Ontario gov’t excludes diaconal ministers from officiating at weddings

This letter was sent to DUCC members in Ontario.

Earlier this month the Coordinating Committee became aware of a change in practice of issuing licenses to marry by the Ontario government’s Marriage Office, Office of the Registrar General. Effective immediately the Marriage Office is issuing licenses to marry to ordained clergy only. The Marriage Office is not granting licenses to anyone who has not specifically been “ordained”, which includes candidates for ministry who are in student supply appointments, DLMs (recognized) and Diaconal Minsters (commissioned). Those people who currently have licenses to marry can continue to perform marriages.

Myself and our DUCC staff person, Eric Tusz-King have been in contact with Jenny Stephens, the Team Leader Policies and Programs for Ministry Personnel, who informed us that the Executive Secretary of Hamilton Conference, Peter Hartmans, is taking lead of responding to the Ontario government and is seeking advice from legal counsel. He has agreed to keep Eric and myself in the communications loop.
Continue reading “Ontario gov’t excludes diaconal ministers from officiating at weddings”

Community across the country – CCS annual meeting

CCS is big on community.  As a national school we are very intentional about keeping connected and evolving technology has helped with this. Over the years, advancements in conference calling improved the annual meeting as people called in from across the country.  It was still a challenge as connections were often poor and hearing who was speaking was sometimes difficult.

This year’s annual meeting on March 8 saw a big leap as newer technology allowed many people to gather through video conferencing. Folks in Winnipeg congregated at Woodsworth House joined by people on video from coast to coast along with a few by phone.

 

Screen shot of Zoom video conferencing.

Continue reading “Community across the country – CCS annual meeting”

Congratulate our 2018 Grads and Companion

On April 14 and 15, we will be celebrating this year’s graduating class and Companion of the Centre!

The Celebration Banquet will be on Saturday, April 14 at St. George’s Anglican Church at 5 p.m. If you’d like to attend, or to sponsor a student to attend, contact the office at office@ccsonline.ca.

The Annual Service of Celebration will be Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. at the Thomson Funeral Home, 669 Broadway in Winnipeg. All are welcome!

Please offer your congratulations in the comments section.

Graduates Catherine Underhill, Tif McNaughton, Anita Rowland and Melanie Ihmels.

Cathy will be commissioned April 29th with the Bay of Quinte Conference into a pastoral charge located in a farming community. She is also honoured to graduate with a BTS in Diaconal Ministry from St. Stephen’s College.  She says, “As a green gal, I am rooted in contemporary social movements through my long standing love of gardening.  For any of you who are gardeners, activists and educators who transform the system by planting seeds, tending the plants and peeling back the hard-edged concrete, my hope is that together we bring about a more beautiful and just world.”
Continue reading “Congratulate our 2018 Grads and Companion”

What Would Jesus Tweet?

For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light— for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth— proving what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things are exposed when they are revealed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
                                              ~ Ephesians 5: 8-14 Modern English Version

This year’s Lenten period and its search for light coincide with the emergence of several social justice movements, each seeking to expose those things done in secret. The “MeToo” campaign is shining a light on abusive conduct in places of prominence and privilege everywhere; the planned student walkout for March 14th is shining a light on America’s dark obsession with guns. In Canada, many are shining a light on the lack of diversity in our justice system.

 

Continue reading “What Would Jesus Tweet?”

Experience this for yourself! – a Deacon’s reflection

Sharon Dunlop is a Deacon at St. James’ Anglican Church in Kingston. She attended Learning on Purpose in 2016.

My ministry area is in corrections, restorative justice and victims – an area I have been passionate about for most of my life.

In the spring of 2016 I was encouraged to attend the June “Learning on Purpose” leadership development training program in Toronto offered by the Centre for Christian Studies (CCS). At the time, I knew little about CCS in general and this program in particular, so I did some research and was impressed by what I found! On a very warm day in mid-June I drove to Toronto to embark on this new adventure.

The training program was held in the Friends House (Quaker), a beautiful century old Georgian mansion surrounded by colourful gardens. Friends House contains many quaint and quiet rooms to gather in for team meetings and project planning.

