The Only Point Is To Be Together

CCS student Meghan Witzel recently accompanied eleven youth from Waterloo Presbytery as a leader/chaplain on the “Two Countries One World” trip to Colombia.  Meghan shares some of her reflections:…


I have always believed in relational ministry. I think when we connect with people, whether on faith-based mutual ground or not, we discover the Holy in each other.

“In true relationships, the only point is to be together. Once there is another point, the relationship withers under the heat of expectations and obligations.”  – theologian Andrew Root.
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Unsettled

Shelagh Balfour is a recent graduate from the Centre for Christian Studies’ course for Anglicans exploring the diaconate – Ministering by Word and Example.  One of the goals of the course was to help students develop their capacity for biblical and theological reflection, and to connect their reflections to pastoral and social responses.  She’s agreed to share her reflections on Leanne Simpson’s article “Liberated People, Liberated Lands” as an example of the kind of critical thinking our students are invited to engage in. Continue reading “Unsettled”

Ann Teaches Us To Stand

This month CCS program staff member Ann Naylor received approval to move from “medical leave” to “long-term disability.”  At our recent Annual General Meeting, CCS student Anita Rowland delivered this tribute to Ann…


Anita Rowland

I don’t know how many of you remember your first few minutes at CCS or your first conversation with Ann but for me, those two things took place at the same time.  Within minutes of walking through the door of CCS for the fall learning circle, Ann had greeted me.  So early in the morning no one else was around yet.  We talked about how long tea can be reused, moved on to the subject of quilting, and then, to the handwork of previous generations of women; and the self-expression which found voice through their work.  Continue reading “Ann Teaches Us To Stand”

Ellipses

Canada 150

The dominant group in any nation state often resorts to nostalgia, to mental or cultural ellipses, and to general forgetfulness in search of meanings and definitions to serve its own ideological needs of the moment.

-Quoted in Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry, p. 75

CCS Program Staff member David Lappano reflects on Canada’s sesquicentennial… Continue reading “Ellipses”

Dream Job

CCS principal Maylanne Maybee writes…

Maylanne MaybeeAs the search gets underway for a new principal, I’ve heard from some, “Oh, I could never do that job!”     I remember when I thought the same thing. About six years ago I had lost a job, needed and wanted another one, and had pinned all my hopes on a position near Toronto, where I lived, which I was sure “had my name on it.”

Well, I was wrong.  I did not get my “dream job”.  In the mean time I had been approached by the Centre for Christian Studies Search Committee, asking me to think about applying for the Principal position or help them find suitable candidates.  “I could never do that job!” thought I, “at least not now. And not in Winnipeg!” Continue reading “Dream Job”

A Portrait of Thomasina Connell

2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the Centre for Christian Studies.  Over the course of the year we hope to feature one hundred and twenty-five images and stories about CCS’s history and identity.  To start things off, Lori Stewart reflects on a portrait of Thomasina Connell.

Thomasina Connell, head deaconess and principal of The Church of England Deaconess and Missionary Training House

The first time I saw the impressive portrait of Thomasina Connell, it was stuffed in a storage room in the lower level of the Centre for Christian Studies building at 77 Charles St. in Toronto.  At the time, I wondered who this clear-eyed deaconess was, dressed in the black uniform of an earlier day with the stiff white collar and bonnet.  All I knew was her name, discretely spelled out on a plaque, and that she was looking steadily out of that frame. Continue reading “A Portrait of Thomasina Connell”

Questioning Service

CCS grad Junghee Park died a year ago next Tuesday.  One of the things she did in her life was raise questions, graciously but provocatively. In her doctoral work at the Toronto School of Theology Junghee explored the concept of diakonia as companion and challenged the traditional association of diakonia with service.

In the spirit of thoughtful reflection, here is a reprint of a short piece by Junghee Park about the problem with service. As Junghee says at the end, What do you think? Continue reading “Questioning Service”

Sing for Justice – Micah’s Song

Thank you to David Kai, Jennifer Lidstone, Meghan Witzel, Ken DeLisle, Ted Dodd, Dianne Baker, and Tim Sale for helping us with this lovely video to help invite people to host a “Sing for Justice” event this fall.

The Centre for Christian Studies has a long tradition of living a theology of justice.  The CCS Development Working Group would like you to raise your voice, raise some spirits, raise awareness of CCS, and raise some funds to support transformative education.  For more information on how you can get involved, check out the Sing for Justice page, or contact Lori at stewart@ccsonline.ca .

Thoughts on Being Chaplain

Learning Circle chaplains Christina Paradela and Denise Davis-Taylor
Learning Circle chaplains Christina Paradela and Denise Davis-Taylor

Over the past two and a half weeks of the Social Ministry spring learning circle, two graduates of the Centre – Denise Davis Taylor (grad 1982) and Christina Paradela (grad 2000) – have been providing care and support to the students in the circle.  We asked them to reflect on their experience as chaplains at the learning circle.  They wrote …

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Happy Earth Day

pelican in flight

This morning in the Social Ministry learning circle a group of students is leading a session on the social, political, and spiritual significance of water.

And last week Maylanne was in Wisconsin offering leadership for the Conference of Anglican Religious Orders in the Americas (CAROA), helping them explore the implications of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si and the Conversion of Life for intentional religious communities, and ways that care for creation is connected to care for the poor is connected to the spiritual life.

CAROA group c

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