Welcome to UPRC
The United Property Resource Corporation (UPRC) supports the United Church of Canada (UCC) and Ecumenical Partners in making prudent and faithful decisions around property so communities of faith and the neighbourhoods they serve can thrive.
The UPRC was founded by the United Church of Canada in 2019 to bring professional real estate expertise to communities of faith, providing them with all the information they need to make faithful decisions about their properties so they can maximize benefits for the common good.
UPRC also shares information and provides advisory services to UCC Regional Councils, Ecumenical Partners, and Incorporated Ministries. Together we reimagine how our ministry calls us to make a local impact as we have for almost a hundred years and will continue for future generations.
The UPRC team begins by engaging with communities of faith and the local neighbourhood to learn about their needs and identify limitations and potential opportunities.
We collaborate with the community of faith to re-imagine the possibilities for their property, providing resources and support so they can develop what works best and will make the biggest impact for the common good.
We partner with a variety of real estate professionals and other partners as we look to co-create strategies that provide congregations with sustainable, regenerative sources of revenue to support future ministry.
Based on the condition of the property, the community of faith’s vision for the future, local needs and what is financially viable, UPRC makes recommendations on a path forward. These paths include working with the UPRC staff to explore alternate uses of underutilized space or referral to Kindred Works for redevelopment.
After a direction is established, the UPRC team provides on-going support to the communities of faith and neighbourhood.
Rev. Miriam Bowlby
Miriam is an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada. She has a background in rural and urban ministry, serving congregations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. From 2011 to 2022, she led Cochrane Street United Church in St. John’s, NL as they repurposed their building for affordable housing and community space. Over the years, Miriam has served the church regionally and nationally including serving on East District Executive and General Council Executive. She is the vice-chair of the board of Bridges to Hope, an Incorporated Ministry of The United Church of Canada.
Miriam received her BA from St. Mary’s University and her M.Div from Emmanuel College in Toronto. Realizing a need for a new skill set for the future of the church, in 2019 she returned to school and completed an MBA in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Miriam shares her life with her husband Scott, two children, Will and Carrie, and their loveable furball Oreo.
Katja has worked for various NGOs, Robert Gordon University (UK), the economic development agency of Scotland, and the Toronto United Church Council (TUCC). She has worked as a consultant to develop commercialisation and innovation processes in a variety of sectors. These have ranged from start-ups to large scale and publicly listed projects. Katja is a member of the board of directors of Ecuhome, a corporation with more than 500 units of affordable housing. Katja represents ELCIC on the Board of Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, and she serves as a lay minister (non-stipendiary) in her own Lutheran Church.
Katja draws on both her Masters in Theology and a MBA to support congregations and denominations as they work to enhance the contributions and usage of their buildings. Katja lives in Toronto with her husband, Christopher. During the pandemic, she joined a food ministry, which means cooking 10 litres of soup per week.
Rev. Lauren Hodgson
Lauren is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada. She began working for the UPRC half-time in 2021 while also ministering St. Matthew’s United in Toronto, where she was Lead Minister since 2012. During her time with St. Matthew’s Lauren accompanied the community of faith along a property redevelopment process, sparking a keen interest for her in congregational transformation and change management, as well as how property can contribute to church mission and ministry. In 2023, Lauren’s role with UPRC expanded to a full-time capacity. Lauren graduated with an Honours BA from Queen’s University in political studies and art history, and a Master of Divinity from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto.
Lauren has extensive experience across The United Church of Canada, both regionally and denominationally, including serving on the Comprehensive Review Task Group, and supporting new ministry development and leadership through the Edge Network. She lives in Toronto with her wife, Sarah (who is also a United Church minister) and their daughter, Ruby.