Barry Rieder

Barry RiederBarry has a Social Work degree from the University of Calgary and a Master of Theological Studies from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.  Although his formal training is in social work and theology, much of his learning and education has come from various communities and organizations that he has worked with over the years.  He has been a children’s counsellor in the Battered Women’s movement, a youth literacy worker with the Downtown Church Worker’s Association, a community youth worker at a Community Health Centre, a community development worker for an inter-faith coalition and a program consultant with the Addiction Research Foundation.  For the last nineteen years he has been working for the United Church as a Community Minister in the culturally diverse, low income community of Toronto called Jane and Finch.  In Jane and Finch there is representation of over 100 ethno-cultural groups speaking 72 different languages and dialects.  The Ministry is situated in a public housing community called Firgrove and Barry’s role has been to provide community development support, pastoral care and advocacy through coalitions and networks. In 2006 Barry received an award at City hall for Outstanding Achievement in the area of Social Justice and in Oct. 2009 he received an honorary Doctorate Degree for his work in the Community. As part of the Community and Social Justice Network his hope for the China delegation is that he can show how working with those in margins of society can bring energy and transformation to the church: Energy from the Edge.