Friday, January 8, 2010

Colleagues List, January 9th, 2010

Vol V. No. 20


Edited by Wayne A. Holst

New Blogsite:




Spirituality and Practice
December 31st, 2009


In this issue:

"Encouraging Interactivity"

A Reflection on the New Colleagues List Blog


Book Notice:
"Beyond Words" by Frederick Buechner

Recommended Devotional Guide for 2010


Announcing our New Winter Courses at
St. David's United and the University of Calgary


Colleague Contributions:

Ken Kuhl
Lorna Dueck


Net Notes:

A Fatal Calling
Welcome the Exceptional
50 Best Spiritual Books of 2009
Harper Government - More on Kairos Affair
Religion was Big News in Canada During 2009
Reflection on the Life of Edward Schillebeeckx
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18th-25th
News Influencing American Evangelical Life in 2009
Three Malysian Churches Bombed Over 'Allah' Dispute
American Evangelical Theology in the News During 2009


Global Faith Potpourri:
Stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Barbara Brown Taylor
Igor Montoya
Howard Thurman
Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Richard M. Gula
Rowan Williams


Obituary: Mary Daly


On This Day:

Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to
                      victory over Fulgencio Batista.

Jan. 2, 1905, Japanese Gen. Nogi received from Russian
                    Gen. Stoessel at 9 o'clock P.M. a letter formally offering
                    to surrender, ending the Russo-Japanese War.



Dear Friends:

Happy New Year to everyone!

I begin this first issue of 2010 with a brief rationale for
why I am transforming Colleagues List into a blog. Please read:
"Encouraging Interactivity - A Reflection on the New Colleagues
List Blog."

Those that prefer reading the Canadian Anglican Google Groups
version of Colleagues List can continue to do so and I will
weekly provide the link to both sites.

A special thanks to Jock McTavish for helping me make this
change and to all who offered suggestions along the way. I
anticipate such help will continue to be offered by all


Annually at this time I offer a suggested devotional guide
for daily reading. This year I am suggesting a book published
in 2004 entitled "Beyond Words" by Frederick Buechner and give
my reasons.


Early January means preparing to launch new winter courses at
St. David's United, Calgary and the University of Calgary.
"The Future of Faith" (Harvery Cox) and "Don't Know Much About
Mythology" (Kenneth C. Davis) serve respectively as textbooks
for these courses.


Colleague Contributions:

Ken Kuhl - informs us via the Times of London that the Church of
England is to consider recognising the new conservative Anglican
Church in North America and this will add new burdens to the
Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lorna Dueck - urges Canadians through Canada's national newspaper,
the Globe and Mail, to pray for our soldiers in Afghanistan. I
honour Lorna for doing this. Prayers for soldiers as well as for
peace are important and Canadian churches need to attend to both.


Net Notes:

A Fatal Calling - The Tablet reminds us this week about the
dangerous life many missionaries face and refers to the recent
murder of Irish priest Gerry Roche in Kenya.

Welcome the Exceptional - Christianity Today picks up on a theme
made significant by Jean Vanier - inclusion of people with
disabilities. This article signals a growing general awareness
and that - directly and indirectly - Vanier's message is getting

50 Best Spiritual Books of 2009 - The Spirituality and Practice
website, managed by the Brussats, lists their estimations of last
year's best spiritual books. Quite a few of these were noted,
during 2009, on the web pages of Colleagues List!

Harper Government: More on the Kairos Affair - An issue that
will not die. Now, Jewish Canadians are implicated in the
government's fiasco. Gerald Caplan, Jewish writer for the Globe
and Mail, claims the Conservatives are using anti-semitism for
their own political reasons. At the same time, Bruce Clemenger,
president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada claims Caplan
took a broad swipe at Canadian evangelicals, while criticizing
Harper, and implying they too are anti-semitic.

Religion was Big News in Canada During 2009 - Peter Chattaway
and Jim Coggins - writing in - assess
religious news story frequency in the popular press this year,
while colleague Doug Koop of says that 2009
signals significant future changes for Canada's churches.

Reflection on the Life of Edward Schillebeeckx - America
Magazine offers a brief but powerful statement on the contribution
of theologian Edward Schillebeekx whose obituary appeared here
last week. (Note also the editorial "Not-So-Secret-Archives"
following this statement.)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18th-25th - The Anglican
Church in Canada website posts particulars and resources for this
year's "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity"

News Influencing American Evangelical Life in 2009 - Christianity
Today offers an article on how current events affected the
evangelical community in the USA during the past year.

