Christmas Silliness

Some Christmas silliness,
and on a more sincere note:

God grant you the light in Christmas which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth.

Charlotte visits Alberta

In early December Charlotte spent the week in Alberta.  The Deans and Principals of United Church related schools held their annual meeting with United Church Staff in Edmonton, hosted by St. Stephen’s College.   The meeting gave opportunity for hearing news about what is happening at other schools and at the national church.  The mood of the meeting was positive.  Charlotte was able to report our good enrollment of students and to talk about the important work we do for the church in preparation for Diaconal Ministry.  We will watch with interest and give input as possible to the Candidacy Pathway work that is now going on at the national church.

Following that meeting, she visited with some diaconal ministers in Red Deer.  A wonderful part of that time was announcing to the congregation at Sunnybrook United Church that Mary Ellen Moore has been chosen as next year’s Companion of the Centre.  The congregation broke into spontaneous applause and faces lit up at the news!   Mary Ellen was a greeter and scripture reader at the service, and people were very pleased with CCS’s decision.  We look forward to the celebration in early April when the ceremony will take place


Update on our Annual Campaign

Glenda has been updating you on a regular basis about the fall financial campaign.  But today we make an official announcement about a very generous donor who gave a large gift of company shares to CCS.  On the day of transfer the shares were valued at $147,000.  The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, heard of our financial stresses and responded.  Our gratitude is overflowing!

What does this mean for CCS?

First, it means we will likely end this year without a deficit for the first time in many years.  The gift was split so that $100,000 is for the Operating Fund and the rest for the Endowment Fund.

Secondly, the money given to the Operating Account allows time for the Futures Task Group’s recommendations to be implemented, for the United Church to determine how money saved from ceasing to fund four UCC schools will be distributed (and whether CCS will be a recipient of some extra UCC money), and for us to seek other funding options.

Thirdly, it means our Endowment Fund has an added bonus that increases the amount we can draw from the endowment over the long run. This year we were able to draw $96,000 from Endowment to cover Operating Expenses.  We hope that soon, due to this kind of generous donor, a full quarter of our yearly expenses will come from endowment transfers.

What does this mean to you?

· First, it means you can be confident that your dollars invested in CCS will pay off!  We do excellent education and the churches need our work.  This donation ensures our viability through a challenging time.  Your regular donations will see us through in the long run.  We know that you care about CCS and its future and we encourage you to keep giving.

Secondly, this donation offers a creative option.  We occasionally receive gifts of shares, of bequests or life insurance policies, and of other forms of assets.  What do you have that you could give to CCS?  Call Glenda Knoll to discuss options that you might be considering.

Thirdly, you can offer prayers of thanksgiving for all gifts of generosity.  In this Christmas season, we give thanks for the smallest gift—a baby come into our midst.  That baby made a big difference.  Each gift, large or small that is given with generous spirit makes the world a better place.  So we give thanks for a special large donation; we give thanks for each small gift; we give thanks for God’s generous gift of love in Jesus Christ this holy season.

May you know the depth of God’s love this Christmas!

– Charlotte Caron, Acting Principal

LDM Testimonial #3

The third in our series of testimonials about why the Leadership Development Module might be for you:

Alice Watson is an Educational Ministry Year student at CCS who attended the LDM in 2009.

“The world and the church needs people healed, encouraged, and internally propelled by the experiential, reflective, interactive, and liberating Centre for Christian Studies program.  This little yellow house in Winnipeg hosts cutting edge education for ministry which combines:

  • a non-judgmental learning environment,
  • a commitment to walk a path of liberation and justice with others and,
  • an allegiance to prayerfulness and worship.

The process involves research, discussion, reflection, is based in community and includes hands-on field work.

The program is NOT dispensable or expendable.  The world needs it.”

For more info about the LDM, visit the CCS website.  Check out the previous testimonials (#1, #2)

Principal Megan McKenzie resigns

It is with sadness that the council met on December 15th and accepted the resignation of Principal Megan McKenzie.   The resignation is effective September 11, 2011 when Megan’s parental leave ends.  Megan has decided to stay at home with Micah and Ridd and take on a supportive role as Jeremy (her partner) returns to school full time.  Megan began the position of Principal of CCS half time beginning October 1st, 2008, and then full time January 2, 2009.  She left CCS in January of 2010 to go on disability when her doctor suggested bed rest for her pregnancy with Ridd.   All is well in Megan’s family, both children are healthy and happy, and we wish Megan and her family happiness as they transition into new changes that they are facing.


Cookies and Carols

There’s something about the smell of warm apple cider that makes a room feel Christmas-y.  That and a bunch of friendly people singing carols and hymns, everything from to “It Came upon the Midnight Clear” and “‘Twas In the Moon of Wintertime” to “Come Now, O God of Peace (O-So-So)” and “No Crowded Eastern Street.”  Thanks to everyone who came out to make the season bright!

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.

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.

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.