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April 18, 2022

Don’t let work and life drain you – learn to recharge

When we feel overloaded, our tendency is to do just one more thing or push through. Managing this way actually depletes our energy and reduces our focus and productivity. This means we have to work harder and longer to get the same results we’d achieve if we took time to recharge.

Join the Workplace Strategies for Mental Health public webinar for Don’t let work and life drain you – learn to recharge – a live, interactive event on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EST in recognition of Mental Health Week.

Mary Ann Baynton, Director of Collaboration and Strategy with Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, and Organizational Health Consultants on Canada Life’s Well-being team will share tips and insights as we:

  • Explore strategies and resources to recharge and find balance
  • Brainstorm specific actions that could prevent or reduce workload stress
  • Prepare to talk about workload management with leaders or teams
  • Explore a variety of activities to help us relax, calm our minds and energize us

There’s no registration required – just click on the event link a bit before the start time. It may be the most informative and inspiring 45 minutes of your day!

This is a Microsoft Teams Live event. Make sure you’ve downloaded the Microsoft Teams app before the webinar.
Find local number.
Phone conference ID: 751 106 57#

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March 24, 2022

Welcome Back, Connex!

After a year-long hiatus, Connex is back! This version will pick up where the print version left off and will only be available online. Going forward, Connex will focus mainly on pension, benefits, and payroll news.

If you were previously receiving an email about Connex and didn’t see it in your inbox, check your spam folder! If it’s still not there and you would like to receive Connex, please sign up for the latest news and updates on the Newsroom page by filling out the form below.

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Previous issues of Connex can be found on the United Church Commons, under Communications, Publications and Media.

March 4, 2022

Lifestyle Medicine Paving the Path to Wellness

The third webinar of Teladoc Health's 5-topic series - Lifestyle Medicine Paving the Path to Wellness - will be hosted by Dr. Tim Foggin and Dr. Beth Frates on Wednesday, March 23 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

During the discussion, Dr. Frates and Dr. Foggin will review concrete examples of how small lifestyle-related, health-enhancing changes can improve our overall well-being. They’ll review principles that take listeners on a journey across the mind, body, and spirit, with practical self-reflection exercises.

This webinar will be recorded and shared later if you’re interested but unable to attend.

Attendees will learn:

  • Perspectives on the return to normal, and strategies to cope with stress
  • Concrete examples of how small changes can improve their overall health and well-being
  • The latest evidence regarding lifestyle factors

Dr. Frates is a trained physiatrist and a health and wellness coach, with expertise in Lifestyle Medicine. She is an award-winning teacher at Harvard Medical School, where she is an assistant clinical professor and considered a pioneer in lifestyle medicine. Dr. Frates won the election for President-elect of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in August 2020 and works as the Director of Wellness Programming at the Stroke Institute for Research and Recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, in conjunction to serving as the Director of Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness for the Department of Surgery at Mass General Hospital. She authored a Lifestyle Medicine syllabus, co-authored the Lifestyle Medicine Handbook: An introduction to the Power of Healthy Habits and co-created Lifestyle Medicine 101, a full college curriculum. In 2020, Beth co-authored The Teen Lifestyle Medicine Handbook and co-created an entire curriculum for teens to be used by communities and schools in their health and wellness classes as well as just as general reference for teens and parents. Most recently, Dr. Frates co-authored the book PAVING the Path to Wellness Workbook: A guide to thriving with a healthy body, peaceful mind, and joyful heart. Dr. Frates has her own Lifestyle Medicine consulting/coaching practice where she sees patients 1:1 and in group settings.

Dr. Timothy Foggin is the Medical Director for Canada at Teladoc Health and a Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician.  Dr. Foggin completed Medical School and his family medicine residency at McGill University in Montreal and his Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency at UBC in Vancouver. He has worked for Teladoc Health first as the VP and Medical Director of Teladoc Health in Asia and more recently as the Medical Director for Canada.

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Register to be part of this exciting discussion on Lifestyle Medicine Paving the Path to Wellness.

March 2, 2022

Debunking Nutrition Myths


There is so much conflicting information on nutrition circulating on the internet, social media in particular, and it is not easy to decipher what is true. For some of us, we end up focusing on the myths that are linked to weight loss, however, eating healthy goes beyond that - it is important for our heart and bone health, and much more. In this month’s video series, LifeSpeak’s expert, Toby Amidor, will talk about debunking nutrition myths.

On March 16 at 12:00 p.m. ET the Ask the Expert web chat by Nishta Saxena addresses how to incorporate eating well into your lifestyle.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".


Did you know that through your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP), you can connect with one of Morneau Shepell's Registered Dietitians? Your diet can strongly affect your mood, health and energy levels. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can be a challenge with a hectic schedule and multiple personal and family demands. Fortunately, the Nutrition Support Services can help you achieve your goals. The Nutrition program is provided by Registered Dietitians who promote disease prevention and disease management through diet. You can get started online or by calling 1-844-671-3327.


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Expert Blog - Eating for Brain Health

Web chat Transcript - Nutrition that boosts your immunity

WorkHealthLife - Food & Nutrition

February 10, 2022

Preparing for Retirement


Are there any secrets for having a successful and peaceful retirement? Retirement has drastically changed these last few years – there is a lot to plan and it can be overwhelming to start, or to help loved ones. However, there are some ways to help you prepare for a happy and fruitful retirement. LifeSpeak’s expert, Jan Cullinane, will share a few of those in this month’s video series.

On February 16 at 12:00 p.m. the Ask the Expert web chat by Shannon Lee Simmons and Bob Gavlak addresses how to better manage money.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".