Three Malysian Churches Bombed Over 'Allah' Dispute - The
Christian Science Monitor reports that three churches in Malaysia
were firebombed early Friday, January 8th as religious tension
continued over a court decision allowing a Catholic publication
to use the word 'Allah' for God, which Catholics claim is a long-
standing practice.

American Evangelical Theology in the News During 2009 -
Christianity Today provides feedback from several theologians
on current events in North America. Comments are included from
colleauge John Stackhouse Jr.


Global Faith Potpourri:

Sixteen stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Barbara Brown Taylor, Igor Montoya, Howard Thurman, Tsutomu
Yamaguchi Richard M. Gula and Rowan Williams - give us thoughts
to ponder.


Obituary: Mary Daly

Mary Daly, an early feminist and Catholic who had a stormy but
very interesting academic career, died this week. I share reports
from Ecumenical News International and the Boston Globe.


On This Day:

I remember listening to radio reports that Fidel Castro had led
Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista. That
was fifty years ago this past week! (1950)

I do not remember when Japanese Gen. Nogi received from Russian
Gen. Stoessel at 9 o'clock P.M. a letter formally offering to
surrender, ending the Russo-Japanese War, one hundred and five
years ago! (1905)

Read both stories, below, from the pages of the New York Times.


All the best to you, my readers, in 2010!



Our Church Web Promos:


Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can
quickly be found at:

You are welcome to use our course outlines, class notes and
resource pages in your personal and group reflections.




It is now three years since my teaching colleague Jock McTavish
said I was ready to create a blog for Colleagues List.

At long last, that blog is now available. You cannot accuse me
of radical navigation in the world of cyberspace! Hopefully,
however you will find the advances reflected in this CL issue
to be of some advance or potential advance. I promise that as
real cyberpossibilities occur, I aim to be part of them.

Jock thinks that the more electronically progressive among you,
my readers, will still consider me a plodding neophyte, but so
be it. I am more interested in sharing material of quality than
I am in the newest technological advances. At the same time, I
want to move ahead when I see obvious reasons for doing so.

That is the reason I can now announce the official opening of my
Colleagues List Blogsite:


N.T. Wright, the noted evangelical Anglican bishop of Durham in
the United Kingdom seems not to share my growing blog interest.
In a Sojourners Culture Watch article this week, Julie Clawson
takes issue with Wright's recent criticism of "social media" -
a term I have just learned is an inclusive term referring to all
the new ways (cell phones, text messaging, etc.) in which people
are interacting with each other. Wright, declares Clawson, warns
ominously that blogging and the like prevents - rather than aids -
real human communication. Interestingly, Wright calls the "faddish
popularity" of social media "cultural masturbation" - which Clawson
claims is the same as declaring "the end of the world as we know
it." He is  probably right.

Clawson objects to Wright's claim that social media takes people
away from actual face-to-face interaction and refers to a recent
Pew Study that challenges that myth. Six percent of the population
are essentially isolated and asocial we are told. (This number
that has remained constant since 1985 - before the advent of the

The study goes on to report that people who spend time using the
internet are actually far more likely to go out and be with real live
people than those who don't use it.

The point that Clawson makes is that social media actually builds
community; even of the huggable people sort. Secondly, she says the
resulting communities are more diverse than those who do not use
modern social media.


This hits home for me. I am very committed to building a diverse
community of colleagues who may differ considerably in many ways
but share a common desire to keep abreast of religion and culture
issues with a global, ecumenical perspective. Hopefully, too, they
are able to interact here in a civil way.


Another point from Clawson. She realizes it is quite easy to
present a false image to the world by means of social media. But,
she says, "as I present my true self to the world and see others
doing the same I get more annoyed with those that accuse online
communication of not being REAL communication."

One of the great discoveries of the internet for me was that it
tended to create a level playing field, with shared exposure in
ways that had not existed before. I speak from a church background
and can testify to the fact that people who were comfortable in
the old world of partriarchy and hierarchy were profoundly
threatened by the internet. Many refused to get into it and the
world started passing them by.

It was no longer possible to hide those systemic secrets.

It was no longer possible to manipulate gullible, trusting people.

