past 15 years because of our willingness to be committed to gospel-centred relationships, and how far God can take us when we choose to persevere together in the way of Jesus.

We gather together this weekend to listen to the Holy Spirit, to follow the way of Jesus, and to become more aware of what God is doing in our city.

Thank you for being a part of this movement.

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Doors Open, Registration Begins

Worship and Session #1
(featuring Lane Fusiler)

Friday Session Ends

Afterparty at Mulberry Coffeehouse
(193 James Street North)


Doors Open
Worship and Prayer in the Sanctuary at 8:15am (optional)
Learn more about Morning Prayer

Worship and Session #2 (Storytellers)


Session #3

Lunch Break

Session #4
(featuring Jenn Arnold)

Conference 2019 Ends

Saturday for Kids

Thanks to The Meeting House for providing the kids programming this year.

Kids Drop-off
Ages 3–5 (Nursery)
Ages 6–10 (Upper Room)

Kids Pick-up
Ages 3–5 (Nursery)
Ages 6–10 (Upper Room)

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Lane Fusilier moved to Hamilton from Waco, Texas in 1999 to accept the call to pastor Philpott Memorial Church, which he did for nearly 20 years. Over that time Hamilton became home. Lane is one of the leaders who helped launch TrueCity and continues to serve as a leader for the network.

Lane retired last year and now spends his time consulting for churches, coaching and mentoring pastors, and enjoying family (grandkids!) and friends.


Natalie Frisk

Natalie Frisk is the Curriculum Pastor at the Meeting House. She has been in kids and youth ministry for over a decade, and loves helping to connect kids to Jesus. She is married to Sam, and mom to Erin. She loves Hamilton, tacos, and Jesus (not necessarily in that order!).

Curtis Sheen

Curtis Sheen is a child of the nineties, born and raised in Hamilton. He and his older brother ran circles around their mother as kids, but today Curtis serves his church, Little Bethel Community Church, in Hamilton’s East End as a youth coordinator and as a deacon. He loves watching movies, dancing, and baseball and is excited about what God has planned for his future.

Jessica Brand

Jess Brand lives, works, serves, and plays in Hamilton. With her best friend (and husband) Tim and their brood of three, Jess indwells the New Hope community. She also works for Indwell. She is a fierce grammarian and an Enneagram eight (may as well come out with it). She loves people (in measured amounts), and pursues passions with perseverance. One of those passions is to have everyone know just how much they are loved. You are loved, you are loved, you are loved. Jess also likes to cycle, run, and mountain bike, and you can generally find her somewhere in the East End.

Tracy Upham

Tracy moved to Hamilton after university to pursue God's call to work with children in an inner-city population. She lived in the Gibson/Lansdale area for many years and was involved in various programs through her church (Wentworth Baptist Church) and the local school. In the fall of 2018, God moved her family to the country so they would have more space to focus in on the ministry that happens inside their home. She currently lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, step-daughter, and many pets. She loves cooking and sleeping and is a professional at reading books to children. She also loves a good conversation and would love to have you over for tea.

Rob Hooper

In the secular world of litigation, ambulance chasers, and sensational personal injury billboards, Rob Hooper is a trained and skilled trial lawyer who sues people and institutions for a living. He also follows Jesus and wonders if there's room for forgiveness and peacekeeping in a world of irreconcilable differences.

Steve Dykstra

As a teenager, Steve Dykstra's life dream was to work in a Christian Reformed Church church somewhere in the suburbs. Since moving to Hamilton in 2003, he's had the great privilege of living and learning in urban Hamilton, alongside the amazing people who make up this TrueCity community. He's interested in community-building and the intersection of church and neighbourhood. Steve works on justice and stewardship initiatives with CRC deacons in Hamilton. He also serves on staff at Meadowlands Fellowship Christian Church, living out his childhood dream in a better way than he could have imagined. Steve is married to Gloria, a criminal defense lawyer in Hamilton, and together they have two children named Samuel (6) and Hudson (3).

Feona Johnson-Togba

Feona Johnson-Togba came to know the Lord as a child, thanks to the work of missionaries in her home country of Liberia. She was active in youth ministry, enjoyed singing, and worked as a deacon for many years before civil war changed the course of her life. She loves to cook for people, encourage others and give them hope for the future.


Jenn Arnold

Jenn Arnold is a born-and-raised Hamiltonian. She lives, works, and is a part of the St Clair church community in the Sherman Hub neighborhood. She is one of the founding team members of 541 Eatery and Exchange, a non-profit which aims to embody the hospitality of Christ by creating a space of belonging for people of all socio-economic backgrounds around good food.


Peter Tigchelaar

Peter Tigchelaar is a Hamilton minstrel and worship leader with a long association with transformation networks in the city, such as the March for Jesus, the Love Hamilton Leaders Network, GOHOP and TrueCity. As a songwriting artist, he has a passion for connecting artists to Bless the Hammer. He is a member of First CRC, and also a Benedictine Oblate.

Jesse Hill

Jesse is the Worship Arts pastor at Philpott Memorial Church. He is passionate about finding ways to express worship and faith both inside and outside the walls of the church through songwriting and other artistic expressions. In addition to directing music he also oversees the refugee sponsorship project. He and his family moved to Hamilton from Norfolk, VA; you can often find them exploring the city by bicycle.

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There are numerous organizations represented with tables in the Atrium. We invite you to visit representatives from local non-profit ministries interested to engage mission with your congregations in ways that best fit your context. Organizations with tables this year:

– A’Rocha
– Canadian Bible Society
– Christians Against Poverty
– The Giving Closet Thrift Store
– Homes for Kids
– InDwell
– L’Arche
– Living Rock
– McMaster Divinity College
– Micah House
– Restorations Second Stage Housing
– Redeemer University College
– Shalem Mental Health Network


Amidst the promotional displays, there is a book table with a selection of titles that will supplement many of the topics we are passionate about as a network of churches. Special thanks to R.E.A.D. On Books for facilitating the book table.


