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Ewart Centre announces courses for Winter 2014

The Ewart Centre for Lay Education is offering two courses thiswinter for those pursuing their Certificate in Christian Faith and Life.

Register now!

Course: Can Christian Education revitalize and empower your congregation?

Date: Feb 3 – Mar 10, 2014

Instructor: Mary Jane Bisset

Details: All denominations in Canada are experiencing decline and transition. However, there are many examples of new life and energy giving hope and excitement that come from new ways of doing Christian Education. This six week course will introduce you to new and creative approaches to engaging children and adults in making the faith come alive.

Instructor: Mary Jane has been a diaconal minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada for 36 years. She has served in congregations and conducted many workshops and seminars for congregations. More recently she was Diaconal Minister of Knox Goderich for 12 years responsible for Christian Education. She has just finished work as Regional Staff for Education and Leadership in the Synod of Southwestern Ontario.

Register online>>

Course: The Gospel of Matthew

Date: March 17 – April 21, 2014

Instructor: The Rev. Tim Purvis

Details: Welcome to this online course on the Gospel According to Matthew. Many are familiar with Matthew’s version of the nativity story through Sunday School Christmas pageants and carols about the three wise men who followed the star. Matthew’s Gospel also contains some of the most famous parables like the Unmerciful Servant, the Wise and Foolish Bridesmaids, and the Sheep and the Goats. In this course we will take a closer look at these and other passages in light of Matthew’s particular theological interests and thematic emphases. The course will emphasize close reading of the text, comparison with Matthew’s known sources (Mark and Q), and attention to both the immediate context (the material before and after a passage) and overall context (the position of a passage within Matthew’s Gospel as a whole) as clues to understanding and interpreting the text as Scripture for the church. The key question is “so what?” What does this mean for us as Christians and how does it connect to our daily living?

Instructor: Rev. Tim Purvis has served as minister of Westview Presbyterian Church in Toronto for the past 9 years and a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada for 29 years. He has a deep interest in New Testament studies and has taught other lay ed courses.

Register online>>

Professor Pamela McCarroll’s new book is available now!

The Rev. Dr. Pamela McCarroll’s new book, Waiting at the Foot of the Cross: Toward a Theology of Hope for Today, is now available!

How do we hope in the face of modernity’s failure and postmodernity’s absence of foundations? How do we hope when the future seems fearful and no clear way forward appears? How do we hope when despair, indifference, and cynicism dominate the psychic landscape of English-speaking North America?

In dialogue with theologians of the cross George Grant and Douglas John Hall, this book unmasks the failure of hope in our time and the vacuum of meaning that remains. As an exercise in the theology of the cross, Waiting at the Foot of the Cross explores the North American context as one in which true hope is discovered only when life’s negations are engaged from a posture of waiting trust. Such hope is not passive or blind. Rather, it is attentive, active, open, and spiritually grounded in the One who meets us when all hope is spent. The final chapter proposes a way toward hope for today that inspires subversive resilience in the face of the ambiguities and vicissitudes of life. Readers interested in the theology of the cross, in thinking theologically in our time and place, and those interested in the character of Christian hope will find this book compelling.

“Ultimately, McCarroll envisions practices of a hope that waits at the foot of the cross. Hers is a crucial word for the once-mainline church in a postmodern world.”

—David Schnasa Jacobsen, Professor of the Practice of Homiletics and Director of the Homiletical Theology Project, Boston University School of Theology

“McCarroll’s unique contribution shines through as she advances ‘waiting at the foot of the cross’ as a posture of receptivity that eschews easy cynicism while anticipating a hope not seduced by the official optimism symptomatic of American exceptionalism. A must-read!”

—Allen Jorgenson, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Assistant Dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo Ontario

“Her focus is ‘hope at the end of hope’ when crises of violence, poverty, and ecological devastation threaten as never before. Elaborating Grant’s and Hall’s criticism of technological mastery, she proposes a theology and practice of hope which is the converse of mastery, which both waits and acts, in a posture of trust and openness to the God of the cross. An important contribution to North American theology today!”

—Harold Wells, Professor Emeritus, Systematic Theology, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, Canada


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