Baptised and formed – Ecumenical Conversations on the Diaconate

CCS staff Lori Stewart and David Lappano attended the International Anglican-Roman Catholic-Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate,  Regina, May 10 – 13.

Lori Stewart and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Regina to attend an ecumenical ‘Anglican – Roman Catholic – Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate’. We knew this would be a great opportunity to connect with some of our Anglican colleagues across Canada but also internationally. I had great conversations with Episcopalians from the US, the Scottish Episcopalian Church, British Anglicans, and folks from Halifax to Vancouver.

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Convergence and Divergence – Reflections on the Ecumenical Diaconate

CCS staff Lori Stewart and David Lappano attended the International Anglican-Roman Catholic-Ukrainian Catholic Conference on the Diaconate,  Regina, May 10 – 13.

As one lone United Church person at a conference of Anglicans and Roman Catholics, I might have been lost in the crowd but the fact that the focus was on the diaconate and on ecumenical understanding meant that I had a lot in common with the other participants. There was the additional benefit of meeting people who are influential in the diaconal world: Maylanne Maybee, Phina Borgeson, Rosalind Brown, Brian Butcher, Fritz Bauerschmidt, Gloria Marie Jones, Michael Jackson, Susanne Watson Epting, and Alison Peden, each looking at “the points of convergence as well as divergence” in the understanding of the diaconate in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Communions. The Conference was a joint venture of both churches, the result of a successful, long-term ecumenical collaboration and dialogue in those Saskatchewan dioceses.

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A circle of Right Relations

The Right Relations learning circle gathered from April 19 – 25.  CCS students were joined by students from the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, six continuing studies students (both lay and clergy), Elders and special guests.

Prayers for the children

Richard Manley Tanis is the Minister of Evangelism, Mission & Church Development at the Winnipeg Presbytery, the incoming principal at St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon and a graduate of CCS. This is a reflection from his blog A Deacon’s Musing.

Creator's Children

Creator’s Children

This last Sunday I offered the Prayers of the People during the Annual Service of Celebration for the Centre for Christian Studies (CCS). This service marks the graduation of Diaconal Ministers and also honours a new Companion of the Centre each year. This service is also significant for me as I, myself, graduated from the programme in 2009. Needless to say, I felt honoured and a little anxious.

The Prayers of the People are part of the worship experience that brings forth the concerns and worries, hopes and celebrations that are present in a faith community and beyond. Sometimes they are understood as an intercession with the Holy in which prayers are presented with the hope of intervention. For some, the prayers are less about an expectation of action and more about being able to name–in community–that which might otherwise be silenced. Regardless of the approach, whether a mingling of the intention, I have always understood this worship act as one of the ways that Creator is channelled.
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Risking relationship – Graduating class of 2018

In the Presence of the Creator of the world, eternal God,
We come from many places for a little while.
With the Redeemer of humanity, God with us,
We come with all our differences seeking common ground.
Enlivened with the Spirit of unity, go-between God,
We have come on journeys of our own
to a place where journeys meet.
So here in this place today
Let us take time together.
For when paths cross, there is so much to share and celebrate~
~Call to worship from the 2018 Service of Celebration

Marcie Gibson offered the citation for the 2018 CCS graduates at the Service of Celebration on April 15.

It my pleasure to share with you our graduates of the Centre for Christian Studies Diploma in Diaconal Ministries 2018 class.

Melanie Ihmels, from Victoria British Colombia and BC Conference, Tiffany McNaughton inabstentia from Fernie British Colombia and Alberta Northwest Conference, Anita Rowland from Orangevill Ontario and Toronto Conference, and Catherine Underhill from Peterborough Ontario and Bay of Quinte Conference.

Some of you who attended the graduation banquet last night will have heard a bit about their individual journeys, but today I wish to speak to you about these four students as a graduating class together.
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DUCC, DUCC, Goose

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

It was an amazing few days of learning about forgiveness, colonization and economics with a social justice bent, and being inspired by filmmakers, survivors and change makers. Hearing amazing stories from amazing people about how we can, as the saying goes, be the change we want to see in the world. Wonderful, inspiring.

Then there were a couple of moments that I looked out and on the other side of the window was a guy. You probably know the guy: disheveled, boots too big, wearing a winter coat in spring weather. The kind of guy we might find at one of our outreach ministries or asking for change on the corner. A reminder that yes, it’s great to be inspired, and yes, that world is right out there, just on the other side of the window.
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Heartbeat of healing

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

My diaconal ministry classmates and I were invited to join the DUCC conference outings on April 18th. Diaconal ministers and students from across the country spiraled out into Winnipeg, visiting sites about Truth and Reconciliation, social enterprise, Indigenous art, community ministries, corrections and justice, ally-ship, and courageous risking through art making.

At the Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibit Insurgence/Resurgence I was drawn to Ejinda-pushit, the stretched caribou hide that formed a huge drum amplified by a speaker. This piece was created by Tsēma Igharas, interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tāłtān First Nation.
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5 minutes to bust myths at 1JustCity

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

As a visitor to one of the four sites of 1JustCity, I was given an opportunity to spin their “roulette wheel of risk”. The risk that came up for me is the white one in this photograph….it challenged me to: Build a new relationship. Spend 5 minutes getting to know someone at a place like 1JustCity.

Fortunately for me, my opportunity to risk had already happened – I had just spent 30 minutes in conversation with a volunteer at 1JustCity – an open, honest and unassuming 40-ish man named Brent. We chatted about his job as a volunteer at the West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM is one of 1JustCity’s 4 sites). During that conversation, Brent described daily life at the centre, and daily life for Brent. Like the roulette wheel, Brent over-turned many common myths about folks who find themselves in need of the services and support of agencies like WBCM.
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Courageous Risking at DUCC Gathering 2018

This is one of a series of reflections about Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada). 

The Diaconal story begins with the radical image of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, and includes the examples of courageous risk-taking of Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers, dining with the marginalized, and healing the outcasts. Jesus pushes us to think outside the box. His message is always to find another way, a better way.

What does it mean to actively engage in courageous risking? Most of us don’t recognize when we are doing it. What one person calls risky is not necessarily what another person would call risk taking.

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Join us in Vancouver!

Join CCS principal Michelle Owens for an evening with ecumenical and international partners in diaconal ministry.

The Central Committee of Diakonia of the Americas and the Caribbean, DOTAC, will be meeting in Vancouver. Along with CCS, they will host an evening gathering on November 9 to celebrate the many and diverse expressions of international and ecumenical diakonia. Continue reading “Join us in Vancouver!”