Svinda Heinrichs
Blooming Where I’m Planted:
United Church Minister, Shiatsu Therapist, Wedding Officiant

Blooming where I’m planted!

In 2018 I took a big leap of faith. I moved from Grimsby, ON, in the Golden Horseshoe, where I had a good working relationship with my congregation,* and lived close to my dad, to live outside of Maynooth, ON – a four hour drive away and where I had no job and no idea what living in rural Ontario was like. And I love it here!

It’s been 6 years and since then I’ve had various paying positions, we’ve built a barn, a house, and several cabins, created several gardens, filled the barn with donkeys, goats and their kids, as well as some cats. We also planted a new kind of church called Cathedral of the Trees, which is part of the Wild Church Network.

I’ve learned things like how to build a carbon-sequestering off-grid house, what it’s like to take goats and donkeys on a walk, and how to sugar off in the bush. Being involved in the community is extremely important to me. I dove in by becoming a volunteer firefighter,* helping to found Transition Town Maynooth, and being a Pride Maynooth organizer.

Lately, I’ve even felt called to go back to my older skill of shiatsu therapy.‡

Now my newest adventure is founding Rise Above Guest House with my wife, Marilyn. What Rise Above Guest House actually is and will become is still unfolding.

Svinda Heinrichs

I hope you can come and spend some time with us here on the Land to let it do what you need it to do within you as it has done and continues to do for me, Marilyn, and others.

Other tidbits: I am also a scientist. My undergraduate degree was in basic medical sciences with a specialist in immunology and a major in human biology (graduating with an H.BSc. from Trinity University at the University of Toronto). For me, there is no dichotomy or separation between science and theology/God. They are one. As the mystics of faith tell us: to know something of nature/creation is to know something of God.

* I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada (UCC) with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Pastoral Studies degrees from Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. I have been serving in the UCC since 2006 and am currently the minister serving Bancroft United Communities of Faith.

** I have trained to NFPA standard Firefighter I & II, and I took the training for Company Officer I. I resigned in 2024 after 5 years of service.

‡ I graduated from the 2200 hour (almost 2 years) diploma program at The Shiatsu School of Canada, Toronto, (now known as AIM Academy) and was valedictorian of my class. I also became an acupuncturist studying under Kiiko Matsumoto and co-owned Shiatsu Clinic West in Toronto.

Svinda Heinrichs