For those a few years away from retirement, it always helps to do some preparation to see what to expect. On the WorkHealthLife site, under financial security, there are 12 articles on retirement. Take the Are you ready for retirement? quiz, or read their article on Planning for your retirement: things to consider. Don’t forget, you can always contact your Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) to speak to someone about additional resources for retirement. You can get started online, or call 1-844-671-3327.

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February 8, 2022

A Day In The Life: The cost of wellbeing for Black identifying individuals

On February 24 at 12:00 p.m. EST, LifeWorks would like to invite you to their Black History Month event. In alignment with this year’s theme – Black Health and Wellbeing – this one-hour session, entitled “A Day In The Life: The cost of wellbeing for Black identifying individuals” will explore many themes around the health and wellness systems, external environment, self-care and their impact on Black health.

This webinar will be hosted by Paula Allen, Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing, with speakers Dr. Joseph Smith and Michelle Gardner.

Dr. Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith is a PhD. His doctorate is in the Humanities and encompasses key notions amongst the disciplines of philosophy, psychology, religious studies, and literature with a focus on the philosophies of self-consciousness within the west and the intellectual background of black consciousness. He is a qualified elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educator and the current Vice Principal of Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute; co-founder of the non-profit organization Generation Chosen which seeks to interrupt intergenerational cycles of trauma and poverty; a former project coordinator for the Black Experience Project housed/funded by Environics Research Institute; a facilitator and consultant in the area of Anti-Black Racism and Emotional health at Life Works; sits on the board of Operation Black Vote Canada as the Director of Youth Outreach; and is a founding member of the Foundation for Black Communities which is a non-profit organization.

Michelle Gardner
Michelle has actively worked in the local community for more than 20 years, spearheading local programs. Her community experience includes being a facilitator of an adult literacy program, a director for youth programs, a women's community group instructor, and a conference speaker. She holds a bachelor's in theology, is a registered clinical counselor, and has a life coach certification. In tandem with her community activities, Michelle is a successful Corporate Communications and Events Planner with 11 years of experience working for a global logistics company managing large and small events, vetting keynote speakers, and planning executive c-suite level workshops. Her corporate portfolio included:

  • Managing partner sponsorship agreements.
  • Allocating funds to charitable organizations.
  • Organized onsite company-sponsored activities across Canada, including the highly esteemed Grey Cup event.
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January 17, 2022

Building Better Habits


It’s easy to fall into bad habits when our work and lifestyle have been so busy, especially over the holidays. What’s even harder is breaking these bad habits to build better ones. This month, LifeSpeak’s Winter campaign will help you reset your lifestyle this year by Building Better Habits by looking at:

  1. Breaking unwanted habits
  2. Taking good care of yourself
  3. Building new habits
  4. Maximizing resilience

The last couple years have been unlike anything we’ve experienced before. We’ve had so much to manage, it’s no surprise that some of us have slipped into unhealthy habits to cope – but that’s okay! During unprecedented times, we need to be gentle with ourselves, but it’s also good to take a moment to re-evaluate our habits. Which ones are holding us back—and what should we be doing instead?

On January 19 at 12:00 p.m. the Ask the Expert web chat by Tom Toth addresses Finding Time for Fitness.

Check out your LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".


As the worldwide situation remains uncertain, taking care of your own health and wellbeing is more important than ever. If you don’t feel like you have the time for self-care, it’s probably a sign that you need it the most! In this microsite, Building your self-care toolkit, explore why self-care should be part of your routine and how to work it into your daily life, no matter the situation.

There are also plenty of articles on the WorkHealthLife site under the Health & Well-being tab, and don’t forget about the different kinds of support you can access under the My Services tab!


On the topic of self-care, the United Church Bookstore has The Healing Oasis and Return to the Healing Oasis, guided meditation resources for everyone that is designed to connect us with our heart, mind, and soul.

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December 13, 2021

Navigating the Holiday Season


As 2021 comes to an end, this holiday season might be difficult as we may not have the energy to reflect and be present with others and ourselves.

The LifeSpeak platform has expert-led videos and blog articles to help you navigate the emotions of compassion fatigue, loneliness, as well as stress and sleep. Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".

Also, on December 15 at 12:00 p.m. EST, join the Ask the Expert web chat with Allison Villa who will address managing expectations and stress with your family members during the holidays.


WorkHealthLife has some great articles this season, like simple pleasures to bring you close as a family over the winter holiday season, and healthy hibernation. You can also check out articles on seasonal affective disorder under their Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health section.


Following the WorkHealthLife article on being close with family over the holiday season, the bookstore has Adventures in Faith and Family available in softcover and e-book format. Offering practical, intelligent, loving, and spirit-filled wisdom, this book includes ideas for family holiday activities just in time for the season!

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December 8, 2021

2022 Pension & Benefits Deductions

The 2022 rates are now posted on the Pension and Benefits deductions page. If you have any questions, please email or

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November 8, 2021

Eating for Optimal Health

A healthy diet throughout life supports normal growth, development and ageing, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being. This month, LifeSpeak’s Expert, Toby Amidor, will share her nutrition tips – in six parts – to fully benefit from the food we eat:

Eating for:

  1. A well-balanced diet
  2. Heart health
  3. Cancer prevention
  4. Healthy bones
  5. A healthy gut
  6. Optimal health: FAQ

Also, LifeSpeak is excited to invite you to discover the all new platform! Find all the same great content that is more user friendly and has an even better user experience. Check out your new LifeSpeak platform now! Log in using the Group Account option. The password is "wellness".


WorkLifeHealth has a section on Food & Nutrition under the health & well-being, physical well-being headings. You can read articles on:

  • Health eating for busy families
  • Growing older eating wiser
  • Eating healthy – for you and your budget

They also have a section on Nutrition Support, under My Services. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet can be a challenge with a hectic schedule and multiple personal and family demands.  Select the purple “Get started online” button to explore your options.

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