On the minds & hearts & desks of Integration Year Students

This time of year is both exhilarating and nerve-racking for our Integration Year students as these four prepare for their United Church final Candidacy interviews. One of the tools that helps them prepare is the Credo assignment, which asks them to write a one-page personal faith statement and a 10 page explanatory paper on what informs their theology and understanding of mission and ministry. Alongside this academic tool, students find support in connecting with each other, their mentors and staff, and knowing they have a wide CCS community who are walking with them. Please hold them in your prayers, with the candidates from other streams as well, this next month.

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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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The week of EVERYTHING!

A week in pictures.

This has been the week of everything at the Centre for Christian Studies.

Integration Year students gathered at Woodsworth House on Monday, April 9, for their final learning circle. On the 11th, students participating in the Relationship learning circle began the first of back-to-back circles, meeting just down the street at St. Peter’s Lutheran church. The Central Council met for their annual face-to-face meeting from the 12th to the 14th. On the weekend we celebrated new grads and this year’s Companion of the Centre, first at the Celebration Banquet and then at the Service of Celebration.

Also, this year the Diakonia of the United Church of Canada (DUCC) met in Winnipeg from April 17th to 20th and the Right Relations learning circle will gather from the 19th to the 26th.

It’s been a full week!

Click on a gallery to scroll through the photos.

Integration Year 

Marcie Gibson (staff), Tif McNaughton, Melanie Ihmaels, Anita Rowland, Catherine Underhill

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Two weeks to transform your life!

Intense. Spiritually enriching. Faithfilled. Expanding. World-opening. Learning on Purpose: Changing Leadership for a Changing World is two weeks of focussed leadership training, in community, intended to help leaders to dig deep and expand outward.

The next Learning on Purpose will be offered June 11 – 23, 2018 in Victoria, B.C., at Christ Church Cathedral, a short walk from the Parliament region. Continue reading “Two weeks to transform your life!”

Ministry in listening, grief and loss

Program staff David Lappano shares thoughts about two fall learning circles.

This October the Centre has offered two learning circles – Ministry as Listening and Grief and Loss. Students were surprised at how much they learned from each other by beginning with sharing a significant sound in their lives. The sound of water lapping under a dock conjured memories of times of rest and friendship. The sound of Canada Geese was associated with spring and accompaniment – the geese’s v-formation an illustration of helping each other travel as the geese shared space in the front. Memories of being called in for meals by parents or the ringing of a bell.

Actor/playwright Debbie Patterson reads from her work “This Is How It Ends” about dying and end of life issues.

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Praxis begins!

CCS staff person Scott Douglas reports on the first Praxis on-line gatherings. Praxis is a component of the new program structure.

The Centre for Christian Studies held its first online gatherings of students in its first Praxis year on September 18th and 20th. “Praxis” is a (kind of) new component in CCS’s diploma and certificate programs. 

Program staff member David Lappano described Praxis as the “spine or backbone” of the diaconal ministries program.  The introduction of greater flexibility for students gave rise to the need for something to hold all those different components together. In any given year a student can choose to enroll in one, two, three, or more theme learning circles, a practical field placement, or not, and any number of their required eight external academic courses. Hence, the Praxis component; the spine to which all the other limbs attach. Continue reading “Praxis begins!”