GCU Events Spring 2018

Welcome to Information on GCU Events or to be added to the GCU listserv

contact Gord    gcarkner@shaw.ca

Ute for Prayer  and Spiritual Direction    ucarkner@shaw.ca 

Welcome to GCU Fall Term 2017

A Home for Adventuresome and Reflective People



GCU Staff Mentors

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 10.46.57 AMScreen Shot 2015-09-01 at 11.07.08 AM

Gordon Carkner (Gord):  gcarkner@shaw.ca.

and Ute Carkner  ucarkner@shaw.ca

Welcome to UBC, a Great Opportunity to Expand Your Horizons

 Welcome to UBC! We are all on a journey academically and personally. We hope that GCU can add fun, spice and colour to that adventure. Our updates are on the GCU Blog Site www.ubcgcu.org We post important lectures, social events and study group information, places to intersect with others who can build your imagination. It is a great network of creative minds and you add much with your background experiences, academic passion and searching questions. We hope that you will find it a home away from home in a community of mutual support. You can also ask questions or get information at gcarkner@shaw.ca or gord.carkner@gmail.com

Traditional Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration

Thursday, October 5 @ 6 p.m.

RSVP gcarkner@shaw.ca by Tuesday evening with what you want to contribute.


 GCU Study Group Begins Thursday, September 21, 7:00 pm @ 277 West 16th Ave. (2 blocks east of Cambie Street on the north side) The Full Implications of the Incarnation.  Investigative-discursive in style.

Weekly Prayer Meetings: Wednesdays 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at Acadia Park Residence of Mary Kostandy, 2725 Melfa Road, Unit 110. Text Ute at 778.840.3549; Email: ucarkner@shaw.ca When you arrive buzz # 0110

GFCF Scholarly Lecture Series: First one with UK Public Intellectual Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Wednesday, October 25 @ 4:00 pm in Chemistry D200. The Dignity of Difference: Positive Moral Contribution of Religion in a Globalized World. https://ubcgfcf.com 

GCU is here to help you enhance your UBC grad experience

  • Building a Christian Voice within in Academia: faith and reason in collaboration.
  • Discover Great Resources to support your thinking, research and broaden your horizons: theological, philosophical, historical, justice, etc.
  • Hospitality, meals, celebrations, friendship, collaboration.
  • Scripture Study Plus on theme of the Full Implications of the Incarnation (Thursdays at 7:00 pm). Starts with tea and dessert at 277 West 16th We add in TED talks, documentary clips, music, your creative input and questions.
  • Support, problem-solving and mentorship from UBC faculty members.
  • GCU Blog (ubcgcu.org) reaching students in 92 countries. Join UBC faculty, students, international writers, and GCU staff: spark a conversation and promote creative writing.
  • New 2016 Book for the GCU/GFCF Vision: The Great Escape from Nihilism: rediscovering our passion in late modernity by Gordon E. Carkner, Ph.D. It gives you some history of our dialogue and debates over the years.
  • Apologetics Training/Resources: Learn about constructive dialogue with a friend.
  • Prayer and Spiritual Support: Prayer meeting on Wednesday mornings on campus. Contact Ute Carkner ucarkner@shaw.ca Cell: 778.840.3549
  • Join our Listserv for GCU weekly updates: Gord Carkner, GCU Staffgcarkner@shaw.ca

We Provide Opportunities to Expand Your Horizons

GCU begins its  program in September with a Dinner Reception on Wednesday, September 13 at 6:00 pm at the home of Professor Ed and Anne Jull, 1828 Western Parkway, at UBC. We will also be at the GSS Clubs Fair on Friday, September 1, 3-5 pm. in the GSS Ballroom at the Graduate Student Centre. We sponsor discussion groups, retreats, films, speakers and fun outdoor hikes in the local mountains. We like international food and fun. GCU is a little bit like the UN with friends from around the globe. Write to gcarkner@shaw.ca to RSVP for the dinner reception or if you want to be regularly informed about our activities and resources to enhance your experience at UBC. All of us are on a journey both academically and spiritually. We hope that GCU can add fun, wisdom and colour to that adventure. You have so much to offer to UBC and to other students, things from the heart of your passion. The group loves to explore important questions that lead to curious investigation and discovery. We have just released a book last fall written by our staff support worker Gordon Carkner which gives the spirit of GCU. We think you will benefit from it as a personal resource for inspiration. The book is called The Great Escape from Nihilism: rediscovering our passion in late modernity.


Saturday Hikes September 9,16,23 contact Ute ucarkner@shaw.ca T: 778.840.3549


Regular Thursday Study Group Join us for dessert and study at 277 west 16th ave. starting on September 21 at 7:00 p.m. This fall we are working on the theme: The Full Implications of the Incarnation. The questions from academic life can be brought to the Scriptures and the study of the Bible can inform our academic work in surprising and life-giving ways.

Finally, Ute offers opportunities for reflective prayer and spiritual direction Wednesday mornings on campus. These are often quite transformative: ucarkner@shaw.ca Join her to make space for God in your busy life.

Because GCU is interdisciplinary and international, it creates a lively conversation as people bring their wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to the table. We look forward to hearing about your research passion and the questions you are exploring.

