The Blog for Act Five by Redeemer

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Read the latest updates here from Act Five as they share experiences, stories, photos and all they are learning.

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A window into Act Five, Year 3

Perhaps I will say this every year of Act Five, but this is a unique year for us . 11 students - 9 women and 2 men - making a leap to take a gap year and live in a big community home after 1.5 years of losing their whole sense of normal....

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Temagami Reflections: Lou Lou

“Lean in” is what I was told to do during morning thought the day before we entered the wilderness. Matt Gray was telling us that we should lean into this trip because no matter what we do, we probably wouldn’t enjoy it if we just complain...

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A Tech-Free September: Weaning off our Digital Pacifiers – A Reflection by Allie Buist

After moving into a house in downtown Hamilton with sixteen other people, going on a ten-day canoe trip, and starting a week of “Hamontensive”, I think it would be fair to say that every single one of us has already changed from the person we...

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Act Five, Year Three: Here we go!

Last year was a journey of living out our mission to be people who faithfully improvise. We don’t intend to stop doing that. We desire to be a community that is open to the movement of the Spirit.

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Yard work and redemption: Reflection by staff member Alyssa

As people who love and believe in the power and truth of the biblical story, what we are doing here can be a signpost. Perhaps, as we connect more to the soil and to each other, we can remember to hope.

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Creation and Humanity: Reflections Post-Act Five by Gill

Since being home after finishing Act Five, I have made a habit of walking through the ravine woods close to my home. I feel there is something freeing about simply being among trees and rocks and dirt that allows me to be a human.

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Act Five 2021-22 in-person program is ON!

Following the recent announcement of Ontario’s reopening plan, we here at Act Five are increasingly confident that we will be able to safely offer all parts of our program in-person again this fall.

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Transitions, Chaos and the Hope of Order: by ’21 Alumnus Nathaniel

In conclusion, it's becoming more and more clear that if I want to follow God, I have to be open to moving from my ideas and thoughts of what is right, to what God is saying is right. 

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Act Five 2020-2021 End-of-year Video!

Join us in some highlights and memories of Act Five Year Two

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Year 2 is Finished! Notes of wondering & celebration

May God continue to prepare the way for these 16 young adults, and may they be gifts for others who have not experienced anything close to the fullness of life found at 75 Blake St this past year.

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Placement Reflections: Rieneke & Shir-El

Miraculously, all of our students were blessed with the opportunity to participate in a six week placement with local businesses and organizations in Hamilton and the surrounding area. Read stories from two of our students from these placements!

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A new day dawning: A reflection from Caleb

May I Lord - may I address each sunrise and each sunset of this coming chapter with praises to Your name, of Your love, of Your patience, of Your heart, and of Your goodness.

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LOOKING BACK AT ACT FIVE: AN ALUMNI VIEWPOINT FROM JAMIE

In any given moment we often cannot fully understand the importance of what we are learning and living until we step back and gain some perspective.

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Looking Back at Act Five: An Alumni Viewpoint from Matt

Alumni Matt writes that "Act Five taught me a lot about what it means to listen well. The importance of listening well has continued to grow in my life, whether it be with family, friends old and new, and even in business."

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Waiting on the Lord: Light comes in the darkness

The unpredictability and restrictions of the past year have been a gift for Act Five because they have allowed us to hold fast to who we are called to be: waiting on the Lord in the face of circumstances we could not predict nor control.

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Looking Back at Act Five: An Alumni Viewpoint

With Covid affecting so much of our lives, the friendships I made and the lessons I learned in Act Five have become doubly valuable, and I’m so grateful that God directed me down that path. 

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Student Reflection: Finding God In Uncertainty

The truth is, I do not know how or when I will start to trust the Lord with life. Maybe it will happen next week, next year, or maybe when I am 60 and retired... What I do know is I'll try to live in the present and let God be the driver for now.

