Six reasons to learn at CCS

With the 2017-2018 school year coming to a close, CCS program staff are turning their attention to the upcoming year and six new theme learning circles!  Whether taken as part of formation for diaconal ministry, or as continuing education to deepen your understanding of a topic of interest, these learning circles are a rich opportunity for learning alongside others. Continue reading “Six reasons to learn at CCS”

Building a More Diverse Family

This is an excerpt from the book Times and Tides: BC Conference — an overview 1970–2017.  The chapter “Building a More Diverse Family” was written by CCS Communications staff person, Kimiko Karpoff. 

In some ways my family’s story, my story, is illustrative of the larger story of ethnic and intercultural ministries within the United Church. It is a story of immigration, multiculturalism, and integration.

In September 1963, my grandfather, Rev. Jun Kabayama, was called as the first full-time minister to the Fraser Valley Japanese United Church. In September of 2012, my friend Rev. Yoko Kihara presided at her final service at Fraser Valley Japanese. It was the annual O-Bon or Memorial Service, and it marked not only the end of her ministry there but the winding down of that congregation. They continued to worship for several months with a minister borrowed from the Vancouver Japanese Issei (Japanese speaking) congregation. Six months later, on Easter Sunday 2013, Fraser Valley Japanese officially amalgamated with Northwood United Church. They had shared a building for 50 years before Northwood was created through an earlier amalgamation, but they had only rarely even shared worship together.

My mother Lily is the youngest of Jun and Maki Kabayama’s eight children. She is the daughter of immigrants and a preacher’s kid. My mother was born at the cusp of the Second World War while her father served the Japanese United Church in Ocean Falls. Their family was interned during the war, first at Hastings Park in Vancouver and later in Raymond, Alberta. Like a large majority of Canadians of Japanese descent, she married outside of that culture. She remained active in the United Church her whole life.

Author Kimiko Karpoff with her grandfather Rev. Jun Kabayama at her baptism.

Continue reading “Building a More Diverse Family”

Learning on Purpose 2018 registration deadline extended

There’s still time to register for 2 weeks of learning in community with the Centre for Christian Studies at the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, BC.  Sign up now for Learning on Purpose 2018!

The CCS website was down for part of this past weekend (too much traffic), so we’re extending our registration deadline to May 15th.  If you were thinking about taking advantage of this opportunity to dive deep into your calling for social justice, spiritual care, education, worship, and theology but didn’t get around to registering, this week is for you! Continue reading “Learning on Purpose 2018 registration deadline extended”

A circle of Right Relations

The Right Relations learning circle gathered from April 19 – 25.  CCS students were joined by students from the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, six continuing studies students (both lay and clergy), Elders and special guests.

Prayers for the children

Richard Manley Tanis is the Minister of Evangelism, Mission & Church Development at the Winnipeg Presbytery, the incoming principal at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon and a graduate of CCS. This is a reflection from his blog A Deacon’s Musing.

Creator's Children

Creator’s Children

This last Sunday I offered the Prayers of the People during the Annual Service of Celebration for the Centre for Christian Studies (CCS). This service marks the graduation of Diaconal Ministers and also honours a new Companion of the Centre each year. This service is also significant for me as I, myself, graduated from the programme in 2009. Needless to say, I felt honoured and a little anxious.

The Prayers of the People are part of the worship experience that brings forth the concerns and worries, hopes and celebrations that are present in a faith community and beyond. Sometimes they are understood as an intercession with the Holy in which prayers are presented with the hope of intervention. For some, the prayers are less about an expectation of action and more about being able to name–in community–that which might otherwise be silenced. Regardless of the approach, whether a mingling of the intention, I have always understood this worship act as one of the ways that Creator is channelled.
Continue reading “Prayers for the children”

Risking relationship – Graduating class of 2018

In the Presence of the Creator of the world, eternal God,
We come from many places for a little while.
With the Redeemer of humanity, God with us,
We come with all our differences seeking common ground.
Enlivened with the Spirit of unity, go-between God,
We have come on journeys of our own
to a place where journeys meet.
So here in this place today
Let us take time together.
For when paths cross, there is so much to share and celebrate~
~Call to worship from the 2018 Service of Celebration

Marcie Gibson offered the citation for the 2018 CCS graduates at the Service of Celebration on April 15.

It my pleasure to share with you our graduates of the Centre for Christian Studies Diploma in Diaconal Ministries 2018 class.

