Advent Candle Prayers

Here are some advent candle prayers I wrote a number of years ago. They won’t be much use for this year but maybe some other time.

Advent 1 – Hope

Luke 1: 35-38, Matthew 1:20-23, Luke 1: 46-55, Luke 1: 76-79

Advent is a time of waiting.
With anticipation, we await the coming birth.
With expectation, we await a coming fulfilment of justice and compassion.
With hope, we await the coming of Emmanuel; God with us.

Advent is a time of preparation.
With anticipation, we prepare ourselves for re-birth and renewal.
With expectation, we prepare for the promise of peace on earth.
With hope, we prepare to be God’s incarnate love for the world.

During this cold time of the year,
the daylight grows shorter.
We light this candle as a sign of hope.
The sun will return.

During this festive time of the year,
we are aware that many, in this season, are lost and lonely.
We light this candle as a sign of hope.
Despair is not the final word.

During this joyous time of the year,
we are aware that much, in our world, is broken.
We light this candle as a sign of hope.
The promise of Christmas will not be broken.

(lighting of the first Advent candle)

Advent 2 – Peace
Luke 1: 12-13, Luke 1: 76-79, Luke 1: 26-30, Luke 2: 13-14

We light this candle remembering the song of the angels.
Glory to God…
We light this candle knowing there is not peace in our world.
…and on earth peace.
We light this candle hoping some day there will be peace.
Glory to God…
We light this candle knowing in many homes there is not safety.
…and on earth peace.
We light this candle hoping for a safe space for everyone.
Glory to God…
We light this candle committing ourselves to peace-creating,
to justice-making,
and shaping a world that is filled with love.
Glory to God and on earth peace.

(lighting of the second Advent candle)

Advent 3 – Joy
Luke 1:13-14, Luke 1: 39-44, Matthew 2: 9-10, Luke 2: 8-11

With music and song,
with laughter and mirth,
with movement and dance,
Let us celebrate the source of joy,
the spirit of life who will be born in our midst.

With stillness and prayer,
with wisdom and depth,
with passion and heart,
Let us celebrate the source of joy,
the spirit of life who will be born in our midst.

With action and care,
with service and love,
with respect and grace,
Let us celebrate the source of joy,
the spirit of life who will be born in our midst.

In the midst of planning and rushing,
in the midst of shopping and feasting,
in the midst of worshipping and candle-lighting,
Let us celebrate the source of joy,
the spirit of life who will be born in our midst.

(lighting of the third Advent candle)

Advent 4 – Love
Luke 1:26-28, Matthew 1: 20-23, Matthew 2: 11, Luke 2: 15-20

In the song of the angels: Mystery.
In the awe of the shepherds: Wonder.
In the birth of the child: Grace.
We light this candle remembering the love of God.

In the voice of concern: Compassion.
In the hand of friendship: Support.
In the relationship of trust: Care.
We light this candle remembering the love incarnate in others.

In the cry of the oppressed: Liberation.
In the tears of the vulnerable: Justice.
In the rage of the violated: Peace.
We light this candle remembering the love needed in the world.

We light this candle remembering we are called to love God.
We light this candle remembering we are called to love our neighbour.

(lighting of the fourth Advent candle)

2011 Companion of the Centre announced.

The recipient of the 2011 “Companion of the Centre” award will be Mary Ellen Moore.  The award will be presented at CCS’s Annual Service of Celebration on April 3, 2011.

Mary Ellen attended Covenant College, graduating in 1964 and was designated deaconess the same year. Her husband, Ralph, was ordained as a United Church minister and settled in Newfoundland. In 1970 they returned for a year to Toronto, where Mary Ellen worked at the United Church national office while her husband studied at the Centre for Christian Studies. They returned to a new appointment in Labrador City, but three years later her husband was tragically killed in a car accident. With her daughter Heather, Mary Ellen returned to Ontario, studied at Emmanuel College and was ordained in 1978 and settled in Alberta. She served in several congregations in Alberta, and retired in 2004 from Sunnybrook United Church in Red Deer where she still lives. She remains active in retirement, including involvement as an active member of the Stephen Lewis Foundation through the ‘GrammaLink Africa’ program.

