Truth & Reconciliation: Where Do We Go From Here?

Stan McKay will be the guest for CCS’s “Mindful Munchin'” lunchtime discussion on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Stan McKay

The Very Reverend Dr. Stan McKay was the United Church of Canada’s first Aboriginal moderator.  He is a well-respected educator, advocate, and spiritual leader.  He attended residential school in Birtle, Manitoba.  He will be leading a conversation about next steps in the path toward healing and reconciliation, for residential school survivors and for the church.  What must be done now so that we all can live as “treaty people”?

Mindful Munchin’ will take place at Westminster United Church, 745 Westminster Avenue (corner of Westminster and Maryland, just up the street from CCS), Winnipeg MB, on October 13 from 11:45 – 1:00.  Bring your lunch.

Prayer for September 15

In the midst
of routine and rest
of sabbath and sunsets
of travel and time off
of contemplation and calm

In the complex mix of our days
of agendas and appointments
of time zones and to do lists
of stress and schedules

we gather to do the work of this organization.

In the complicated muddle
of a world of floods and factions,
yet beauty and bounty,
of a city of food insecurity and housing shortage,
yet creativity and community
of a neighbourhood of gang shootings and crack houses,
yet tenacity and spirit.

May we see with hope.
May we speak with courage.
May we feel with compassion.

As we gather from the diversity of our days,
from the responsibilities: overwhelming and purposeful
from the relationships: demanding and delightful
from the encounters: fleeting and meaningful
from the habits: distracting and prayerful
from the structures: limiting and useful
from the movements: rushing and wonderful

May we be a grounded people
able to attend to this work with wisdom and discernment.
May we be a caring people
able to honour one another with respect and grace.
May we be a grateful people
able to embrace this moment with blessing and love.

A New CCS Baby

After exactly nine months of morning (and afternoon, and evening) sickness, baby Ridd was born on August 26th, 2010 at 4:13a.m. Although his full name is Peter Ridd McKenzie, he will go by Ridd. He is named after Jeremy’s (Megan’s partner) wonderful granddad Peter Doerksen and the three Ridd’s who have so profoundly influenced Megan’s life: Karen, Bev, and Carl Ridd. 

In contrast to the two days of labour with Micah, Ridd was born after a ridiculously short labour- about eight minutes after their arrival at the Women’s Hospital. He weighed 7 lbs, 6 ozs and is a healthy, alert little boy and an enthusiastic eater.  Ridd’s big brother says, “Micah yikes Widd and wants give Widd yots big huds.”

Congratulations Megan, Jeremy, and Micah.

Annual Campaign

The Annual Campaign will be launched immediately with a new planned giving program called the Songs of Life legacy book.  This offers participants an opportunity to leave both a financial and historical legacy to the Centre for Christian Studies. Contributors make a promise to leave a bequest to CCS and have their life stories inscribed in the Songs of Life legacy book. The program honours donors who fund either a current or future gift to CCS.   Anyone who is interested in having a story written should contact the Centre. A copy of our new brochure is attached for your reading pleasure.

Fall Learning Circles

Beginning September 22nd CCS will have five students in Winnipeg preparing for their “Integrating Year”. The Integrating Year is a time when students have the opportunity to incorporate their learning’s – theory and practice, faith and action.

We are preparing for a full house this October when 22 students will be coming to Winnipeg for the Educational Ministry Learning Circle beginning on the 14th.

Mindful Munchin’

Our friends in the Winnipeg area are very fortunate because The Very Reverend Stan McKay is coming to CCS to share his thoughts on, “What happens now?  Life after the Truth and Reconciliation Process”.  This event will be taking place on October 13th.  Stay tuned for more details.

Field Placement Orientations

Throughout this month Ted and Ann will be traveling to various sites across Canada doing “field placement orientation” with students in the Educational Ministry year and their Learning Facilitators, Diaconal Mentors, and Local Committees.  Students in the Ed Year are doing field placements in congregations and Christian educational settings, and the field placement orientation is a chance to make sure everyone involved is on the same page, knows what the student is hoping to learn from the experience, and what CCS is and how its program works.

Living in the midst of dying

The next CCS Tapestry newsletter will be about “Life and Death”.  We are grateful that so many people are willing to share their experiences and ideas.  We are hoping to have an article on the topic of living in the midst of dying; this could be someone who has been identified as terminal and willing to discuss their thoughts on faith and where God is in their living.  If you’d like to write something for the newsletter, our deadline for articles is September 17.

So here’s the discussion question – feel free to leave a comment:  What is your experience with living in the midst of dying?

Companion of the Centre

“Companion of the Centre” is an honour we bestow on people who have made significant contributions to diaconal ministry and/or the Centre for Christian Studies.   We are looking for nominations, so if you have a thought or idea for the perfect person, please let us know.

How’s your summer going?

The idea of including discussion questions on the blog is to draw on the experience of our wider community.  Maybe we’ll ask something like, “How do keep from getting burned out when you’ve been in ministry a long time?” and invite you to post your ideas and stories as comments.  Or maybe we’ll ask, “What’s the deal with the Trinity?” (to which some will reply, “I know, tell me about it!” and others will reply, “What do you mean?” and others will post twenty page essays which may or may not get read).  But since the blog has only just started up, and it’s sunny outside, I’ll softball it and ask, “How’s your summer going?”  Feel free to leave a comment.

The Video

We had a lot of fun earlier this year putting together a promotional video to be shown at various Conference annual meetings.

Welcome to CCS Blog

I’m looking at a large black and white photo that sits on the floor of my office, leaning against the wall.  It shows a small group of First Nations men and women, old and young, clustered together in prayer.  They are leaned into each other.  Some kneel, some sit.  Some stand, reaching out to lay their hands on the shoulders of those nearby.  This is a community, no question.  Their eyes are closed tight.  The intensity of their prayer is obvious.  With the birch trees in the background I can almost hear the sounds of the forest.  This photo says so much about being connected and seeking connection.

I hung this photo on the wall of my office a couple of months ago.  I didn’t have a frame handy, so I taped a hook on the back of the photo’s stiff cardboard and hung it up.  This was on a Friday.

I came back to the office on Monday and noticed that the photo had fallen down over the weekend.  I later noticed that I couldn’t connect to the internet or to our shared CCS server.  That’s when I realized that as the photo fell down the wall it had ripped out the ethernet jack that connects my computer to the rest of the world.

I’m pretty sure this means something.

Feeling connected is tricky.  Especially when working in an educational institution, trying to keep track of forms and academic requirements, etc.  Even when you’re an educational institution like CCS, commited to experiential, wholistic, transformational pedagogy.

This blog is an attempt to be more connected – for you to find out what’s happening in and around the Centre for Christian Studies, and for us at CCS to benefit from your stories and experiences.

Maybe the connection will be superficial and fleeting.  Maybe it will be meaningful and dynamic.  Or maybe it will be thwarted and put to shame by poorly-hung photos.  Who knows?