Innovation in theological education has always been an essential part of equipping leaders for Christ’s church in the world. Many of our theological colleges across North America have stories of hard-scrabble beginnings, quick pivots, and adaptive responses to the context through various twists and turns along the way, before becoming the more established institutions we…
Early on in the COVID-19 Pandemic, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advised people to not “speak moistly on others,” for fear of spreading the virus, it nudged me to think about the theological significance of incarnation for us as Christians. As a Reformed Christian I am mindful of our common faith in the risen Christ that takes both human flesh…
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada in March, it interrupted my plans. I had five more flights booked for visits to various Presbyterian congregations and larger gatherings in my role as Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly.
With everything going on in the world today, vacation may either be at the forefront of your thoughts or the farthest thing from your mind. Because, while many provinces are opening up, the pandemic is still present, and – as government officials are quick to remind us – ready to relapse into a second wave should our vigilance falter. And so, many people are torn between the desire to escape to a secret hideaway or continue to hunker down at home.
I love trivia: pub trivia, Jeopardy, trivia board games. So of course I got in on a top trivia trend: HQ Trivia, a smartphone app that draws, at times, more than one million players to live games so they can compete for cash prizes. As the audience grows, the value of the prizes has been growing too. Very few of these players actually win, though.
I have two children doing “distance learning” at home right now. My eldest daughter, 11, is relatively self-sufficient. She’s old enough to follow instructions, turn in her work online and email her teacher questions. She loves to learn and values the peace and quiet of her bedroom, so “homeschooling” has actually been pretty enjoyable for her.
“I like that we can play games, and the stories that the teachers read me, but I miss my teacher and my friends. Mom is a bad teacher. I would give her an F [laughing]. Mom is a good teacher!” – Levi, 5 “I like getting to spend lots of time with my parents! But I don’t like not seeing my friends, and I miss art class.” – Kira, 8
“[One of the] challenges has been deciphering the contrasting and sometimes competing messages we’re given from above,” says a high school English teacher. “The ministry will announce something, the board will interpret it, administrators will chime in, then the union will tell us something different, and we all shrug our shoulders and do our best to institute a messy, poorly streamlined set of directions.”
Where do you normally find yourself at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve? Are you a stay-up-late-and-party kind of person? Perhaps you prefer to keep things low-key in the peace and quiet of your own home? Or maybe you acknowledge a new rotation around the sun by gathering with friends at church for a time of worship? Being on the west coast, we have the advantage of celebrating New Year’s with church friends at a more reasonable 9 p.m., as our kids watch the ball drop at midnight in New York City.
For me, Christmas will always mean baking. I grew up with a mom who made sure there were always homemade treats around, and Christmas meant triple the normal amount. I can recall so clearly my excitement when I saw Mom bring home the ingredients she’d be using over the next few weeks. One of my favourites was some sort of ball made with candied cherries, coconut and marshmallows. We also had mincemeat tarts, jam thumbprint cookies, pecan crescents, and (my dad and brother’s favourite) Scottish shortbread.
Did you know that loneliness is a bigger predictor of death than smoking cigarettes or inactivity? It’s also a huge risk factor for suicide – particularly among men.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among men, namely those ages 15-44, according to Statistics Canada; and in the U.S., white men over 65 die by suicide at three times the normal rate, and are eight times more likely to die by suicide than women in that age bracket. In the UK, 12 men die of suicide every day, and it’s the number one killer of men under 45.
A few weeks ago, I got a text from a close friend saying he was on the Burlington Skyway, the 40-metre-high bridge running between Burlington and Hamilton, Ont., and he was going to jump. It was 3:30 p.m. With two kids just home from school, I hesitated to call the police. But after this person didn’t return my texts or calls, I called 911. They dispatched cruisers to the area and started to search. After several hours of back and forth with the police, they let me know they eventually found him safe and sound. He had been bluffing. I was relieved, but angry.