Throughout her ministry Mary Ellen has been a good listener and educator, with involvement at local, presbytery and national levels of her church. She exhibits deep care and compassion for others – in the church community and beyond.

Mary Ellen has been supportive of the Centre over the years, serving as a mentor, and most recently part of the Endowment Fund Campaign.

“It Gets Better”

Patrick Woodbeck from Rainbow Ministries will be speaking at CCS’s “Mindful Munchin'” event on January 21 2011.  He will be discussing the “It Gets Better” campaign, and the role of the United Church.  There will be more information to come.

If you haven’t heard of “It Gets Better”, it’s a project designed to combat the high levels of despair and suicide among LGBT youth and people who have experienced bullying based on their perceived sexuality by spreading the word that love and friendship and support and accepatance IS possible.  Check out the It Gets Better website.

Another LDM testimonial

Joan Kennedy attended the Leadership Development Module in 2010, and is headed toward a ministry of Word, Sacrament, and Pastoral Care.

I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in the Centre for Christian Studies’ Leadership Development Module this past summer in Calgary. As a Candidate for Ordination, I found the content and practice of leadership invaluable as I enter congregational ministry as Student Supply. Learning together as part of this community for 12 days was a very affirming and enlightening experience for me. Consider the LDM as part of your theological education plans.”
Joan Kennedy, Grande Prairie, AB

Is CCS’s Leadership Development Module for you?

We Are All Treaty People!

Come and learn more about:

  • the spirit and the intent of the treaties
  • the historic and contemporary issues
  • implications for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal People

Speaker: Jeff Harris from the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba

Wednesday, December 8 7:00 p.m.

Room 3M71 – Manitoba Hall, 3rd floor, University of Winnipeg

This event was initiated as follow-up to an Mindful Munchin’ event sponsored by the Centre for Christian Studies in October. The Very Reverend Dr. Stan McKay (Elder, and former Moderator of The United Church of Canada) spoke about “Truth and Reconciliation: Where do we go from here?” He shared reflections on next steps in the path toward healing and reconciliation for residential school survivors and for the Church and on what must be done now so that we all can live as “treaty people”.

Organized by a group of people working for „right relationship‟ between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, including representatives of:

  • Centre for Christian Studies
  • Faculty of Theology, University of Winnipeg
  • Immanuel United Church
  • St. Matthew’s Anglican Church
  • St. Stephen’s Anglican Church

More info…

Website Update

The Centre for Christian Studies website ( ) is being updated this weekend.  For a few hours you won’t be able to access it, but once it comes back online you’ll find it has a fresh new look.  If you have pages on the website bookmarked, you may get a “File Not Found” message after the update, but hopefully the navigation on the new website will be clear enough to help you easily find the content you’re looking for.

The CCS Blog will not be affected by the update.

News from Toronto

Charlotte Caron recently had time in Toronto where she was able to meet with CCS grads, volunteers and supporters. Two highlights were a visit to Belmont Place and a gathering at Trinity-St. Paul’s Church.

Three diaconal ministers live in Belmont Place.  Marion Pope took Charlotte around to visit the two others, first visiting Muriel Isaac, a woman who now attends the United Church although she worked as a deaconess in Baptist Churches during her career.  At 97 she enjoys reading, visiting and going to church.  Down the hall lives Donalda Jardine who, at 102, is the oldest living graduate of what is now the Centre for Christian Studies.   Ms Jardine graduated in 1937, was commissioned by Maritime Conference and began her career working as a Christian Educator in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.  She has a delightful smile as she recalls her time at the training school.

Later that day, 19 CCS grads and supporters gathered for visiting and some learning what is currently happening at CCS.  Charlotte spoke, with students Deb Kigar and Jackie Van’t Voort and Council Co-Chair adding their perspectives.  It was an enjoyable time with people from different eras, Anglican and United people, grads and supporters.  We met in the “Memorial Room” at Trinity-St. Paul’s, a fitting site with a large painting of Katherine Hockin who taught many of us over the years about social analysis and how the world works.

