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Common Threads

News and Views from the Centre for Christian Studies

June 26, 2021

Hi <<First Name>> ! 
Will you have some time to rest this summer, to get outside, to enjoy the sunshine, maybe see some friends in one way or another? I hope so. Common Threads will be taking a rest in July, but we'll be back at the end of August with stories from this summer's Learning on Purpose and information about all the good stuff we have planned for the fall. Enjoy this month's Common Threads! -- Scott

From the Principal's Desk. . .
Michelle Owens

 One of my summer joys is gardening. We have an allotment garden beside the Assiniboine River, and despite the dry conditions this spring, it is growing well. The peas are climbing up their string trellis, the tomato plants are filling out, and we are harvesting lettuce. This early summer is the time when I can start to see what is flourishing and what is languishing. The nasturtiums are scrawny, the carrot seed mostly didn’t germinate at all, and someone is nibbling on the bean plants.

Summer is a time when we can look for what is flourishing and languishing in ministry as well. At CCS, it’s a time to look back at initiatives that are growing well, and examining the places where growth is smaller – taking time to communally reflect on what needs more care and energy, and what can be let go. Summer is a season of rest for us (most of our staff team will be on vacation for at least part of July) and also a season of preparation and new beginnings as we get ready to offer the Learning on Purpose circle online in August and also a new circle focusing on Orientation for Admissions Ministers in the United Church.

I hope you can find a moment today to rest and see the abundant growth around us. Maybe even a moment to surrender a worry to God, instead of carrying it with you like a pebble in your shoe.

As you walk on city streets or wilderness trails,
may your path rise to meet you.
As you bike or sail,
may the wind be at your back.
May the rains fall soft on your gardens and fields.
May the sun shine warm upon you
(but remember your mask, hat and sunscreen).
May God hold you in the palm of Their hand
until we can meet again.

Michelle Owens, Principal

On the Web...

(click a title to read the whole article)

Images from Ministry as Community-building 2021

CCS students explored how to create and maintain communities while turning the world upside down for social justice.

Burn Together

Michelle Owens reflects on attending a vigil for children lost to residential schools.

Is This Just What We Do Now?

Michelle Owens reflects with friends Kenji Marui and Tanya Cameron about responding to tragedies like the murder of the Afzaal family.

Mondays in May with DOTAC

Marcie Gibson reflects on attending the online diaconal seminars offered by Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean

The 2021-2022 Theme Learning Circles

Want to increase your intercultural skills? Recommitting to reconciliation? Wishing to deepen your spiritual practice? There's something for everyone in next year's learning circles.


Learning on Purpose 2021

This year's Learning on Purpose course will be ONLINE from August 16 to 27, 2021. If you’ve been thinking about the Centre for Christian Studies and Learning on Purpose, this is the year for you!

If you know someone who has leadership skills you’d like to see them develop, or a spiritual calling they’d like to discern in a supportive and friendly community, tell them to apply for Learning on Purpose. If that someone is you, apply today.

Tuition cost: $1680
Bursaries are available!

If you have questions about Learning on Purpose, or becoming a Diaconal Ministry student or a Continuing Studies student at CCS, contact Scott at
Apply for a CCS Program Now

A gift in your WILL educates leaders

for Justice, Compassion, and Transformation
In an article in the Anglican Journal called “The declining church formed me”, Martha Tatarnic points out that she is among many 20-40 year olds who were formed by, and whose leadership was fostered by a declining church. Despite the reality of dwindling members, the church is still a gift from God. And the church still needs leaders. 

The Centre for Christian Studies is training leaders who have skills to meet the evolving needs of the church and the world. You can continue to support this vision by leaving a gift in your will.

One option for making your will is by participating in Free Wills Month. If you are 55 or over, you can visit to sign up to receive information about when this service will be offered in your area. You don’t have to leave a charitable gift to take part, but if you’ve been thinking about leaving a gift in your will for educating leaders at the Centre for Christian Studies, this is a good opportunity.

Many of our most helpful gifts come from the wills of passionate friends and donors who believe the Centre for Christian Studies is providing opportunities for people to learn to be leaders.  Please consider joining them.
Here are some resources to help with your will planning:
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