Sharing common stories as the world turns #GC43

During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections.   Tammy Allan and Marlene Britton-Walfall share sites, insights, music and a new Moderator is elected.

Another couple of days have passed. Yesterday we dealt with business in the morning and then had the afternoon for excursion tours to see some of the area beyond Durham College campus. Several tours were organized, and I chose a winery tour to Prince Edward County. Beautiful countryside, lots of trees, the beach, all made for a great drive. Oh, yes, and there was wine. Lovely.

Today, after FIVE ballots, we elected a new moderator, Rev. Richard Bott, from B.C.
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DUCCs gather and we bid adieu to Conferences #GC43

 

During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections.  Marlene Britton-Walfall gathers with DUCCs and annoints while the Jenga towers fall.

 

Greetings from Marlene.

Lunchtime on Tuesday was filled with laughter and animated discussion as the DUCCs at GC43 gathered. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, made possible by Marcie, who not only found the space for us, but erected tell tale signs:

 


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Challenges #GC43

Updated, July 25.

During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections.  Marlene Britton-Walfall* reminds us that amongst the fun there is challenge and hard work. 

 

It’s the morning of the 4th day of this meeting in OshaWow!

Devotions this morning challenged us to reflect on times when your boat has been buffeted by waves of various kinds, and challenged to help those who are having their boats battered.  Strengthened by the prayers from the 4 directions we then launched into the business section of the meeting.

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Nous ne sommes pas seuls #GC43

Rev Miriam Spies preaches the Word.

During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections.  Deborah Laforet and Marlene Britton-Walfall found connection at GC43.

General Council is a place to reconnect.  As someone who was a candidate in one conference, a student in another, settled into a third, and am now in a fourth conference, General Council becomes a place where I can connect with people across those conference and across provinces.
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“There is a sense of excitement” #GC43

 During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections. Tammy Allan sets the stage.

 

We have arrived! We are here in Oshawa Ontario at the site of General Council 43. The theme is “Risking Faith, Daring Hope.” The day was mostly devoted to a “Festival of Faith”, with workshops, music, a few food trucks…a celebration of the church’s work and witness, through the arts. There were also opportunities to connect with friends old and new. We gathered for a bit of orientation to the new business model in the late afternoon, and to hear a presentation on the Calls to the Church related to reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters. After dinner, a bit of social time. Those of us from Alberta and Northwest Conference gathered for “cookies and milk” with our conference president, Kathy Yamashita. There was also a welcome party outside on the grounds, with live music…which I can still hear as I type this!

Continue reading ““There is a sense of excitement” #GC43″

The log in my eye

The Log in my Eye

Patricia and fellow student at Learning on Purpose

Patricia Vollmann-Stock attended the Centre for Christian Studies’ 2-week intensive, Learning on Purpose, which took place in Victoria, B.C. from June 11-23, 2018.

Our group of 12 men and women of various ages had the privilege to meet and hear stories from two people who work at Our Place Society, an outreach ministry in downtown Victoria. Shirley and Carlos have both had lives filled with pain and addiction, but each overcame their challenges and are now beacons of hope to others who take time to hear their stories of redemption and love. I reflect on a biblical passage that came to mind, Titus 3:5 – “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”
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What happened in Victoria changes lives! Learning on Purpose – 2 weeks in pictures

This year, the Centre for Christian Studies held its 2-week signature program, Learning on Purpose, in beautiful Victoria, BC. Christ Church Cathedral provided a dramatic stained glass backdrop and awesome organ music. Students gathered from June 11 – 23 to learn what it means for them to be faith leaders that uplifts others, are analytical about and critical of structure, rooted in tradition while walking boldly in the future, reflective and responsive.