Charlotte will be travelling to Edmonton and Calgary in early December to visit and catch up with  old and new friends.

It’s not too early to think about the Leadership Development Module

We already have two people signed up and it’s only November!  Contact for more info.

Looking for meaningful continuing education?  Taking a sabbatical?  Searching for renewal in ministry?

The LDM will be offered twice this year.  Once in Winnipeg at CCS, May 30 – June 11, 2011.  And again in Nova Scotia at Tatamagouche Centre, August 8-20, 2011 .

Doing the Leadership Development Module was a very significant part of my first Sabbatical taken as I completed 30 years in ordered ministry.  It provided a wonderful, though very intense, opportunity to hone existing skills, to develop new skills and to learn new approaches in a supportive, challenging community.

– Dexter Van Dyke, Regine, SK

Cookies and Carols

CCS is opening its doors to folks who will be in and around Winnipeg on December 15th to join us for our annual “Cookies and Carols” celebration.   This event will take place on from 4 – 6 pm at the CCS offices (60 Maryland Street, Winnipeg).

Annual Fundraising Campaign

First of all, let me share some statistics with you…

Last year CCS had 33 full-time equivalent students training for diaconal ministry.
It costs CCS $15,163.97/year to educate each student.
A grant from the United Church of Canada covered $3,800 per student.
Each student paid tuition of $4,500.
This means, of course, that CCS needs to raise about $7,000 per full time equivalent beyond tuition and grants.
$7,000 times  33 students = $231,000

So far we’ve raised enough for 2 students.

Would you like to help?  Contact us at CCS to make a donation, or click on the “Donate” button in the sidebar to make a donation through the Canada Helps website.

Tell us what you are doing

CCS is getting a new database sometime fairly soon.  And one of the things we’ve realized is that we don’t know what some of our graduates are currently up to.  We’d love to know.  If you’re working, where are you working?  If you retired, where did you retire from?  Are you volunteering in your retirement?  If you’re on sabbatical, what are you doing with your time?  Drop Glenda a line (Edit: Marc is the new staff person: ) and let her know.  CCS grads are some of the most interesting people, and the way they integrate their faith, their work, and their lives is inspiring.

Theme Year Fall Learning Circle wraps up

The fall Learning Circle for students in the Educational Ministry Year finishes today.  CCS will seem quiet tomorrow, after having 20 students in and around for the past two weeks.  We wish them well as they head home to continue their learning.

Stan McKay podcast

Last Wednesday, the Very Rev. Dr. Stan McKay spoke to around 70 people as part of CCS’s Mindful Munching lunchtime discussion.  The topic was “Truth and Reconciliation: Where Do We Go From Here?”.

Stan McKay

The audio podcast of this presentation is now available.  Just right-click on the link below (ctrl-click if you’re on Mac without a right click button) and choose “Save target as…”  Or you can just click the link and it will play in your browser.  The podcast is a 29:30 minutes MP3 (13.5 MB).

Truth and Reconciliation: Where Do We Go From Here?

The audience was a diverse mix of church and non-church people, students, aboriginal and non-aboriginal.  As part of the Stan’s presentation he invited everyone gathered to introduce themselves and comment on the T&R gathering in Winnipeg earlier this year if they attended.  Toward the end of the presentation he invited the gathered audience to share ideas for networking and action.  These were important parts of the discussion, although they aren’t included in the podcast.

At one point Stan commented that an hour over lunch was not adequate to really explore the issues and move toward action, and plans are underway with some of the people gathered to organized a longer and more in-depth event.

This is our first CCS podcast, so we may have a few wrinkles still to work out, but let us know what you thought by leaving a comment.

Mardi Tindal visits the Learning Circle

Mardi Tindal, Moderator of the United Church, dropped by the Educational Ministry Year Learning Circle today on her way through Winnipeg.  She brought greetings from the United Church of Canada (“Because I can,” she said) and expressed support and encouragement for the work the students are doing in preparing for ministry.

UCC Moderator Mardi Tindal with student and staff of the Centre for Christian Studies
UCC Moderator Mardi Tindal (left of centre, wearing the striped jacket) with CCS students and staff