Donalda Jardine (1908-2011)

The oldest living graduate of the Centre for Christian Studies (United Church Training School at the time of her graduation) has died at the age of 103 years. Born in Centre Napan, New Brunswick, Donalda Jardine became a teacher and principal of New Brunswick Schools until 1936 when she entered the United Church Training School with the hope (as per her application) of becoming “better fitted for the work winning the world for Christ.” Donalda graduated in 1937 and worked as a Women’s Missionary Society Worker and Deaconess in the United Church of Canada. She especially enjoyed her work with youth and at summer camps. Donalda remained a friend of CCS. In her file, we have a lovely letter acknowledging her delight in receiving a scroll of messages prepared by folks celebrating the 2007 graduation ceremonies of CCS that wished her well on the 70th anniversary of her graduation. It was a very moving experience for all of us who signed the scroll and felt connected to her through UCTS/CCS. A photo of Donalda with Charlotte Caron taken in November 2010 appeared in an earlier email update. We give thanks for Donalda’s life and for the Christian witness she offered in it.

Mindful Munchin’: The Arts and Hospitality

The guest speaker for February’s Mindful Munchin’ event will be United Church minister and artist barb janes.  She spent her recent sabbatical exploring ways that churches can offer hospitality to the arts.  She is working on a McGeachy scholarship on Inviting Wonder.  On March 16th she will be at CCS to ask, How might churches expand as places of sacred experience by using our gifts of space and hospitality for local creative communities?  Bring a bag lunch and join the discussion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm.  RSVP to Glenda. ( )  Download a poster.

Patrick Woodbeck Podcast

Last Friday, Patrick Woodbeck of Winnipeg’s Rainbow Ministry, spoke to a group as part of CCS’s regular “Mindful Munchin'” lunchtime lecture series.  His topic was the “It Gets Better” campaign and the role of the church in supporting GLBT youth (and others) who experience bullying.

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 37:52 minutes MP3 (17.3 MB).

It Gets Better: The Church’s Role

The podcast doesn’t include the comments, questions, and discussion with the audience.  The video clip that was shown as part of Patrick’s presentation can be found on the It Gets Better website.

Glenda leaving CCS

Glenda Knoll, CCS’s Community Resource Coordinator, is moving on.  She has taken a job with the Mosaic Newcomer Resource Network, working with new Canadians, especially women and children.  She will continue working at CCS in the afternoons until February.

We will miss her warmth and friendliness, and we know that the folks at Mosaic will appreciate her gifts.  Best of luck, Glenda.

Mindful Munchin’: It Gets Better

This Friday, January 21st, Patrick Woodbeck from Rainbow Ministry will be at CCS on January 21st as part of our Mindful Munchin’ series.  His topic is the “It Gets Better” campaign and what the church’s role could look like.  Bring a lunch and plan to attend from 11:45 – 1:00pm.  (Give Glenda a call at 783-4490 to let her know you’re coming, just so we know how many chairs to put out.)

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.  (The video below is just one of the thousands of messages of hope that have been posted since the project began.)

If you can’t make this Mindful Munchin’, the next one will be on February 16th.  Our guest will be barb janes from Crescent Fort Rouge United Church and the topic will be “The Arts and Hospitality”.

When I Called, You Answered Me…

Psalm 138:3

Our goal for raising funds this year was $200,000. We reached our goal and to those of you who made a contribution, we thank you for your generous gift. However, we would not have been able to achieve this goal if it hadn’t been for our very generous anonymous contributor.

It’s not too late to make a 2010 donation to CCS. If making a contribution to the centre has slipped your mind…NO WORRIES…you still have time to make a donation through mail or though .

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.