I say these changes are a good thing, even when it means that I too
stand exposed in ways I had previously tried to keep hidden. So
I began learning to live in a new world of cyberapsace. That was
fiften years ago, and I have plugged along ever since.

Social media doesn't destroy or hinder community, it builds it -
says Clawson - who claims that without the social media she would
be inclined to introversion.

Like any community, or form of interactivity, the online world
has its flaws, she says. For me, mere electronic self-stimulation
is not one of them.


As I now venture, hesitatingly, one more step into cyberworld,
I hope you will abide some of the flaws I will inveriably impose
on you. But I also hope you will find Colleagues List more
interesting and enlightening as we go along.

You should find it easier to converse, not only with me, but
with all your 600 fellow-colleagues as well!

The conversatiuon box appears at the end of each issue and
remember that you must register to add your comment.

Otherwise, you can continue reading anonymously.

Interactivity, my friends, has always been the goal of these

Please enjoy this first official issue and let's discuss it!


Book Notice:



Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith
by Frederick Buechner, Harper SanFrancisco
2004. Hardcover. $27.00 CAD. 432 pages.
ISBN #0-06-057446-1.

Every year at this time I suggest a devotional reader that may
appeal to readers of Colleagues List. This time, I have selected
a title that is six years old but - to me - timeless in quality.

Frederick Buechner is the author of more than thirty books of
fiction and non-fiction. An ordained Presbyterian (USA) minister,
he has been a finalist for both the Pulizer Prize and the National
Book Award, and has been feted by the American Academy of Arts
and Letters. This book is his second collection of daily devotions,
the first being "Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations."

The readings vary in length from half a page to perhaps three.
Each theme is biblical, theological, spiritual or human in nature
and reflects a precision of insight and creativity of thought tha
is typically Buechner.

In his introduction the author states that his previous books
"Wishful Thinking" (1973) Peculiar Treasures (1979) and Whistling
in the Dark" (1988) have been in print for so long that he has
been encouraged to think there continue to be people who find
them useful and might find them more useful still if combined
into a single handy volume. So the material here is not new, but
a collection of the best from three earlier works.

In "Wishful Thinking" Buechner dealt with mostly religious words
like God, sin, salvation and repentance. He tries to suggest
something of the true richness and vitality of the realities
they point to. As such, he seeks to rescue them from those who
consider such terms dated. Besides, he tries to have "some fun
with them."

In "Whistling in the Dark" he turned to plain everyday words like,
good-bye, marriage, annimals and remember - in an effort to show
that such words have a religious dimension and speak of holy
things to which we can open our ears and eyes.

"Peculiar Treasures" deals with bibilical characters like Aaron
and Zaccheus - a conglomoration of saints and scoundrals so that
looking at them through the pages of scripture is like looking
at ourselves in a mirror.

Beuchner calls his collection "Beyond Words" because all
selections point in a mysterious way beyond themselves and
beyond-words. They point to a power and a meaning that words
cannot capture - like Beethoven's last string quartets, falling
in love, the death of a friend. They tell us - "Be alive to your
life," "Observe," and "Pay attention!"




The raw material of a myth, like the raw material of a dream,
may be something that actually happened once. But myths, like
dreams, do not tell us much about that kind of actuality. The
creation of Adam and Eve, the Tower of Babel, Oedipus - they
do not tell us primarily about events.

They tell us about ourselves.

In popular usage, a myth has come to mean a story that is not
true. Historically speaking, that may well be so. Humanly
speaking, a myth is a story that is always true.

"Honor your father and your mother" says the Fifth Commandment.
 Honor them for having loved you."

But how do you honor them when, well-intentioned as they may
have been, they made terrible mistakes with you that have
shadowed your life ever since?

The answer seems to be that you are to honor them even so.
Honor them for the pain that made them what they were and kept
them from being why might otherwise have become. Honor them
because there were times when, even at their worst, they were
doing the best they knew how to do. Honor them for the roles
they were appointed to play - father and mother - because even
when they played them abominably or didn't play them at all,
the roles themselves are holy, the way priesthood is holy even
when the priest is a scoundral. Honor them because, however
unthinkingly or irresponsibly, they gave you your life.

"Wishful Thinking"

Christianity is mainly wishful thinking. Even the part about
judgement and hell reflects the wish that somewhere the score
is being kept.

Dreams are wishful thinking. Children playing at being grown-
up is wishful thinking. Interplanetary travel is wishful

Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes true on.
Sometimes the truth is what sets us wishing for it.