Have a super fall at UBC,

Gord & Ute Carkner, Your GCU Mentors and Support

Gordon holds a Ph.D. Philosophical Theology (also trained in Human Physiology at Queen’s University, and theology in TEDS Deerfield, Illinois)

Ute has a Masters in Spiritual Direction, Regent College (also Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education)

Contact us for prayer, coffee or to be added to the GCU Listerv


Speakers for GFCF 2017 Fall Series

Wednesday October 25 @ 4:00 pm– Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, one of the UK’s top public intellectual. Sacks will be brought by video in Chemistry Room D200.

The Dignity of Difference versus the Clash of Civilizations: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Speaks to the Positive Contribution of Religion in our Globalized World


Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, a top public intellectual, affirms that religion can be part of human controversy today, but he wants to strongly emphasize that it also can and should be a big part of the solution to contemporary tensions and conflicts. It is especially true for him that the morality carried by religious traditions has a vital contribution with respect to the powerful forces of globalization in late capitalism. He wants to celebrate the differences among religious traditions and use them to preserve and enlarge, not stunt, our humanity. Sacks, a man of conservative temperament who follows a very orthodox version of Judaism, is a large-hearted person who has come to respect the different ways humanity has expressed its search for meaning (the dignity of difference). The liberating thing about his book and this talk, The Dignity of Difference, is that he uses it to open the wisdom of the Hebrew tradition, not out of religious arrogance, but because he believes it will help us find a way to heal the troubles that beset us. The astonishing thing about his achievement is that his application of the Hebrew religious genius to the human condition works whether you believe in God or not. He wants a world where all can participate on a level economic playing field. Judaism has always had a healthy attitude towards the world, but it has always sought moderation in its adherents and a strong sense of covenanted responsibility toward the less fortunate. It is for this reason that Rabbi Sacks’s analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the global market economy is so compelling and hopeful. He is attentive to important nuances of the human condition and the variety of motives. There is much that resonates with people concerned about the common good.


An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant”, Rabbi Sacks is a frequent and sought after contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. Since stepping down as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth – a position he served for 22 years between 1991 and 2013 – Rabbi Sacks has held a number of professorships at several academic institutions including Yeshiva University and King’s College London. He currently serves as the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor at New York University. Rabbi Sacks has been awarded 17 honorary doctorates including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.


Wednesday November 29 @ 4:00 pm, MacLeod Building Room 254, 2356 Main Mall

 Dr. Thomas Heilke, Professor of Political Science, UBC Okanagan Campus

Discerning the Times: Rethinking the Foundations and Sources of Democracy


Thomas Heilke begins with the Canadian Charter Myth: purporting values such as human progress and unfolding potentialities, inclusive pluralism and tolerance, autonomy, equality, freedom and respect.  These values are often seen to be endemic to liberal democracy. Professor Heilke will reflect on how Canadians currently see these values and feel about them. Next, he will ask where this cultural myth is grounded. Is it generally rooted in Enlightenment ideas from philosophers such as Locke, Hume, or Rousseau? Does the Christian religion have a role in grounding such inclusivity? Martin Luther King Jr. believed in a politics of agape love, with a strong emphasis on the virtue of the leader and non-violent change towards justice and the betterment of society. University of Massachusetts political scientist Glenn Tinder in his Political Meaning of Christianity also rooted human rights and liberal understandings of freedom and dignity in agape love. Most Canadians are generally agreed on some form of political humanism, with some level of commitment to the common good (more than mere individual freedom of choice). But in the November 2016 US Election, Americans voted in someone who does not share these basic liberal values to the same degree, creating a tension within the system and institutions of democracy, and tensions worldwide with other political leaders. Where is the hope of a way forward under these circumstances? People cannot afford to give up in despair, disgust or fear. As former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams wrote in The Truce of God, “good people must not give in to fear, but find ways of staying fruitfully engaged.” Courage to stand up to political bullying seems to be called for, as well as a willingness to fight for the good institutions that took so long to build. Finally, we need to think more deeply about long term reform, and perhaps to dig deeper for robust sources of democracy. Thomas Heilke is uniquely gifted to guide us through these vital questions.


Thomas Heilke received his PhD from Duke University in 1990. After 23 years as a faculty member and a variety of administrative positions at the University of Kansas, he has been Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of the College of Graduate Studies UBC Okanagan since January, 2014. He is the recipient of three teaching awards, and has written on a variety of topics in political philosophy, including civic friendship, political theology, the political thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, Eric Voegelin, John Howard Yoder, and Thucydides, and Anabaptist political thought. He has authored or co-authored four books and edited or co-edited six further volumes. His work has appeared in journals that include American Political Science Review, Political Theory, Polity, The Review of Politics, and Modern Theology. Among his published books are Voegelin on the Idea of Race: An Analysis of Modern European Racism (1990); Nietzsche’s Tragic Regime: Culture, Aesthetics, and Political Education(1998); Eric Voegelin: In Quest of Reality (1999). He co-edited with Ashley Woodwiss The Re-Enchantment of Political Science: Christian Scholars Engage Their Discipline, (2001). He belongs to the American Political Science Association and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.


Let us know if we can assist you in settling into UBC grad student life.

Here to Help You Soar

Find that Work-Life-Fun Balance at GCU

Fall Retreat Photos

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 7.23.44 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 7.21.34 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 7.22.05 PM

We’d be happy to meet you for coffee or lunch to get to know each other.

Feel free to browse the rich variety of information on this blog


Ask us about faculty mentors

Let us know if we can assist you in settling into UBC grad student life.








 “Carve Out Space for God” 

Ute ucarkner@shaw.ca


More information/or to be added to regular listserv:  gcarkner@shaw.ca


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: