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Common Threads

News and Views from the Centre for Christian Studies

November 26, 2021

asHi <<First Name>> ! 
They say the only constant is change.... and the speed of light... but mostly change. Things around the CCS offices are productively chaotic this week as we prepare for Prairie to Pine regional staff to move into our building with us (more about that next month) and as we say farewell as a CCS staff to Michelle. This month's Common Threads features other stories of change and transformation too. Enjoy!-- Scott

From the Principal's Desk. . .
Michelle Owens

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.  
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 
   2 Timothy 1:3-7

I had tea with Ann Naylor this week, exceedingly grateful to have time with her before leaving Winnipeg. Ann reminded me how with immersion in diaconal community, and through learning our diaconal history, our diaconal identity is formed. Diaconal formation was a hot topic of conversation in this week’s mentors gathering as well. This passage from Timothy – naming faith and leadership transmission through generations of women always speaks to me of the diaconate. While our membership is not gender-limited, it is rooted in traditions (expansive and limiting) of women’s ministry. Diaconal education continues to fan into flame the gifts of God.

Weaving in the ends of my time on staff at the Centre, there have been tears, joy and prayers. I feel sustained by the community, and know that the work will continue to be sustained by the community after my departure. DUCC’s Statement of Vision speaks strongly to me:

This vocation is a journey
involving Spirit-filled enrichment and learning,
requiring humble offering of self,
demanding prayerful discernment and courageous risking,
exercising visionary and communal leadership,
promising joy and meaning,
and daring to imagine God’s abundance
in a world of love and respect.
I am so grateful for this part of my journey, serving as the Principal at CCS. This time, the work and especially the relationships have been a blessing to me. As I move to a different place in the circle of diaconal community, I’m excited to see who is called to join the communal leadership of CCS in the coming year. I am certain God is fanning discernment into flame for someone amazing. The work certainly fulfills the promise of joy and meaning. 
Thank you all for the companionship on this part of my journey. I thank God, whom I serve, as did our ancestors, as I remember you. 

Michelle Owens, Principal

Online Farewell Party for Michelle

Join us online on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm Central Time, to say farewell to principal Michelle Owens as she leaves the Centre for Christian Studies to return to congregational ministry in Ontario.

To register for this online event, please click HERE.

On the Web...

(click a title to read the whole article)

CCS Advent Calendar

Journey through advent with us! We asked the CCS staff to submit images and words that made them think of hope, peace, joy, and love. Each day leading up to Christmas you can open a new box.

Interim Principal Announced

We’re pleased to announce that Ken DeLisle will be assuming the role of Interim Principal at CCS on January 1, 2022.

Images from Right Relations 2021

Last month CCS students and Sandy-Saulteaux students came together for a shared social justice learning circle.

Re-Imagining Church in Fairmont

Jen Prince and Stewart Smith reflect on the Centre for Practical Theology and building a ministry in the Fairmont community.

Global Perspectives in a Global Pandemic

CCS program staff Marcie Gibson reflects on the challenges, the questions, and the creativity of GPE in the time of Covid.

Upcoming Events

CCS Friday - Transgressive Devotions

Join us on Friday, December 10, for an online conversation with Natalie Wigg-Stevenson about her new book “Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art”. Natalie teaches theology at Emmanuel College. In Transgressive Devotion she argues that theology done as performance art stops trying to describe who God is, and starts trying to make God appear.
CCS Fridays are free. Please REGISTER to receive a zoom link.

Learning Circles

A Centre for Christian Studies learning circle would make a terrific Christmas gift - for your CCS alum friend who misses the community of being in circle - or your niece who is trying to discern her call to ministry - or yourself who has resolved to do more continuing education in the new year.

Spiritual Practice - Jan 11 to Feb 17, 2022 online
Relationships - March 23 to 29, 2022 in Winnipeg
Power and Privilege - March 31 to April 6, 20222 in Winnipeg
Ages and Stages - April 29 to June 2, 2022 online
Learning on Purpose - June 13 to 25, 2022, location TBA
Online learning circle (eg. Spiritual Practice and Ages & Stages) are 6 weeks long, with 3-hour video sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Intensives (eg. Relationships and Power & Privilege) are 6 days from 9-5 Central Time. Learning on Purpose is a 2-week intensive.
Apply for a CCS Program Now

Community News

  • Congratulations to Bri-anne Swan who has been called to team ministry at Jubilee United in Toronto.
  • Congratulations to Richard Manley-Tannis who is taking on a new position as Adjunct Professor at University of Saskatchewan - St. Thomas More College
  • Congratulations to Karlene Kimber who was commissioned to Diaconal Ministry in the United Church by Antler River Watershed Region at the end of last month.

Giving Tuesday at the Centre for Christian Studies

It's a good day to give. 
On Tuesday, November 30 your donation will go twice as far.
Every dollar given online that day, up to $2000, will be matched by generous donors.  
$12 becomes $24.  $27 becomes $54.  $150 becomes $300.  And so on and so on.
Why wait?  Your help is needed now so a student can fulfill their calling to a life of Christian ministry.
Visit the CCS website on Tuesday, November 30 to donate online.
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