My Thoughts:

I have been reading Buechner for thirty years and never tire
of the way he helps me move beyond the limiting boundaries of
self-imposed thinking.

To be challenged with ideas that move me, perhaps but once a
day, is indeed a blessing this book provides.


To order "Beyond Words" for $17. plus shipping, click:



The Future of Faith - at St. David's United
Introduction to Global Mythology - at the University
of Calgary


Beginning January 18th, for ten Monday evenings, join
Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst in a stimulating study
of the future of Christianity. Discounting atheistic
nay-sayers, author Harvey Cox paints a very hopeful
picture for our faith. He evaluates the amazing growth
of indigenous Christianity in Africa, Latin America,
and Asia. We will reflect on the impact of seismic
changes on our own established churches in the West.

Ten Weeks, Mondays January 18th - March 29th 7-9PM
Registration: $50 (for course, book and hospitality)
Call the office at 403-284-2276 or visit our ASDM
table in the lobby to learn more!



Course Number: HUM 205 - 20 hours - $225.00 (plus GST)

In our changing world human cultures and spiritual traditions
engage and challenge each other as never before. Classic myths
are foundational to all religions. Myths offer a way for us to
understand our common humanity and the unity we share in the
new global community. Discover ancient and contemporary mythical
patterns that reflect the hopes and fears, joys and challenges
appealing to the human spirit and find meanings that transcend
our local, parochial worlds.

Section 003. January 25th - March 30th - 7:00-9:00PM
Instructor: Dr. Wayne A. Holst

Click for more details or to register online:



Burlington, ON

Globe and Mail
January 8th, 2010

Friday in the Globe and Mail we've issued a national call
to prayer for the Canadian military.

Read the article by Lorna Dueck and watch this Video Clip
from Listen Up TV to hear from Kandahar how we can be praying
for our embattled soldiers:


London, ON.

The Times of London (UK)
January 8th, 2010
by Ruth Glenhill


The Church of England is to consider recognising a new
conservative church in the US in a move that will place
further pressure on theArchbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan
Williams, as he struggles to keep his fracturing Communion
in one piece.

The General Synod will debate a private member's motion
next month calling for the Church of England to declare
itself "in communion" with the Anglican Church in North
America, formed in opposition to the pro-gay liberals in
the official Anglican body in North America...

Giles Fraser, founder of the pro-gay Inclusive Church and
Canon Chancellor of St Paul's [Cathedral, London, England]
said: "I'm happy to be in communion with them. The question
is, are they happy to be in communion with me?" ....

Read the entire article, click:




Missionaries Murdered in Africa

The Tablet
January 8th, 2010
by Isabel de Bertodano



Christianity Today
January 4th, 2010



Spirituality and Practice
December 31st, 2009

To read the list, click:



New Catholic Times
January 4th, 2009

The Defunding of Kairos and the Silence of
the Catholic Bishops

Read the article, click:

Is the Harper Government Playing the Anti-Semitic Card?

Read the Globe and Mail article and a response from
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada


January 8th, 2010
by Jim Coggins

On the whole, religious news in Canada was 'balanced'
during 2009


The bad news is that hard times have befallen the church
according to:
January 8th, 2010

Colleague Doug Koop reports that the faltering economy,
unlike other recessions, has presented a host of challenges
and our way of doing things may be changing: (located on


America Magazine
January 18th, 2010


"There is no salvation outside the world"

That was the final message of Edward Schillebeeckx, O.P.,
to his theological colleagues at a symposium held in his honor
in Leuven, Belgium, in December 2008. That conviction captures
the love of the world and the grace-optimism that characterized
the life and work of this Flemish Dominican, who died at the
age of 95 on Dec. 23rd, 2009.

To view the rest of the article,

Note the other editorials as well.



Anglican Church of Canada News
January 7th, 2009

Pray for unity with other Christians in 2010

Thousands of Christians‹from Canadian Anglicans to Malaysian
Pentecostals‹will begin the new year by participating in the
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The 2010 week is slated
for Jan. 18 to 25 and will focus on the theme "You are
witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:48).

The 2010 resource, available for download:

Biblical reflections and prayers for the eight days
An outline for an ecumenical worship service
A history and introduction to the Week of Prayer

Since 1968, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has
been jointly coordinated by the Vatican and the World
Council of Churches, of which the Anglican Church of
Canada is a member. The organizers encourage churches to
adapt the materials to their local context and to use the
prayers at any time of year.