Click on a gallery to scroll through the images.
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Sharing the grace of community and the everyday – Reflections on retirement

Retirement, a time to reflect and to ponder. I grew up in the United Church, and it is a place I have been rooted in all my life. My dream was to be a nurse at the Hospital for Sick Children’s in Toronto where I did train for my 25 year nursing career. With increasing involvement in the church, I became more aware of my sense of call to ministry. Through a time of reflection and prayer, decided to answer that growing pull to a different kind of ministry.

In these early days, I was privileged to serve in a partnership of a United Church and Lutheran Church with marginalized people living in Kitchener-Waterloo. It enlivened and challenged my relationship with God. It was a time of learning to honour how much each person has something to be valued in community. A time to encourage those who feel so outside the accepted places to find the ways they can share their gifts.

After 15 years serving in the outreach ministry, it was time to move on. Near the end of my time there, I started to serve a small congregation struggling to find some meaning for their presence in their community. It too was a time of empowering people, for them to look outside the walls of the church to the community they served and find ways to connect as they share the love of God they so enjoyed within those walls.

Marilyn Shaw – ready to exit

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The top 5 things that all Companions share – who do you nominate?

Every year, the Centre for Christian Studies names one person, or occasionally two people, as Companion of the Centre.  Companions of the Centre epitomize diakonia and provide inspiration to all of us on how to live into this ministry.  While the people who have been distinguished over the years are fairly diverse, there are 5 traits that they all share:

  • the spirit of diakonia infuses their whole lives
  • they are passionate about the world around them
  • their ministry has touched others profoundly
  • they offer in the spirit of love and service
  • they inspire us
2018 Companion of the Centre, Sue Taylor

The CCS Awards Working Group is now inviting nominations for the 2019 Companion of the Centre Award.  Continue reading “The top 5 things that all Companions share – who do you nominate?”

We have exciting news!

 

The Centre for Christian Studies is delighted to announce that Marcie Gibson is joining our Program Staff team on a permanent basis. Marcie has been working with the Centre for the last two years on contract, facilitating the Integration Year and coordinating field placements. She grew up in the Anglican tradition, is a graduate of CCS and a Diaconal Minister in the United Church of Canada. Continue reading “We have exciting news!”

Baptised and formed – Ecumenical Conversations on the Diaconate

CCS staff Lori Stewart and David Lappano attended the International Anglican-Roman Catholic-Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate,  Regina, May 10 – 13.

Lori Stewart and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Regina to attend an ecumenical ‘Anglican – Roman Catholic – Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate’. We knew this would be a great opportunity to connect with some of our Anglican colleagues across Canada but also internationally. I had great conversations with Episcopalians from the US, the Scottish Episcopalian Church, British Anglicans, and folks from Halifax to Vancouver.

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Convergence and Divergence – Reflections on the Ecumenical Diaconate

CCS staff Lori Stewart and David Lappano attended the International Anglican-Roman Catholic-Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate,  Regina, May 10 – 13.

As one lone United Church person at a conference of Anglicans and Roman Catholics, I might have been lost in the crowd but the fact that the focus was on the diaconate and on ecumenical understanding meant that I had a lot in common with the other participants. There was the additional benefit of meeting people who are influential in the diaconal world: Maylanne Maybee, Phina Borgeson, Rosalind Brown, Brian Butcher, Fritz Bauerschmidt, Gloria Marie Jones, Michael Jackson, Susanne Watson Epting, and Alison Peden, each looking at “the points of convergence as well as divergence” in the understanding of the diaconate in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Communions. The Conference was a joint venture of both churches, the result of a successful, long-term ecumenical collaboration and dialogue in those Saskatchewan dioceses.

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Got privilege? – White Privilege Conference Global

I had the amazing privilege (no pun intended) of attending the White Privilege Conference Global in May, held for the first time in Canada. (It has been held in the U.S. for the past nineteen years). It was an amazing event, and I was delighted that other than school boards, the United Church of Canada seemed to have the largest delegation! We were all able to attend workshops in the morning, and two keynotes speakers per day as well as entertainment that augmented the experience.

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