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A Student’s Reflection on Home

So in a sense when I am homesick, I am homesick for God. For His presence, His refuge, for a time when God will make all things, all places, people who are broken and shattered new.

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Changing & Praying: A Student’s Reflection on Prayer

“If God is everywhere, and prayer is being in the presence of God, then anything can be a prayer.”

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Resilient Hope: Looking Ahead to 2021 at Act Five

We here at Act Five are looking ahead to 2021 with hope, even in the midst of what continues to a trying time around the globe. We are leaning into our vision to raise up resilient disciples and foster Christ-like hope.

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Bookending, Acceptance, and Making Home: Reflections from Resident Leader Alyssa

Resident Leader Alyssa shares about her experiences being a part of Act Five for the second year in a row: how she's watched the community house grow, and how she's experienced her own discipleship journey alongside the students.

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Learning from Canada’s Indigenous Peoples: Students’ Reflections

A key aspect of the Act Five program, particularly first term with our Place, Home and Land course, is learning from the indigenous peoples of our area. Read reflections from our students on their experiences this past month.

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Exploring Urban and Rural Places at Act Five: Students’ Perspectives

A significant piece of Act Five is the contrast between urban and rural environments. It’s been highlighted by living on Blake street, right in downtown Hamilton, while also heading on visits to rural places that practice Creation Care.

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Hope in a weary world : A Word from the Director

"In a season unlike anything we have experienced before, my hope is that Act Five represents a community seeking to live faithfully in this moment."

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Reflections on Ordinary Time at Blake Street

Two students share reflections on this "ordinary" part of the Act Five program: living in community, doing our chores and our homework, and settling into life in the city of Hamilton.

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Lessons from Temagami

Our students got back from their canoe adventure in Temagami, Ontario almost 2 weeks ago now, and it was just last Thursday that we drove back down from Coldwater's base camp to our home in Hamilton. Two of our students reflect on their experience.

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Act Five Year Two is Underway!

This has been an encouraging start to year two of Act Five. We are aware of the immense privilege it is to be together forming a community and running a program, and we are eager to witness the way God will guide us in our journey.

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Beginning Year Two: Faithfully Improvising

"With gratitude to be able to run our program  - and with some creative uses of space, travel adjustments, face masks and plenty of hand sanitizer - we head toward September humbly and confidently."

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A Moving Story, by Sarah Bosch

As a guest post, read some profound reflections from Sarah Bosch as she witnessed what God did in the life of her daughter through Act Five.

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How does one measure impact? – Parent Testimonies

Is a year with Act Five really worth the investment? Not only do staff and students of Act Five think so, but these parents answer with a resounding "YES!"

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Does a Christian Gap year program make sense during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Whether an educator, pastor, mentor or otherwise, the current moment requires critical conversations around the discipleship of our young adults.

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Thank you, and a note on what is to come.

From me, the team behind Act Five at Redeemer University, the supporting high schools, the students and staff of Act Five this first year, Thank You to all who continue to support us.

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Second Term Recap

Watch a highlight video from the second term of Act Five 2019-20.

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Taking Time for the Gaps

Nina reflects on the wisdom of taking time to pause in the midst of significant life transitions - from moving homes to finishing high school and beyond.

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Celebrating Act Five 2019-20

It has been a true joy to hear our students reflect on and put into words the stories of their journeys through the year. We wanted to share some of these stories here and invite you to celebrate with us the way God has been so, so faithful to us!

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The Act Five Story

Check out this video to learn about Act Five, hear some of the thoughts behind the program, and see some images from the year.

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In light of Covid-19: A Word from the Director

While we feel short-term loss this spring for a program cut short, I am confident in the fruit that will grow out of our students’ lives, through the work of Christ in them, for years to come.

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Exploring Prayer and Mission Together: True City 2020

A contrast to Jubilee in Pittsburgh, we had the opportunity to participate in the TrueCity conference as Christians across different churches and denominations came together to pray, worship, and talk about how they can work for the good of the...