Each year churches from a different country are chosen to
prepare the prayer materials, and the 2010 choice was
Scotland. In June 2010, Scotland will host Edinburgh 2010,
a major conference to mark the centenary of Edinburgh
1910, a landmark ecumenical conference on mission.

Representatives from Scottish churches chose the week's
theme "You are witnesses of these things" to coincide with
the theme of Edinburgh 2010, "Witnessing to Christ today."
Members of Canadian churches, including the Anglican Church
of Canada, will attend Edinburgh 2010.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908, when
an Episcopalian priest, the Rev. Paul Wattson, encouraged
members of his religious order to pray for Christian unity.
In 2008, the Canadian Council of Churches compiled a
collection of prayers used throughout the movement in
Liturgies for Christian Unity (Novalis 2008).


Christianiy Today,
December 28, 2009

Top 10 News Stories of 2009

The events, people, and debates of the past year that
have shaped, or will significantly shape, evangelical
life, thought, or mission.

Read the list, click:


Christian Science Monitor
January 8th, 2010
Three churches in Malaysia were firebombed early Friday
as religious tension continues over a court decision that
allows a Catholic publication to use the word 'Allah' for
God, which Catholics claim is a long-standing practice.

Read the article, click:


Christianity Today
December 28th, 2009

Counting down the events, debates, and books that shaped
evangelical theology over the past year.
by Collin Hansen

John Stackhouse comment:



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
04 January 2010

'Resist Europe's secularisation' calls made at
Taize youth meeting

Warsaw (ENI). Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I, a spiritual
leader who represents Eastern Orthodox Christianity, has urged
young Christians to resist secularisation in Europe in a message
to an ecumenical meeting that was greeted by global and regional
leaders. "After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe no longer
recognises the place for Christianity that history dedicated to
it - it is as if Christianity were being expelled from the
history of Europe," said Bartholomeos I, the Istanbul-based
Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.


US Muslim advocacy group warns of 'profiling' dangers

New York (ENI). An advocacy group for Islamic Americans in
the United States has condemned the attempted bombing of a U.S.
- bound passenger aircraft on Christmas Day by a Nigerian Muslim,
but has also warned of the dangers of "profiling" Muslims and
others in the name of air security. In statementsfollowing the
attempted 25 December attack on a Northwest Airlines flight from
Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, by a man believed to have links
to the Al Qaeda network, the Washington-based Council on American
-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, condemned and repudiated
the act as unlawful and "un-Islamic".


Irish cardinal praised for peacemaking role

Dublin (ENI). Cardinal Cahal Daly, who led the Roman Catholic
Church in Ireland during the sectarian violence that wracked
the island, and who has died aged 92, has been praised as a
champion for peace and justice. "Our country has lost one of
its brightest lights and most able sons, who playeda vital role
in promoting reconciliation, peace and justice at a critical
moment in our history," said Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh,
Daly's successor as head of the Catholic Church in Ireland,
in a 1 January statement.


Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
5 January 2010

Hong Kong Christians join march to ask China for
release of Liu

Hong Kong (ENI). Christians joined thousands of other
protestors in Hong Kong urging China to release dissident
Liu Xiaobo, who has been sentenced to 11 years in jail after
initiating the document "Charter 08" that urges greater
democracy for the world's most populous nation. In advance
of the 1 January "Democracy March", which organizers said drew
more than 30,000 people, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun encouraged
Christians to join the protest for universal suffrage in Hong
Kong and to get greater democracy in China.


Copenhagen leaves vulnerable 'on their own'
says Kenya professor

Nairobi (ENI). Vulnerable communities have been left with
only God to count on, because of the failure of a United Nations
conference in Copenhagen to agree legally-binding commitments,
a Kenyan theologian and ecologist has warned. "They should not
expect any significant help from the nations most responsible
for historical emissions," Professor Jesse Mugambi, who teaches
religious studies at the University of Nairobi, told Ecumenical
News International on 4 January. "This became evidently clear
in the political statements made by the heads of delegations
at Copenhagen."


