Community, Grief, and Learning: An Interview with Brenda Curtis and Keith Hall
On April 6, 2018, the bus of the Humbolt Broncos hockey team collided with a semi truck. Sixteen people died, including team statistician Brody Hinz. CCS graduate Brenda Curtis and Integration Year student Keith Hall conducted Brody’s memorial service. Janet Ross spoke to Brenda and Keith about that time.
Brenda: When the first reports came in about the bus crash we were in the middle of an ecumenical community concert at the Catholic Church with the Watoto Children’s Choir from Uganda. The choir had just stepped on stage and was beginning with a countdown: 10, 9, 8, … when someone showed me their cell phone – “Humboldt Broncos have been in an accident”. The choir sang a few songs but soon everyone in the audience had their cell phones out. By 8:15 pm we knew there were fatalities and that they were significant. The choir was asked to wrap up quickly and Father Joseph offered a prayer, naming the uncertainty of knowing about the fatalities. Everyone was invited to go to the Uniplex to wait together for more news. It was interesting that we were all at this concert, including our ecumenical ministerial group, and could all be at the Uniplex together. When we arrived, the city of Humboldt already had counsellors and many support people in place. Continue reading “Community, Grief, and Learning: walking together to remember Brody”
Alana Martin is a current student at CCS. Her mother, Martha Martin, a diaconal minister, graduated from the Centre in 1998. Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada) happened in Winnipeg this past April.
Taking part in several nights of the DUCC Conference was so beneficial. First, spending time with my mom was life-giving! She was having an amazing time introducing me to all of her colleagues and former classmates. And second, when the ‘seasoned DUCCs’ reminisced about their program and their work over the years, I was able to listen in. That’s when I learned the most. So many of them had struggled throughout their careers in ministry to be recognized equally, to be heard, and to be appreciated in their diaconal roles. It is through their hard work and trail blazing that the journey has been relatively painless for me – but that struggle is still underlying the work I do and am preparing for. So, much has changed, and they changed it! But much is still the same. Continue reading “Mother, daughter DUCCs”
The essayist Joseph Joubert wrote “To teach is to learn twice.” The same could be said for the role of a mentor, one who facilitates learning through accompaniment and encouragement. CCS graduate Kathy Douglas had this experience as she mentored two diaconal ministry students this past year. “It is always wonderful to find work in ministry that excited, invites and deepens the life experience,” she said. “Mentoring students at CCS has been this kind of fulfilling practice for me.”
A diaconal mentor accompanies students as they explore the role of, and their own identity as a diaconal minister. A mentor will engage the student in reflection on their own learnings from field placements, learning circles, external courses and life. They’ll dig into theological issues and encourage analysis through the lenses of justice and compassion.
During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections. Marlene Britton-Walfall gathers with DUCCs and annoints while the Jenga towers fall.
Greetings from Marlene.
Lunchtime on Tuesday was filled with laughter and animated discussion as the DUCCs at GC43 gathered. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, made possible by Marcie, who not only found the space for us, but erected tell tale signs:
During General Council 43, various people will be reporting on what’s happening, sharing moments and offering their reflections. Deborah Laforet and Marlene Britton-Walfall found connection at GC43.
General Council is a place to reconnect. As someone who was a candidate in one conference, a student in another, settled into a third, and am now in a fourth conference, General Council becomes a place where I can connect with people across those conference and across provinces. Continue reading “Nous ne sommes pas seuls #GC43”
This year, the Centre for Christian Studies held its 2-week signature program, Learning on Purpose, in beautiful Victoria, BC. Christ Church Cathedral provided a dramatic stained glass backdrop and awesome organ music. Students gathered from June 11 – 23 to learn what it means for them to be faith leaders that uplifts others, are analytical about and critical of structure, rooted in tradition while walking boldly in the future, reflective and responsive.
This past May and June, Conferences across the country gathered for what may be the last time as the United Church moves towards collapsing our 4-court model to 3 and replacing Presbyteries and Conferences with Regions. In the face of change we continued to hold the ancient rituals of our gatherings, marking beginning, endings and the joy in the gathering itself. Continue reading “Where 2 or 3 are gathered. . .”
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”