At the Conferences

Over the past few weeks most of the United Church Conferences have had annual meetings, which means opportunities for CCS alumni and members of the diaconal community to meet up and say, Hi.

In BC Conference, Beth Walker organized a gathering for CCS grads and students to have a meal together and go for a walk.

Diaconal folks at BC Conference
Diaconal folks at BC Conference

According to Tammy Allan in Alberta Northwest Conference, many of the diaconal folks were “voluntold” to be table group facilitators.  Let’s assume that’s a vote of confidence for their process skills and training.  2014 CCS grad Kelley Warner was commissioned as a Diaconal Minister by the Conference.

CCS Principal Maylanne Maybee visited Saskatchewan Conference, and spoke to them about the Centre using our powerpoint presentation, which Kathy Platt found funny, informative, catchy, and deep.  (Some members of the court who remembered Scott Douglas’s time in Saskatchewan were amused by this slide…)

big theological words being poured into Scott's open skull. The need for PRACTICAL theology.
This is your brain on theology

Lori Stewart attended London Conference, where Jim Hatt was commissioned, on CCS’s behalf.

Diaconal folks at London Conference, including recent grad Jim Hatt (far left) and CCS staff Lori Stewart (in the olive green)
Diaconal folks at London Conference, including recent grad Jim Hatt (far left) and CCS staff Lori Stewart (in the olive green)
Laura Jo Marzec, Cheryl Kirk, Jim Hatt, and Margaret Spencer
Laura Jo Marzec, Cheryl Kirk, Jim Hatt, and Margaret Spencer

Mark Laird was commissioned by Montreal & Ottawa Conference.

Newly commissioned Mark Laird with Deb Kigar, Terrie Chedore, and Marcie Gibson
Newly commissioned Mark Laird with Deb Kigar, Terrie Chedore, and Marcie Gibson

In Newfoundland & Labrador Conference, Marion Pardy wore her “Reflect, Act, Be Transformed” T-shirt while making a presentation of the Stella’s Circle report, to highlight the connection between “the one and only” Stella Burry and the Centre for Christian Studies.  (Stella graduated in 1924.)

Annika Sangster wore her CCS T-shirt every day of Maritime Conference in her role as chair of the Annual Meeting & Planning Committee, subtly raising awareness of the Centre even deep in the heart of AST territory. 🙂

CCS grad Keith Simmonds was installed as President of BC Conference, and former CCS student Kenji Marui was chosen as President-elect of London Conference.

Keith Simmonds, President of BC Conference
Keith Simmonds, President of BC Conference

A number of CCS alumni also retired at Conferences this year.  (This is by no means an exhaustive list…)

  • Ted Dodd, as well as retiring from CCS, is retiring from Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario Conference.  Here he is doing an impression of “The Fonz” (I can only presume).
"Aaay!" Ted retires before he jumps the shark.
“Aaay!” Ted retires before he jumps the shark.
  • CCS grad David Kai, retiring from Bay of Quinte Conference, remembered working on the Voices United hymnbook, and times with his spouse Marly Bown (another CCS grad) creating and leading youth programs at various levels.
  • As Nadine Mahood was retiring from B of Q Conference she recalled graduating from CCS in 1993, but then for health reasons was not able to work for many years.  She did eventually find a way to fulfill her call to ministry, serving as a chaplain with seniors.
  • When Susan Robinson graduated from CCS in 1970 she was “loaned to the Anglican fellowship, with whom we were at that time in serious talks about Union.”  With the Diocese of Toronto and then later in Oshawa Presbytery, community outreach and pastoral care kept her busy.
  • Christine Dudley, in her retirement speech at BC Conference referred to her time in the five year regionally based diaconal training program with the Centre for Christian Studies, starting in 1995. “I felt as if I had ‘come home’ theologically and ideologically. The educational ethos of collaboration, collegiality, and mutuality, combined with theological perspectives steeped in liberation and feminist theology, was a rich environment in which to learn and grow. The integrated experiential and academic ‘Learning in Community’ components; Congregational Field Placement (Duncan United Church); Social Ministry Field Placement (Nanaimo Correctional Centre – prison chaplaincy and Loaves and Fishes – outreach ministry); and Global Perspectives Education (Guatemala and Costa Rica) were invaluable personal and educational experiences which continue to influence and inform my perspectives and actions as a person of faith.”

 

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