Melanie Ihmels, from Victoria British Colombia and BC Conference, Tiffany McNaughton inabstentia from Fernie British Colombia and Alberta Northwest Conference, Anita Rowland from Orangevill Ontario and Toronto Conference, and Catherine Underhill from Peterborough Ontario and Bay of Quinte Conference.

Some of you who attended the graduation banquet last night will have heard a bit about their individual journeys, but today I wish to speak to you about these four students as a graduating class together.
Continue reading “Risking relationship – Graduating class of 2018”

DUCC, DUCC, Goose

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

It was an amazing few days of learning about forgiveness, colonization and economics with a social justice bent, and being inspired by filmmakers, survivors and change makers. Hearing amazing stories from amazing people about how we can, as the saying goes, be the change we want to see in the world. Wonderful, inspiring.

Then there were a couple of moments that I looked out and on the other side of the window was a guy. You probably know the guy: disheveled, boots too big, wearing a winter coat in spring weather. The kind of guy we might find at one of our outreach ministries or asking for change on the corner. A reminder that yes, it’s great to be inspired, and yes, that world is right out there, just on the other side of the window.
Continue reading “DUCC, DUCC, Goose”

Closed for a breather!

The office will be closed on Friday, April 27.

We’re taking the day off!

We’ve graduated the grads, celebrated the Companion of the Centre and gathered in learning communities to engage and learn about Relationships and Right Relations. The Central Council has met face-to-face and diaconal ministers from across Canada have congregated in Winnipeg for a bi-annual gathering.

We’ve just completed what we like to call “the week of everything” although this year it was more like 2 weeks!  We’ve laughed and cried and learned and connected and gathered and feasted and celebrated. And now we’re going to take a day off.

The office will be closed on Friday, April 27.
Catch us back here next week!

Heartbeat of healing

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

My diaconal ministry classmates and I were invited to join the DUCC conference outings on April 18th. Diaconal ministers and students from across the country spiraled out into Winnipeg, visiting sites about Truth and Reconciliation, social enterprise, Indigenous art, community ministries, corrections and justice, ally-ship, and courageous risking through art making.

At the Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibit Insurgence/Resurgence I was drawn to Ejinda-pushit, the stretched caribou hide that formed a huge drum amplified by a speaker. This piece was created by Tsēma Igharas, interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tāłtān First Nation.
Continue reading “Heartbeat of healing”

5 minutes to bust myths at 1JustCity

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

As a visitor to one of the four sites of 1JustCity, I was given an opportunity to spin their “roulette wheel of risk”. The risk that came up for me is the white one in this photograph….it challenged me to: Build a new relationship. Spend 5 minutes getting to know someone at a place like 1JustCity.

Fortunately for me, my opportunity to risk had already happened – I had just spent 30 minutes in conversation with a volunteer at 1JustCity – an open, honest and unassuming 40-ish man named Brent. We chatted about his job as a volunteer at the West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM is one of 1JustCity’s 4 sites). During that conversation, Brent described daily life at the centre, and daily life for Brent. Like the roulette wheel, Brent over-turned many common myths about folks who find themselves in need of the services and support of agencies like WBCM.
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Courageous Risking at DUCC Gathering 2018

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

The Diaconal story begins with the radical image of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, and includes the examples of courageous risk-taking of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers, dining with the marginalized, and healing the outcasts. Jesus pushes us to think outside the box. His message is always to find another way, a better way.

What does it mean to actively engage in courageous risking? Most of us don’t recognize when we are doing it. What one person calls risky is not necessarily what another person would call risk taking.

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The week of EVERYTHING!

A week in pictures.

This has been the week of everything at the Centre for Christian Studies.

Integration Year students gathered at Woodsworth House on Monday, April 9, for their final learning circle. On the 11th, students participating in the Relationship learning circle began the first of back-to-back circles, meeting just down the street at St. Peter’s Lutheran church. The Central Council met for their annual face-to-face meeting from the 12th to the 14th. On the weekend we celebrated new grads and this year’s Companion of the Centre, first at the Celebration Banquet and then at the Service of Celebration.

Also, this year the Diakonia of the United Church of Canada (DUCC) met in Winnipeg from April 17th to 20th and the Right Relations learning circle will gather from the 19th to the 26th.

It’s been a full week!

Click on a gallery to scroll through the photos.

Integration Year 

Marcie Gibson (staff), Tif McNaughton, Melanie Ihmaels, Anita Rowland, Catherine Underhill

Continue reading “The week of EVERYTHING!”

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.
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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”