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”

2017 Annual Report

Welcome to the Centre for Christian Studies’ 2017 annual report.  Feel free to share it widely.

CCS Annual Report 2017

If you’d like to discuss CCS’s work over the last year and its plans for the future, feel free to join us at the Annual General Meeting, Thursday, March 8th (6:00pm CST).  Contact Cheryl at office@ccsonline.ca or 204-783-4490 to register and receive meeting documents (agenda, nominations table, financial statements, etc.)

 

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”

Learning on Purpose focusses purpose

There is no actual typical. That is as true for CCS students as it is for the rest of the world.  CCS’s signature leadership program, Learning on Purpose, attracts a wide-range of students ~ diaconal, lay, ordained, Anglican, United. There are often students from the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre and other theological schools, various denominations and occasionally other countries and faith groups.

We recently spoke to four students who might be considered atypical, about their experience taking CCS’s signature leadership program, Learning on Purpose. Two are ordained ministers in the United Church and two are lay ministers in the Anglican Church. As an added point of interest, they are two couples. All of them live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Min Goo Kang is the minister at Fort Garry United Church. Ha Na Park is the minister at Immanuel United Church. Stacy Stanley Young is a self-employed book-keeper and volunteer treasurer at St. Paul’s Anglican Fort Garry. Evan Young works for the city of Winnipeg and is a liturgical lay leader at St. Paul’s. Min Goo and Stacy attended the LoP in August 2016. Ha Na and Evan attended in August 2017. Continue reading “Learning on Purpose focusses purpose”

Join the Circle

CCS grad Kathy Douglas will be taking a learning circle this spring as continuing ed.

“Since graduation I have searched for con-ed that offers the depth and breadth of content as well as the educational style CCS gave me.”

Kathy Douglas has been employed and active in ministry since 2008.  She is a graduate of the Centre for Christian Studies.  She is a vocational mentor for a couple of the Centre’s current students.  And this spring she is thinking about being a student in the social justice learning circle on Right Relations.

“I am so excited to be able to ‘tap’ into a circle again.  I have longed for it,” says Kathy.

Continue reading “Join the Circle”

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”

Announcing the 2018 Companion of the Centre – Sue Taylor

Sue Taylor is the CCS 2018 Companion of the Centre

In my understanding, spirituality is about a sense of connectedness or a search for connectedness: Connectedness within ourselves or a feeling of “being at home” within ourselves; connectedness with others in relationships; connectedness within the wider community or the world; connectedness with the universe or creation and the mystery that we might call God—a connectedness that gives meaning to life.”
~ Sue Taylor

The Companion of the Centre is awarded annually to acknowledge someone who has made a significant contribution to the work of CCS or whose whose life and work epitomizes the ideals of CCS. We are pleased to announce that Sue Taylor will be the 2018 Companion of the Centre recipient. Sue will be presented with the award at the Annual Service of Celebration on April 15, 2018.

Sue has had three main stages to her working career. She trained as a nurse and worked in many caring roles for 27 years until she became aware of her calling to Diaconal Ministry. Continue reading “Announcing the 2018 Companion of the Centre – Sue Taylor”

Music, the Bible and connecting to God

CCS program staff person Janet Ross reflects on Music and Spirituality in the Rupertsland News.

Music has had a significant place in my life and in some ways has been a “character” or perhaps more accurately a kind of dialogue partner in my life story. Music has invited me into new spaces of existence and existentiality, has confronted me, and has comforted me. When approached with the topic for this month’s edition of RLN, I asked if I might include a bit about music and scripture, and then interview two Winnipeg musicians on their understanding of music and spirituality. Thus, the format for this article includes first some roles of music in scripture and, next, comments on experiences of music and spirituality from two Winnipeg musicians, Cate Friesen and John K. Samson.

Read the full article here, beginning on page 5.

“Music unites the worlds of human 
and divine (2 Chronicles 5:13). In
a utopic description, the text
relays that it is only when the
musicians and singers are as
one, in complete harmony,
that divine glory descends to
live among the people.”

Mamawe Ota Askihk – Sharing Life Together Here on Earth

Diaconal minister Karen Tjaden reflects on a week at the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre with Indigenous community leaders and settler allies to reclaim the homebred, the homespoken, the homegrown, and the homemade. Photographs from Michelle Owen’s experience at the  Feast for Friends.

Centred around the sacred fire, a wonderful community based on an immersion experience in sustainable food emerged at Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre this week.  It was a privilege to be part of the circle with Sandy Saulteaux students and other Indigenous people from their communities. Continue reading “Mamawe Ota Askihk – Sharing Life Together Here on Earth”