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Placement Update: Helping Hands

Check out one student's reflection on their placement at Helping Hands Street Mission!

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Placement Update: RE-Create

Arissa reports on Rianna's placement with RE-create, a youth art studio located downtown Hamilton that uses art as a pathway to healing.

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Remembering – A word (& a lot of photos) on Pittsburgh & Placements

"I am often humbled to be in the role that I am in, to be able to witness the kingdom of God coming in and through these 12 students of Act Five's first cohort.  I see and trust that the impact of this program ripples beyond these students."

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Placement Update: CityKidz

"CityKidz is a great placement because it forces me out of my comfort zone, in a good way."

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Placement Update: Open Homes Hamilton

Placements are now well underway across the city! Each week we will be giving insight into the exciting things happening as our students engage in these experiences. This week, Autumn's placement with Open Homes Hamilton is in the spotlight.

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An Invitation to Hospitality

"I think that this is the true power of community." Arissa reflects on the reoccurring theme of radical hospitality since the winter trip.

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A Word from the Director

Today is day one of student placements, a moment long anticipated. Join us over the next 10 or so weeks to follow along with all that our students are up to.

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Stoney Lake and the Start of Term Two

"This time at the frozen lake was carved out for us. Done on purpose. I'm anticipating that it was the calm before the busyness of this upcoming second semester."

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End of Act Five’s Term One – A final note

God is on the move here. And we head into Christmas break tired, full and grateful.

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Celebration at the End of An Adventure

Enjoy a few videos of our students dancing with friends in Lundazi, Zambia, in their last few days in this beautiful country.

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Slowing Down to be Hands and Feet

Jamie, an Act Five student, reflects on her experiences and purpose in Lundazi, Zambia.

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Reflections from Alyssa, Zambia Trip Leader

Alyssa writes that the students have been enjoying Lundazi and the market and the soccer games. Today they are going to a health clinic ministry in Lundazi to learn more about this pillar in the community.

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A Note from Arissa – Day one at Hoya

"[In Act Five], we often say that the best experiences we have are around the dinner table... so it is cool to see that, despite a slight language barrier and very different food, the familial feeling carries to halfway across the world."

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Weekend of rest, fun and weddings in Lundazi. Now off to work.

"All I have done since being here so far is receive."

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The first days. Arriving in Lundazi.

After days of flying, driving, adjusting to the heat and all things new, the team is finally at home base.

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Act Five is off to Zambia!

Out of the richness of the past months together in community, our 12 students and their leaders embark on a month in Zambia, serving with the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, in partnership with EduDeo Ministries. Join us along the way!

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Reflections from the Reserve

She:kon, hello. This week we went to the Six Nations reserve and had the honour of listening to and learning from Brian Chiki and his wife Andrea. It was a rich week of imagining more what it means to be people following Jesus in our place.

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Ordinary Time

Despite our pace slowing down this last month, the daily activities of our lives have maintained their richness. We have tasted together the reality that God is not far off; indeed He is in the mundane everyday-ness of our eating, studying,...

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A Word from the Director

"I believe that God’s Spirit is among us as we pursue this new venture. And as we navigate the realities of an old home and an 8-month pilot program involving real people and not just good ideas, I see God’s faithfulness woven through all of...

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Canoeing in Temagami

"I ventured out for nine days in a canoe, weighed down by 70 pound green, red and grey packs full of supplies. As we pushed off the shore, we were submitting to be intentionally and completely immersed in the wilderness, no distractions."

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Reflections from our Students

Throughout the year, students will be writing short notes and reflections in learning journals for their courses. Here are a few snippets from a couple of their journals.

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Act Five’s First Welcome Week

The first ever Act Five Welcome Week is coming to an end. On Monday, Act Five was still just an idea floating around in the hearts and minds of leaders, supporters, and community members; now it has a life of its own.

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