French seminary trains for Orthodox resurgence

Epinay-sous-Senart, France (ENI/RNS). Inside a plain stone
building that was once a Catholic convent in the centre of
town, a dozen black-robed seminarians struggle over French
theological phrases. The nuns are long gone, their Catholic
crucifixes replaced by Russian icons and incense that form
the trappings of a bold experiment: the Russian Orthodox
Church's first seminary outside the former Soviet Union,
Religion News Service reports. Officially launched in November,
the small Paris-area school nurses big ambitions: to train a
new generation of Orthodox priests capable of serving Russia's
growing diaspora. Even more, the school hopes to foster
exchanges between Europe's Christian East and West; and,
more specifically, help nurture warming ties between Moscow
and the Vatican.


Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
06 January 2010

Malawi pastor disowns gay couple arrested for homosexuality
Blantyre (ENI). The pastor of a Malawi church attended by
two men arrested on homosexuality charges after they took part
in a public engagement ceremonyhas disowned both of them and
says they are unwelcome in the congregation. Tiwonge Chimbalanga
and Steven Monjeza were remanded in custody by a magistrates'
court on 4 January after chief magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa
said he would not grant bail to the two men for their own


Irish bishop faces pressure to resign over
child abuse criticism
Dublin (ENI). A fifth Irish bishop is resisting calls for him
to resign following the release of a government-commissioned
report into how the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin dealt with
allegations against priests of sexual abuse. Since the
publication of a report put out by a commission on 26 November
headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, four bishops in Ireland have
offered their resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. The Murphy
Report concluded that church authorities had covered up abuse
over three decades, and that bishops in the archdiocese were
more concerned with the reputation of the church than the
welfare of children.


Move to sideline Christianity in UK after teacher 'fired'
says centre

London (ENI). Britain's Christian Legal Centre says it has
hired a human rights lawyer to represent Olive Jones, a 54-
year old maths teacher who is being investigated by the North
Somerset Council after she offered to say prayers in front
of a 14-year old student suffering from leukaemia. Worshippers
at the Carmel Christianity Centre, a Pentecostal group in
Bristol, said it will this week pray for the reinstatement
of Jones who is the latest British Christian to have faced
disciplinary or legal action for expressing their faith
in public. Julian Clarke, a spokesperson for the Carmel
centre, told Ecumenical News International that lawyer Paul
Diamond will represent Jones. "All of us feel that as
Christians we must now pursue the message of Jesus Christ
even more strongly," he stated. "There is definitely a move
in Britain to sideline the Christian faith, and that is wrong."


Japanese cardinal remembered for championing world peace

Tokyo (ENI). Japanese Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi,
the emeritus archbishop of Tokyo who in 1986 apologised
for his nation's actions in the Second World War, is being
remembered for his work internationally for peace and
reconciliation. Shirayanagi died of a heart attack at
Tokyo's Loyola House, a home for elderly Jesuit priests,
on 30 December. He was 81. "He literally worked as 'the
world's cardinal' for peace and reconciliation of the
international community," the archdiocese of Toyko said
in a statement.

Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
07 January 2010

Rabbis, Jerusalem aides denounce Christian
clergy's harassment

Jerusalem (ENI). A group of rabbis in Jerusalem has condemned
as a "desecration of God's name" and a "dangerous provocation",
the harassment of Christian clergy by some members of a Jewish
group that is said to have involved spitting at priests and nuns.
The statement made public on 5 January followed a meeting with
Jerusalem city officials on 30 December.


India's minority watchdog needs teeth, says politician

Bangalore, India (ENI). A commission aimed at safeguarding
the rights of religious minorities in India cannot be effective
unless it is given judicial powers, says the politician who is
helping to lead the watchdog body. Hmar Tlomte Sangliana, a
Christian who took over on 15 December as vice-chairperson of
India's autonomous National Commission for Minorities, said that
"atrocities on minorities" - particularly Christians - are on
the rise. "But the NCM has been able to do hardly anything
worthwhile except visiting [troubled] spots and making
statements," Sangliana told Ecumenical News International.
"Only when the commission has adequate powers [can] we take
the officials to task for their failure to perform their duty,
and take remedial action."


