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.

Continue reading “Baptised and formed – Ecumenical Conversations on the Diaconate”

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.

Continue reading “Convergence and Divergence – Reflections on the Ecumenical Diaconate”

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.

Continue reading “Got privilege? – White Privilege Conference Global”

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!