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Common Threads

News and Views from the Centre for Christian Studies

January 26, 2021

Hi <<First Name>> ! 
It's a new year. After a year when the word "unprecedented" lost all meaning, none of us really know what to expect in 2021. But we know who we are. And we know who you are. And that's good enough. Happy New Year, and enjoy this edition of Common Threads. -- Scott

From the Principal's Desk. . .
Michelle Owens

Like a lot of congregations and other non-profit organizations, a significant portion of our yearly donations come over Christmas and at the year’s end. For those of us tracking the budget, we are always holding our breath a bit near the end of the year waiting to see if this year’s donations will meet our forecasts or…

In a year of upheaval, uncertainty and two other budget shortfalls, we chose to be clear about our needs at the end of 2020. It was a leap of faith and vulnerability – just as it can be hard for us personally to be clear and honest about what we really need, it can be difficult as an institution.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude by your generous response.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” – Matthew 6:21

The abundant generosity of our community let us know that many people’s hearts are with the Centre for Christian Studies. Donations came accompanied by words of encouragement, stories of transformation and affirmations of how CCS education continues to impact the shape and direction of ministry for years.

Thank you.

As we enter another year of liminal time, knowing that much uncertainty and waiting still lies ahead, my hope is replenished by your faith and commitment to the vision and practice of diaconal education and ministry. I am inspired – not only by your warm responses – but by the transformative ministries in which you are engaged. As one of my favourite movies avers “Revolutions are built on hope”.

May the blessings of renewal be with you at this beginning of the year
May hope guide you like a star
And may the love, comfort and strength of God be with us

Michelle Owens

On the Web...

(click a title to read the whole article)

A Cozy New Year's Eve Concert

A huge thanks to Bri-ann Swan, Alana Martin, Charmaine Bailey, and other students who threw together a terrific New Year's concert fundraiser for CCS!

Queer Resistance and Religious Alliance

CCS student Hyerim Park and her mentor Ha Na Park attended the International Conference on Sexuality, Gender, and Queer Theology

CCS Community

  • Prayers for the family of friends of diaconal minister Frank Evans who died earlier this month.
  • Prayers for all who are struggling and all who are helping

CCS Friday - Feb 12:
Holding a Virtual AGM

We’re moving into annual meeting season. Join us for an information-sharing and discussion session on best practices for holding a church annual meeting online using a platform like Zoom. We’ll bring what we know and you can bring what you know.

Friday, Feb 12 from noon to 1 Central.
Visit the CCS website to REGISTER.

The students you’ve helped in 2020 are so grateful that instead of calling this month January, we’re calling it Thankuary!

This is more than just about the end of year donations (although we are ecstatic about those!).  It’s a celebration of all of the amazing ways you’ve helped support students preparing for ministry over the past year.

In 2020, you made sure CCS developed online courses that could reach students like Kendra, who was able to participate in the Ecojustice course even though she had to stay at home in B.C.  In Newfoundland, online teaching made it possible for Rebecca to continue in her final year, even in a pandemic situation that kept her at home.  Students preparing to become Anglican deacons, like Sandra in London, were able to continue their formation through a 12-week program called Ministering by Word and Example.  You were there for them!

The help you give opens up a world of learning about compassionate, justice-seeking ministry.  It means so much to the students at the Centre for Christian Studies.

Of course, you made the difference at the end of year in erasing the shortfall, too.  I am so grateful for your help.  As we begin the year on a solid footing, I'm really looking forward to what we can do together in 2021. We can not only provide the online and in-person learning opportunities diaconal students need, but so much more.  We can find the people who would love to learn at CCS and make sure that they have needed bursaries to make it possible.  We can help orient admission students to the United Church.  We can help form Anglican deacons for their ministries.  
With your help, CCS will survive and thrive, and together we'll be able to do more for more people than ever. 
With my deepest thanks, 

Lori Stewart
Development Coordinator

End of Year Update

For the YEAR 2020
Fundraising Goal                 $138,500
Actual Amount Raised        $208,208     
(this is an increase of $75,191 over the $133,017 raised in 2019)
Progress                              150%
Number of donors                409
For END OF YEAR 2020 Campaign
Fundraising Goal                 $51,000
Actual Amount Raised         $83,205           
(this is an increase of $48,378 over the $34,827 raised in 2019)
Progress                              163%
Number of donors                321
To each of you who gave—we can’t thank you enough.  You heard about the urgent need and responded because you believe in keeping the school alive so students can learn how to imagine church differently.  You are superstars!
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Upcoming Learning Circles...

Great continuing education opportunities! All these circles will be online, so you can take them wherever you are.
Apply for a CCS Program Now
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