The program itself was quite full and a little overwhelming at first glance. We met for six days, Sunday was a day of rest and then we met for six more days. The participants were from the United and Anglican Churches, which provided ample opportunity to learn more about our faith traditions – the similarities and the differences.
Continue reading “Experience this for yourself! – a Deacon’s reflection”

Hamilton DUCC annual overnight winter retreat

By Linda Clark

Each winter, the diaconal folk of Hamilton Conference gather for an overnight retreat, held at Crieff Hills Retreat Centre in the House of the Prophet. We have been doing this for several years now; I have records going back to 2009 in my computer, but I suspect it was even before that. Our main purpose is Sabbath time. In some years, we have done a bit of DUCC work, but overall, it is time to just be. As folks arrive sporadically on a Thursday morning, the coffee table begins to get piles of snacks for sharing, until there is no more room. Coffee and tea is made. During this gathering time, we spend time doing what we each want or need; some knit, others colour. We talk about our lives in general terms, and do a more formal check-in usually starting over or after lunch, for a couple hours. Then we take a break to go outside, or nap, or whatever. Of course throughout this time, we are munching on the wonderful snacks. Then we continue check-in over dinner. Continue reading “Hamilton DUCC annual overnight winter retreat”

Anarchist Priest – Living in the tension

By Gwen McAllister

Not long ago at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church where I am priest, a friend and parishioner good-naturedly called me out as a hypocrite: “You preach against hierarchy, but you’re an Anglican priest.”

It’s a tension in which I have found a rather comfortable vocational home, living in the messy “now” of Christianity in upheaval, working like so many others — in my small, local way within community — to reclaim the Christian faith tradition from Christendom and Empire. I do preach against much in which I am complicit: systems of exploitation and privilege, domination, wealth. Together with many others, I reach for much that is rare and precious in our daily context: sharing of resources, mutuality in relationships, a celebration of all that lives and our embraced interdependence.

I don’t frequently identify as an anarchist. It seems presumptuous: I don’t think I do enough to earn the title. And then, taking on that label sounds like it is too much about me and my identity, when in fact I live out my vocation and identity together with others as part of a parish community, a larger faith community, and a larger non-religious community of resistance. But also, “anarchist” is not an identity I hold to in the same way I hold to understanding myself as part of a vast and rich faith tradition. Yet faith has brought me to politics which in turn have contextualized my faith; each informs the other.

Continue reading “Anarchist Priest – Living in the tension”

Viewing healing ministry through diaconal eyes

By Ross White
 

When we are present, we see that there really is a Holy Plan, and that it is happening right now. Consciously participating in the miraculous unfolding of reality is Holy Work and it is the greatest source of satisfaction that we have.” (Understanding the Enneagram, 56)

I am a confirmed eclectic. Many of us are. I feel indebted to several clinical forms of pastoral care like Transactional Analysis, Gestalt Therapy, the Goulding’s, the Kabat-Zinn’s, and Mindfulness training. These therapeutic schools employ the use of sound psychological theory together with skilled application. They all teach valuable insights to life. However, from the earliest days of my spiritual journey, I had a longing for a therapy of a different sort. I’ve known experientially that deep life insights of incredible power are available to me. I knew this power was capable of coursing through my very being: cells, tissues, bones AND mind. It happened to me one night while reading the Gospel of Luke and changed my life. It also started in me a journey fed by a hunger for the mysteries of prayer and meditation . . . something I’d been doing at the time.

It was in 1992 that I began to find a form of healing that matched my understanding of Jesus. Rochelle Graham, then a physiotherapist teaching Healing Touch on the sideline, was invited into Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to do some of her work with church folk offering services to the marginalized and homeless. I met up with her there as she instructed workers and volunteers at First United Church. She noticed that when faith groups were instructed (to use their faith) there came an additional boost of power and energy in the room and in the participants, themselves. A prayer as simple as “thy will be done,” seemed to enable the presence and guidance of Spirit. People began to feel the actual texture of another’s energy field through their hands! The requests from church folk poured in and by 1995 Rochelle had drafted a curriculum designed for healing ministry in churches which became known as Healing Pathway. I want to make some observations in this article about the link between the emergence of Healing Pathway and diaconal ministry. Continue reading “Viewing healing ministry through diaconal eyes”