The Diocese of Hamilton has graciously agreed to have a copy of The Saint John’s Bible on hand during this year’s conference. It will be on a table in the Atrium. It is the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine Abbey in more than 500 years intended to “ignite the spiritual imagination of believers throughout the world.”

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Looking for the Prayer Room?
Click here for the google map.

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Don’t miss these conference extras

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The Meeting House is graciously providing this half day event for children 6-10 which will take place from 9 am to noon on Saturday in the “Upper Room” (see maps). After which your children are welcome to join you in the main afternoon session!

There is also a Preschool Program (Ages 3–5) on Saturday morning that will take place in the Nursery room across from the Atrium. If you have children registered for either of these programs you will have received an information sheet with all the additional details you need to know.

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The best talks aren’t the final word, but the first word: They are a kickoff to a much bigger conversation! Following the Friday Session we’ll be hosting an “After Party” at Mulberry Coffeehouse (193 James St N) to discuss these themes further. Our Friday evening keynote speaker Lane Fusilier will be joining us.

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MORNING PRAYER and worship

Join us on Saturday morning from 8:15–9:00 in the Philpott auditorium for an optional time of prayer and worship. This is an opportunity to experience the 24/14 prayer room at the conference. The worship team will lead us in a time of Taize themed worship interwoven with times of prayer led by GOHOP staff.

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Once again this year, GOHOP has partnered with the TrueCity network to create a prayer room and organize us for two weeks of 24/7 Prayer. We are excited that so far 17 different churches have signed up to host the prayer room over these coming weeks. Flowing from our conference theme, the GOHOP team has designed prayer stations that will lead us to a deeper exploration of how God is empowering us for the long obedience journey we are on together with Jesus. This year’s space has a number of child-friendly activities that make it great place for families.

The prayer room is located in the Vine (78 Vine Street) which Philpott Memorial Church has graciously made available for these two weeks of sustained prayer. So come as often as you are able — for 15 minutes or a few hours, as we pray together for our city and beyond.

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About TrueCity

TrueCity is a network of churches in Hamilton with a vision to cooperatively learn from each other and work together so our congregations grow stronger as we bless our neighbourhoods and the city. Today there are over twenty churches involved in TrueCity seeking to live out our tagline — churches together for the good of our city.

Over the past year this has led us to pursue a number of initiatives as a network.


We continue to pursue our goal to equip, train, and coach each other in effective discipleship within the context of missional engagement. Church leaders who have participated in discipleship huddles over the past four years have started discipleship initiatives in their own churches and are meeting regularly to support and learn from each other.


We have worked hard to strengthen the way our network collaborates by creating a Partnership Team to enhance and coordinate the process churches use to build and sustain partnerships with each other. We also created a Communication Team to more effectively share the stories of how God is at work among us and the relevant information our congregations need to more fully participate.


Congregations involved in the TrueCity network cooperatively gave time and resources to:

– Refugee Engagement
– Creation Care
– Affordable Housing
– Cultivating the Arts
– Youth Discipleship and Outreach
– Indigenous Reconciliation
– Prayer Initiatives
– Evangelism and Apologetics Multi-Congregation Collaborative Initiatives such as the delivering Backpacks and Christmas Hampers and running the Ride for Refuge


In 2004 three churches came together around a deep desire to pursue kingdom initiatives that would witness to God’s love for Hamilton. They shared a belief that we, the Church, are at our best when we respond to the Spirit’s invitation to join in the Jesus-way-of-life, pursuing justice, peace, compassion and relational holiness. In the Spring of that year we held the first TrueCity conference as a way to share stories, worship, and learn together. By the end of that first year three more churches had joined in and the TrueCity network was born.

Fourteen years later there are seventeen churches in partnership with each other. Throughout our journey we have learned a great deal about the art and science of cultivating congregational collaboration in pursuit of collective mission and Church unity. We continue to gather yearly and celebrate the ways we see God at work in Hamilton and to tangibly live out scripture’s call to pursue the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

At the heart of our network are these seven core values:

– Congregationally Based
– Neighbourhood Engaged
– Active Cooperation
– Humble Orthodoxy
– Margins at the Centre
– Whole City View
– Growth through Collaboration


As stories of how churches have come together in Hamilton have traveled there has been an increased interest to hear more about church unity and missional collaboration. We believe that the expertise that has developed in serving and cultivating the TrueCity network has the potential to be used to resource other networks.

For 15 years International Teams Canada (iTeams) has provided the organizational infrastructure to make TrueCity possible. iTeams created the Impact Canada program to support the TrueCity network in sharing this story more broadly and provide coaching and training so that healthy networks cooperatively engaged in mission and discipleship can take root in other communities.

We help equip churches with discipleship training that enables people to join God in what He is doing or wishes to do in their place. We help churches engage their context — to see what areas God is opening up and how churches may collaborate to have impact there. We help churches embrace each other — to see and find each other and learn to build trust. This program continues to serve the network in Hamilton, while seeking to catalyze networks in other cities, beginning with Fergus/Elora, Simcoe, and Dunnville.

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Special Thanks

Karyn Black for the extraordinary painting she did to capture this year’s Long Obedience theme and ground it in our Hamilton context; Bethany Kenyon and Rachel Bosma for their work setting the aesthetic tone for this year’s conference in the auditorium; Sarah Klickerman and her team of volunteers who have set the table for our time together with drinks and snacks in the Atrium; Diane Burns and her team for welcoming us and making registration easy.

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