Power and Pain

Power and Pain

This March brings two opportunities to dig in to issues that profoundly affect us all.

Power and Privilege

From March 20-26, 2019, the Centre for Christian Studies will be offering a social justice learning circle on Power and Privilege. Anybody who wants to create positive change in the world needs to have a working understanding of power. As with most CCS learning circles, diaconal ministry students and continuing studies students will bring their own experiences and insights into the conversation, as we explore: What is power? How do I get more of it … or less of it? How much is enough, and how much is too much? Does speaking truth to power make a difference? Does religion have anything to offer, or is it just part of the problem? Is it possible to step outside of our own privilege and recognize the forces that govern our world? And what’s with all these powerful men behaving badly? Seriously, what’s up with that?

“This is going to be a great opportunity to step back and look critically at the historical situation the church finds itself in, but it’s also going to be an opportunity for every participant to ‘step-in’ and explore how we relate to each other in this situation,” says CCS’s David Lappano. “This is a week when assumptions and values will not go unchallenged, and it will also be a week to discover and imagine what new relationships are possible.”

CCS’s Janet Ross adds, “Now more than ever power and privilege is being recognized and challenged. It is critical to know how to negotiate such spaces, to help us engage with others who have more and who have less power/privilege than we have, so that we can work in tandem with one another towards equity and justice.”

Health, Pain, and Trauma

From March 28 to April 3, 2019, CCS will be offering a spiritual care learning circle on Health, Pain, and Trauma. Pain is a reality for many in the world – physical pain, mental pain. Understanding pain, and our assumptions about what it means to be healthy and whole, is crucial for those who provided spiritual care to those who are hurting. This learning circle will draw on insights from disability theologians as well as practitioners in mental health and trauma-awareness. It will look critically at the meaning of healing, not just from a medical perspective but from biblical and social perspectives as well.

“Scripture has much to say about health — shalom means wellness and peace — and the role of belonging in seeking justice,” says Janet. “What are faithful responses to the various kinds of pain in our lives and world today?”

“Health, Pain, and Trauma sounds really really heavy,” David points out, “and no doubt, it is – yet, this circle is truly about the deep connections between bodies, spirit, environments, and even histories.”


CCS graduate Catherine Gutjahr will be attending the Power and Privilege learning circle as a continuing studies student. “Now that I have been in ministry for over eight years,” Catherine says, “I can better appreciate the importance of the topics we studied at CCS.   I look forward to being in circle with co-learners again. My hope is that by drawing on the experiences and knowledge of other participants the Power and Privilege learning circle will help to deepen my understanding of the topic.”

“Power and Privilege” and “Health, Pain, and Trauma” are being offered in Winnipeg this March. Tuition cost for each circle is $750 (plus admission fee if you haven’t previously applied for admission as a CCS continuing studies or diaconal ministry student). For more information, email sdouglas@ccsonline.ca or visit the Admissions page of the CCS website.

Deadline to register for the spring learning circles is Feb 1, so apply now!

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