Changing US demographics could make Latinos 'hosts of table'

New York (ENI). Roman Catholics in the United States are asking
a question that touches on demographics and culture: what will
the church look like in the coming years when at least 40 percent,
and perhaps even a majority, of U.S. Catholics are Latino? At the
very least, "they will not only have a place at the table, they
will be the hosts of the table," said Peter Steinfels, a New York
Times religion columnist and the co-director of the Fordham Center
on Religion and Culture, at a recent forum that examined the
impact of Latin Americans on the church and the U.S. religious

Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
08 January 2010

Aid agencies warn of threats to Sudan peace agreement

Nairobi (ENI). A group of international aid agencies has
warned of renewed conflict in southern Sudan if urgent
international action is not taken to bolster a five-year-
old peace agreement that ended a two-decade civil war.
"A return to war is by no means inevitable, but it depends
whether the world heeds the warning signs of the past year
and has the political will to save the peace," Paul Valentin,
international director of the British agency Christian Aid,
said in Nairobi on 7 January. Valentin was launching the
report, "Rescuing the Peace in Southern Sudan", drawn up
by 10 agencies ahead of the 5th anniversary of signing of
the peace agreement on 9 January.


Christian parties unhappy with S. African president's
5th wedding

Cape Town (ENI). The leaders of two South African Christian
political parties have expressed disappointment at the recent
wedding of President Jacob Zuma, his fifth, with one of them
saying it sets a bad example by doing something no longer
relevant to African cultures. "The African Christian
Democratic Party is very disappointed by the president's
marriage to a fifth wife, particularly because this act
is against biblical teaching and also against [the]
government's AIDS programme that encourages peoples to
sleep with only one partner," said the Rev. Kenneth Meshoe,
the party's president.


Norway says it wants regular contact with new WCC head

Oslo (ENI). Norway's foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere
has requested the country's ambassador to the United Nations
in Geneva to establish regular contact with the Rev. Olav
Fykse Tveit of the (Lutheran) Church of Norway who took
office on 1 January as general secretary of the World
Council of Churches. 'It is an important international
post Fykse Tveit will now be taking over," Stoere said,
quoted in December by Norway's Vaart Land daily newspaper.
Stoere said Norway's government and political environment
need to pay more attention to what churches and other
sections of civil society report from around the world.



Sojourners Online
January 4th, 2010
The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to
convince people to set the written word down in order to
become living words in the world for God's sake. For me,
this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full
substance of faith.

- Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book, Leaving Church


New York Times
January 4th, 2010

“I’m trying to teach the kids that you don’t need to
have expensive toys to have fun. You can make it fun,
from anything.”

- Igor Montoya, Miami, on the growing trend to buy less
and spend more time visiting with family and friends,
gardening, cooking, reading, and other hobbies, along
with volunteering for civic and religious activities.


Sojourners Online
January 5th, 2010

When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star in
the sky is gone, when the kings and princes are home, when
the shepherds are back with their flock, the work of
Christmas begins: to find the lost, to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner, to rebuild
the nations, to bring peace ... to make music in the heart.

- Howard Thurman, American author, civil rights leader,
  and theologian (1899-1981)


The Guardian (UK)
January 5th, 2010

"My double radiation exposure is now an official government
record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying
history of the atomic bombings even after I die."

- Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only person certified as having
  survived the atomic bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
  died Monday at age 93.


Sojourners Online
January 7th, 2010

Hospitality does not seek power over others. Cruelty does.
Cruelty deliberately causes harm, especially by crushing
a person's self-respect ... The opposite of cruelty is
hospitality, a sharing of power.

- Richard M. Gula, from his book To Walk Together Again


Sojourners Online
January 8th, 2010

We are called to show utter commitment to the God who
is revealed in Jesus and to all those to whom his invitation
is addressed.

- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

OBITUARY: Mary Daily, author

Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
08 January 2010

Pioneering feminist theologian Mary Daly dies at 81

Washington DC (ENI). Mary Daly, a self-described post-Christian,
radical feminist theologian known for pioneering women's studies
and battling administrators at Boston College, has died aged 81.
Daly's death on 3 January was announced by Mary E. Hunt, director
of the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, in the
Journal of Feminist Studies of Religion. Hunt said that Daly had
"been in poor health for the last two years", Religion News
Service reported. A cause of death was not released.


Boston Globe
January 5th, 2010

Mary Daly, radical feminist, dies at 81



On Jan. 1, 1959, Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to
victory over Fulgencio Batista.


On Jan. 2, 1905, Japanese Gen. Nogi received from Russian Gen.
Stoessel at 9 o'clock P.M. a letter formally offering to surrender,
ending the Russo-Japanese War.


No comments:

Post a Comment