Christmas On The Edge
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Christmas On The Edge

We were delighted to feature Caitlin Ambery’s painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church” alongside Malcolm Guite’s poem “Christmas on the Edge” in our 2019 Christmas print issue. Cathy Smith muses on the painting, “Christmas at the Old Quick Church”: Here’s a church at the edge. Nothing around it, no other buildings. All by itself…

The waiting year
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The waiting year

“Heap on more wood! The wind is chill;But let it whistle as it will,We’ll keep our Christmas merry still.”Sir Walter Scott When I was little, my mother quilted an advent calendar. It was a pre-printed fabric scene – chipmunks making popcorn chains, I believe – that she made three-dimensional with batting and stitches, and 24…

A Lenten Year
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A Lenten Year

COVID-19 has changed our lives in ways we don’t want them changed. And it will change our Christmas celebrations in significant ways, but I’m wondering, as difficult as those changes will be, if the pandemic might have a positive impact on our celebrations. Could COVID-19 deepen our experience of Grace from Advent to Easter and…

WITH US
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WITH US

“So, when are we decorating for Christmas?” My oldest turned to me and asked, as she does every year when the calendar marks November. If you’ve read my column in the past, you’ll know she’s also the one who programs my kitchen radio to every station that only plays Christmas music. The kid has an…

What the Church can learn from St. Francis of Assisi at Christmas
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What the Church can learn from St. Francis of Assisi at Christmas

Since I was young, I’ve longed to see Jesus. I’ve longed to encounter God in a very physical way.  And most every Alberta winter, when the sky is just a scroll of black parchment and the stars wink of some ancient secret, when the path beneath our feet crunches of snow and ice and the…

Giving Thanks at a Bigger Table
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Giving Thanks at a Bigger Table

Happy Birthday, Christian Courier! Isn’t it lovely how this aligns with Thanksgiving? A very fitting coincidence. In these days of counting our blessings and holding on, it’s wonderful to have a real celebration like this to mark. We may be restricted when it comes to physically sitting down at extended family tables this Thanksgiving, but this…

7 Tickets to Scotland Just Before the World Shut Down
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7 Tickets to Scotland Just Before the World Shut Down

For five months now, we’ve sheltered-in-place and hoped that would beat the pandemic. We’re grieving our losses, braced for the next plot twist. It feels like we’ve left the literature section and entered science fiction. Headlines have an apocalyptic tone. “What is it all for?” Frodo, bone-weary with his burden, asks Sam in The Two Towers.

Christmas Sheep
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Christmas Sheep

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.

The Fruit of a Fading Memory
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The Fruit of a Fading Memory

Christmas music fills the air. Lights sparkle on the Christmas trees of in each of the “Drumm girls’” homes. An enormous glass bowl full of fake fruit and vegetables sits in each home – carrots, lemons, metallic cucumbers, carved stone pears, crystal covered apples and more – the collection growing larger with each passing year. Each piece holds a memory. Each piece is a part of a Christmas tradition that began on December 24, 2002. Each piece is a memory of our mother.

He Qi’s ‘Messiah’
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He Qi’s ‘Messiah’

The artist, Dr. He Qi studied at China’s Nanjing Art Institute and the Hamburg Art Institute in Germany. He was the first among Mainland Chinese to earn a Ph.D. in Religious art after the Cultural Revolution in 1992. His art works have been displayed in museums, galleries and churches around the world. He currently lives in Minnesota. The Chinese character in this painting means “good luck arrives,” often displayed upside-down (as it is here) on doorways in China to invite luck or happiness inside.