Sharon Wilson and Maylanne Maybee were our Second Fridays guests last week. (OK, technically it was the third Friday of the month, but…) Sharon and Maylanne were part of a United Church of Canada delegation visiting Christians in China.
On Friday, November 13, longtime peace activists and founders of Project Peacemakers, Bev Ridd and Dianne Cooper, were our guests for Second Fridays. They reflected on Peace – what encourages them, and the significance of story in building a culture of peace. It was a poignant discussion, coming a couple of days after Remembrance Day, and just before news reports started coming in of attack in Paris. Our small noon-hour gathering feels like an importance reminder of the challenge and the need for hope.
Bev Ridd has been the heart and soul of Project Peacemakers since its founding meetings over 30 years ago. She was the key person in working with the Province of Manitoba to call for an implementation of a rating system for video games. She acquired grants from the Winnipeg Foundation for Project Peacemakers to sponsor a banner programme in schools. As her friend Dianne says, “She talks the talk (lots of great ideas) and walks the walk (works at everything we do).”
Dianne Cooper has been a dedicated activist in the struggle for peace and global justice. In her peace activities, she’s been a participant in Witness for Peace, a peace group that traveled to Nicaragua documenting experiences in war zones. She was also a member of the World Council of Churches’ Advisory Committee to the Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) event for four years, and a participant at the JPIC conference held in 1990 in Seoul, Korea. Together with Bev, Dianne was one of the co-founders of Project Peacemakers, a group working for peace and justice from a faith perspective. “We decided we had to get past thinking that this issue was too big to tackle. We didn’t want to tell our kids that we hadn’t at least tried.”
For our Second Friday gathering last week we invited local people who had attended the United Church General Council gathering in Newfoundland this past summer to have some conversation with those of us who didn’t about what it was like. Shelly Manley-Tannis, Bill Millar, Adrian Jacobs, and Stan McKay all told stories, recounted experiences, and reflected on what happens when “the church” meets to do business. Continue reading Bending the System as Far as It Can Go
Rob and Keiko Wittmer were our Second Fridays guests in May. They spoke to us about their work with the Dohoku Centre in Japan and about the Ainu people, the indigenous people of northern Japan. Continue reading VIDEO – May Second Friday – Rob & Keiko Witmer on Solidarity with the Ainu
On Friday March 13, 2015 Leah Gazan was our Second Fridays guest, discussing the #We Care movement and the need to do something about the disproportionate number of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. Leah describes herself as a “local trouble-maker.” She is a fierce advocate, and in the discussion following her presentation she didn’t hold back in naming the need for political and social change.
On Friday, February 13, 2015 our Second Fridays guest was Kelly Bernardin-Dvorak, exploring the topic of decolonization through dialogue and creativity. Kelly is also inviting interested participants for the next round of her sharing circle/art project.
On Friday, January 9th, our Second Fridays partnership with the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre continued as we welcomed Niigaan Sinclair as our guest speaker. Niigaan spoke about the need to move past rigid, boxed-in “OR” thinking toward open and inclusive “AND” thinking if Christians want to join Indigenous peoples in creating a fair and just Canada.
We’ve broken Niigaan’s presentation into 4 bite-size pieces for you, but watch them all, because the themes tie together. Continue reading VIDEOS – Second Fridays with Niigaan Sinclair
Anishinabe elder Peter Atkinson explored the theme “All My Relations” with us on Friday, October 10, 2015 for Second Fridays.
(Videographer notes: The videos for 2nd Fridays are nothing fancy. I mostly try to keep the focus on what our invited guests are saying, maybe adding a helpful graphic or two in post-production but that’s about it. That said, I will usually zoom in and out at least a bit, to keep up with when people use their hands to talk or reference something nearby. However, with Peter all I did was press Record and Stop. He was almost mesmerizingly still, focused. If you hear the occasional crackling on the video, that was Peter’s grand-daughter having a snack from Tim Horton’s. She was very patient and we were happy to have her in our circle along with Peter.) Continue reading Video – Second Fridays – All My Relations
Videos from September’s Second Friday!
Second Fridays at CCS is back for its third year, and once again we are partnering with the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre to bring you aboriginal and non-aboriginal voices addressing themes of spiritual and political importance to us all.
On Sept. 12th we were invited to re-connect our faith to our natural context, the land. Melanie Kampen unpacked the biblical image of “living water” and Stan McKay encouraged us to move beyond an anthropocentric theology that is like a potted plant, never rooting itself in its natural setting. Through storytelling and exegesis, Melanie and Stan sparked deep reflection on “The Context of the Land.” Continue reading Second Fridays – The Context of the Land
Last Friday was a powerful finish to the Second Fridays season at CCS. The third session in our Second Fridays partnership with the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre focused on Reconciliation. Steve Heinrichs challenged us to think what reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada would look like, and whether talk of reconciliation has any value if it doesn’t address material realities, land, and power redistribution. Stefan Richard drew on personal experience to tell of his journey toward reconciliation, with his father, with his culture, and with himself.
(Also check out Steve Heinrichs’ pamphlet “Paths for Peacemaking with Host Peoples“)
Last Friday — yup, it was Valentine’s; feel the love — guest presenters Karen Jolly and Sister Mary Coswin honoured us with their reflections on the meaning and experience of “community,” as part of our Second Fridays series of noon-hour presentations and discussions.
