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.
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” 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.
The two-week Leadership Development Module held in Calgary finished up on Saturday.
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.
We had a lot of fun earlier this year putting together a promotional video to be shown at various Conference annual meetings.
The second LDM of the year is currently underway in Calgary. Ted Dodd is leading a group of 16 who are meeting at Parkdale United Church from August 8 to August 21.
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?