Courage – worshiping with the Tragically Hip

Courage - a Tragically Hip liturgy

On a cold November night in East Gwillimbury, armed with a live band, two projectors and about 100 glowsticks, 40 people gathered at Sharon Hope United Church to sing, dance and pray along with songs by Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip.  Our theme was Courage, and the many forms it takes in our daily lives.  Each song was paired with a reading from scripture or by contemporary writers.  During the liturgy, we examined the lyrics of “Grace, Too” through the lens of Ruth and Boaz on the threshing floor.  “Nautical Disaster” was paired with multimedia highlighting the refugee crisis in the Middle East.  We sat with the horror and grief of the Residential School system with a reading of “When We Were Alone” by David Robertson and singing “The Stranger” from Secret Path.  

Courage: A Tragically Hip Liturgy was the second in new series of Rock Liturgies hosted by Living Presence Ministry.  Our third,The Frost is All Over, explored the Advent and Christmas story through the work of Canadian folk singer/songwriters.  With these services, we are working though how to treat popular music as hymnody during worship.  What else do these songs have to offer us when intentionally placed within a worship context?  We heard from many of those present that simply having the lyrics projected helped the words they’ve been listening to for years sink in deeper.
Continue reading “Courage – worshiping with the Tragically Hip”

Two weeks to transform your life!

Intense. Spiritually enriching. Faithfilled. Expanding. World-opening. Learning on Purpose: Changing Leadership for a Changing World is two weeks of focussed leadership training, in community, intended to help leaders to dig deep and expand outward.

The next Learning on Purpose will be offered June 11 – 23, 2018 in Victoria, B.C., at Christ Church Cathedral, a short walk from the Parliament region. Continue reading “Two weeks to transform your life!”

Connections

Diaconal ministers seem to love to connect. And November was a month for gathering.

Lori Stewart (not pictured), CCS Development Coordinator, stopped in Kitchener for coffee with Ellen Baynton-Walker, Margaret Collard, Meghan Gilholm, Marilyn Burnard, and Katharine Edmonstone .
Continue reading “Connections”

On coaching and the Enneagram

The Enneagram is a system which identifies nine different personality types as a map for personal development. CCS grad Roland Legge reflects on using the Enneagram in his coaching practice.

Recently I took nine-months of intensive training through the Deep Coaching Institute to learn a coaching model that uses the Enneagram. It is all about learning to live with presence as much as possible in order to experience the world as it is happening at the moment. Presence is accomplished by staying open in your three energy centres – head, heart and body. Continue reading “On coaching and the Enneagram”

Gathering together and drawing wider circles with diaconal sisters and brothers

The Central Committee of Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean (DOTAC) met this month in Vancouver. DOTAC is both an international and ecumenical organization that connects and gathers those engaged in diakonia. Check them out here http://dotac.diakonia-world.org/.

Diaconal Gathering at Carey Hall, UBC, Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shout out to Ted Dodd and other members of the Central Committee of DOTAC gathered at Regent College’s Carey Hall at UBC recently and who intentionally drew the circle a little wider making room for local diaconal colleagues and friends to join them for an evening of interdenominational reflection, refreshment and renewing conversation. Continue reading “Gathering together and drawing wider circles with diaconal sisters and brothers”

Neighbours ~ a good Samaritan story by Annika Sangster

CCS grad Annika Sangster has published a delightful retelling of the story of the Good Samaritan called Neighbours. We recently talked about the genesis of the book and gaining the confidence to share her creativity. Details for purchasing Neighbours are at the bottom of the article.

 

Neighbours emerged from a Vacation Bible School with a twist. Not just “Bible”, Annika’s church had decided to explore the Golden Rule through different faith traditions. The story Annika wanted to share from the Christian tradition was the Good Samaritan, but she couldn’t find a version that she liked. So she created her own out of plasticine.

“I could see this picture in my head,” she explained. “I wanted [the children] to see the Good Samaritan as a basic person. I made the Good Samaritan an androgynous kind of person, at least that was my intent.” Continue reading “Neighbours ~ a good Samaritan story by Annika Sangster”