Guests: Mary Coswin and Karen Jolly
Mary Coswin has been a part of the St. Benedict’s community since 1963, when she studied high school at the Academy. Entering the Monastery at a young age, she completed high school and teachers’ training and then taught academic subjects and religious studies in junior and senior high; later she worked as a school counsellor. Sister Mary spent five years in Edmonton offering spiritual direction, retreats and training new spiritual directors. The monastic community gave her the opportunity to work in vocation and formation work, as Director of the St. Ben’s retreat centre where she shares the sisters’ beautiful home and grounds and spirituality with hundreds of people who come through their doors.
Karen Jolly is a graduate from Providence Theological Seminary with a M.A. Educational studies. Her husband Howard Jolly pastors at First Nations Community Church in Winnipeg. (“So I guess that makes me a pastor’s wife,” she says.) Born and raised on Gift Lake Metis Settlement in Northern Alberta, Karen comes from a family of 12 children 7 girls and 5 boys. She has two grown children Joel and Tobi Anne.
Doug McMurtry and Adrian Jacobs inspired us with their wise and insightful commentary on the concept of Respect. Doug reminded us that the in the Bible, God is no respecter of person, and Adrian used the two-row wampum to illuminate a culture of respect.
Second Fridays, for the first part of 2014, is a partnership between CCS and the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre. We’re overjoyed to be hosting an Aboriginal and a non-Aboriginal guest each month to reflect on common themes.
Adrian Jacobs is Cayuga First Nation of the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario. In his home community, he founded and maintained an Indigenous church that continues to be self-governing, self-supporting, and thriving. In 2012, Adrian began work as the Keeper of the Circle/Principal of the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre. Previous to this appointment, Adrian was working at the University of Alberta to promote Aboriginal Health. Adrian Jacobs possesses over thirty years experience in networking and training of ministry candidates and Aboriginal leaders for organizations in Canada and the United States. During his presentation on respect he will reflect on The Two Row Wampum Treaty between the Five Nations Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Dutch in 1613. He believes it can be seen as foundational to all treaty agreements as it articulates three foundational values for respectful relationships.
Doug McMurtry served The United Church of Canada for over forty years before retirement in 1985. He was raised in various towns in Saskatchewan and ministered in several pastoral charges there. As a conscientious objector, McMurtry was excused from service in the war. After the war he worked in China with the Canadian Friends’ Service Committee. Throughout the years, Doug has been active in ministry with indigenous peoples, at Round Lake Mission, as Superintendent of Home Missions, with the Native Ministry Board, Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre and the Stella Group. He finished his official ministry as pastor to Immanuel Church in Winnipeg. Doug has also been elected president of two United Church Conferences.
CCS is pleased to announce that for January, February, and March of 2014 our Second Fridays series of presentations and discussions will be a partnership between CCS and the Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre. An Indigenous and a non-Indigenous speaker will be invited to address a common theme, with time for discussion and conversation to follow.
Themes for 2014:
Friday, January 10 – “RESPECT” with special guests Adrian Jacobs and Doug McMurtry
Friday, February 14 – “COMMUNITY” (speakers to be announced)
Friday, March 14 – “RECONCILIATION” (speakers to be announced)
If you’re in the Winnipeg area, mark it on you calendar and plan to join us. If you’re not, watch for the videos on the CCS website. (By the way, Second Fridays videos are a great resource for discussion groups. Get together, watch a vid or two, and then talk about what stood out for you.)
Charlotte Caron and Barbara Barnett struck a number of chords with the audience during their reflections on Music and Faith at the Second Fridays / Cookies and Carols gathering on Friday, December 13, 2013. Charlotte focused on the role of music in worship, and how Christmas carols fit in. Barbara looked at music in terms of silence, breath, and embodiment.
Following the presentations and discussion, we sang Christmas songs new and old, sipped cider and noshed on cookies, enjoyed a “Twelve Days of CCS” parody by Maureen McCartney and a moving version of “I Wondered As I Wandered” by Tim Sale.
Charlotte Caron is an theological educator, former acting principal of CCS, former professor of pastoral theology and co-president of St. Andrew’s College, and a scholar in the areas of feminist theology, worship, disability and feminism. She is the author of “Eager for Worship: Theologies, practices, and perspectives on worship in the United Church of Canada.” She is also an avid birdwatcher.
Barbara Barnett has been a long-time collaborator and organizer around the music of Carolyn McDade, a certified Labyrinth facilitator, and a director of Spiritual Care at Deer Lodge Centre.
Fenella Temmerman and Bob Haverluck inspired us with images of wholeness and resistance as they explored the use of art in social change, awareness, and justice at the November 8, 2013 Second Fridays at CCS.
Bob Haverluck is an established award-winning artist and educator who has long combined art and education for social transformation. His work includes a project in ecological advocacy, artist in residence and adjunct professor of art and theology at the University of Winnipeg engaging urban issues, the use of the arts in conflict and peace education. Bob’s artwork has appeared in numerous publications including ‘Harpers’, ‘New Statesman’,‘Border Crossings’.. He has had solo exhibitions of his work in many places including Chicago , Toronto , Vancouver , Kenora , Winnipeg, and Riding Mountain National Park.
Fenella Temmerman, is a fabric artist who combines color, texture, light, and a love of nature to create an immersive experience. Her work has been displayed in conjunction with performances by Carolyn McDade and the Sacred Web / Earth Charter Singers. The “Beings” are twelve foot long panels depicting birds, animals, and plants, and are designed to be experienced by people walking through them as they enter a space, they are created to be touched and experienced.