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Taking a Closer Look

We’ve asked five Canadian theologians to help us look more closely at some of the key figures in the Christmas story.

Do You See?

Praying with The Virgin of the Sign

By Tim Perry

MY FAVOURITE ICON of Mary is “The Virgin of the Sign,” or the Platytera, and it is one I find myself praying with often at this time of year. Its first name is taken from Isaiah 7:14 “This shall be a sign unto you: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son. . .” The second, meaning “wider,” expresses the mystery of the Incarnation: the womb of the Virgin is now home to that which cannot be contained, namely, God the Son.

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Christians in captivity

JESUS BEGAN his earthly ministry by publicly reading Scripture in the synagogue. It began:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1)

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A Pastor Reflects on End-of-Life Care

By Tracey Lloyd Smith


A FEW MONTHS ago, Mr. B. was told by his family doctor that he was riddled with cancer.  He went into hospital knowing that he was gravely ill and in considerable pain.  Mr. B 
understood that his life expectancy was very short indeed.  Many families today, upon hearing such news, would want to spare

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Anglicans Pack More than Shoeboxes at Christmas

Senegalese children receive gifts from Samaritan’s Purse. These would be the only possessions many of the children could call their own.      (Photo: Karen Stiller)

BY Karen Stiller

TUCKED AWAY on a narrow side street of Dakar, a barred door opens into a courtyard. Laundry is strung across the open space, drying under the hotter-than-hot sun, mostly t-shirts of the boys who sprawl on mats in the corner watching old cartoons on an even older television.

What appears to be a high-stakes game of UNO unfolds around a card table near a scratched and faded ping-pong table.

This is a boy’s shelter run by a Christian couple in the predominantly Muslim nation

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Gathering at the Marketplace

Josh Wilton (below) believes Marketplace has flourished because it meets an unmet need in providing a safe place for Christians and others to meet and discuss work-related issues.

(Photos: Doug Kelk)

By Doug Kelk

THERE IS A BUZZ in the air as business people and public servants working in downtown Victoria arrive and mingle at the Marketplace Gathering lunch at Church of Our Lord. Inside the community centre adjoining Victoria’s stately old wooden church, a woman loads her plate with fresh vegetables and a ham and cheese wrap. She scans the room of about 45 people, seated at small tables, looking for

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