Posts Tagged ‘PCC’

The Warm Heart of Africa

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

The relatively tiny country of Malawi – often called “The Warm Heart of Africa” – has always been a part of my family’s story.

In 1965, just a year after Malawi gained its independence from Great Britain, my grandfather accepted a  school administration position at Blantyre Secondary School in Malawi’s largest city. His appointment was part of a program of Canada’s Department of External Affairs – the first such program to assist the fledgling country.   At the same time, my grandmother accepted a teaching position at St. Andrew’s Secondary School – now known as St. Andrew’s International High School.

So, at thirteen years old, my mother and her younger sister and brother found themselves in the heart of the dark continent.

The stories have been told many times over the years – with sometimes varying details: the time an elephant snacked on the thatch roof, the time a gecko fell in the pudding, the time my aunt – peering through her camera’s viewfinder – shouted “just another second!” as a disgruntled rhino charged their Land Rover. Thankfully, the driver ignored her. [these are my memories of these stories – I make no claims of accuracy]

In exactly six months, my wife Arminta and I will set off on our own Malawian adventure!

The Presbyterian Church in Canada (where I happen to work) does a considerable amount of work in Malawi. In addition to funding several projects through PWS&D, we have anywhere from five to ten staff in the country working with our partner, the Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP).

We will be travelling with several other Presbyterians from across Canada on a two-week “study tour” of Malawi in and around Blantyre.

We are beyond excited about this trip. While both of have traveled overseas before, neither of us have been to Africa – and we haven’t really traveled at all since our honeymoon a decade ago – and that was just to Maine, so it doesn’t really count.

I’ll likely blog more about this as the time gets nearer, but now that it is all confirmed, I wanted to make the “official” announcement.

I posted an update here:

First Church of Facebook at PodCampToronto?

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Update: This session is now scheduled for 1:15 on Saturday February 20th in room 201

I’ve added myself to the growing list of suggested sessions at PodCampToronto 2009, to be held February 21 & 22, 2009 at Ryerson University.

I’m offering to hold a session called “First Church of Facebook: an exploration of Faith and Social Media.” We will talk about how churches and para-church organizations are (or could be) using social media to engage their existing communities of faith – and to bring their message to a wider audience. We’ll also talk about the social media adoption hurdles for churches and how they’re different from the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

These are things I’ve been thinking about quite a bit over the last few months as I’ve settled into my new responsibilities heading up the Communications Office at The Presbyterian Church in Canada. I’m looking forward to an opportunity to share my thoughts, and find out what others think.

If you’re planning to attend PodCampToronto and you have any experience with churches and social media, I’d be happy to co-present – get in touch!

What I’ve Been Up To

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve neglected this space for nearly over a month, and for that I sincerely apologize! It’s been a busy few weeks, though, so let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to:

  • Had a disagreement with Torstar – has the story.
  • Re-branded my online newspaper to The Cambridge Voice
  • Started my new job
  • Became an expert on negotiating the GOTrain & TTC systems for maximum efficiency – insofar as that’s possible. ;)
  • Launched a new blog
  • Refreshed the “corporate” website
  • Finished some renovation projects on my house
  • Found out we’re having another baby
  • Started (and re-started) some renovation projects on my house
  • Whipped up a little website for my little sister. The Quintessential Baby [added]
  • Attended the Toronto TweetUp arranged by Adele McAlear [added]

All-in-all a busy month. I hope November is a little calmer.

Update: I’ve been reminded that I forgot a few things – they’ve been added above.

Job Opportunity: Communications Executive

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

The Presbyterian Church in Canada is seeking a communications professional to fill an executive role at it’s national offices in Toronto. The Associate Secretary for Communications and Resource Production (roughly equivalent to a VP-Communications) is responsible for developing and executing internal and external communications strategies for the denomination. A heavy emphasis has been placed on web-based communication and social media.

Links: Announcement, Job Description [pdf]

I have the privilege of serving on the hiring committee for this position and would appreciate your help spreading word of this opportunity among the communications and social media community in the Toronto area. [Update: I resigned from the search committee shortly after posting this after it was suggested that I should seek the position myself – which I did. I start October 6th. :)]