Friday, March 5, 2010

Colleagues List, March 6th, 2010

Vol V. No. 28


Edited by Wayne A. Holst




In this issue:

Special Item -

"The Most Dangerous Man in America"

My Reflection on a Film Nominated as a
Documentary Feature, 2010 Academy Award

Colleague Contributions:

Michael Trew
John Stackhouse Jr.
Reginald Stackhouse
Martin Marty

Net Notes:

Is Going for Gold Unchristian?
Hockey Almost Religion in Canada
Medical Hazards of Spiritual Care
Nun 'Cured' by Pope Falls Ill Again
UK Lords Approve Gay Church Marriage
Ian Paisley is Stepping Down in Ulster
Korean Catholics Proud of Olympic Champ
Major UK Ecumenical Events Honour Romero
Earlier Divorce Granted Kerala Christians
1641 Massacre of Protestants to be Studied
Kenney Denies Role in Gay Rights Text Removal

Global Faith Potpourri:

Thirteen News Items from
Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Stanley Hauerwas
Tewanee Joseph
Virginia Woolf
Tahir ul-Qadri
Donald Miller
Anne Lamott
Kurt Vonnegut


On This Day (Feb. 28th - March 5th)
March 1st - Annual St. David's Day Celebrated in Wales

Feb. 28, 1993 - Waco, TX - US gun battle with Davidians
March 3, 1991 - Rodney King severely beaten by LA police
March 3, 1847 - Birthday of Alexander Graham Bell (obit)
March 5, 1946 - Churchill delivers "Iron Curtain" speech


Closing Meditation - by Henri Nouwen


Dear Friends

It's Academy Awards weekend and I want to suggest
a film worthy of your consideration, whether or not
it wins a prize on Sunday evening.

The film is entitled: "The Most Dangerous Man in America"
and it has been nominated in the category of Documentary

If it is not showing in a local theatre, be alert to an
appearance - down the way - in a video store near you.

In the meantime, I offer you my reflections on this very
remarkable movie which Marlene and I saw here in Calgary
last weekend.


Colleague Contributions:

Michael Trew - is a fellow member of St. David's. We've
known each other for more than twenty years. Mike is a
psychiatrist who holds a very responsible position as
Senior Medical Director, Addictions & Mental Health,
with Alberta Health Services. Read what he has to say on
the subject of how suicide is presented in the media.

John Stackhouse Jr. - no stranger to Colleague List,
tackles the subject of offering invocational prayers
at secular events. Do you agree with him?

Reginald Stackhouse - no relation to John (above)
but the father of John who is editor of the Globe & Mail,
complements our current prime minister, and offers some
sage advice - "focus on the big stuff, Mr. Harper."

Martin Marty - comments on an article featuring Lauren
Ashley, self-proclaimed Miss Beverly Hills, and appearing
in a local newspaper, The Advocate. She suggests a
consistent reading of scripture on the subject of gays
likely to be ignored by literalists and missed by others.


Net Notes:

"Is Going for Gold Unchristian?" - Mags Storey opens
our reflections on Canada's great showing at the
2010 Winter Olympics with an interesting question
that challenges Canadian "politeness" as a common
way to describe us (Christian Week)

"Hockey Almost Religion in Canada" - the games were
capped with that wonderful win in men's hockey. It
was enough to prompt the New York Times to suggest
that hockey is not only our national sport but
actually a national religion.

"Medical Hazards of Spiritual Care" - How do people
cope with cancer? Some recent medical studies are
suggesting that religion can be both a plus and a
minus factor (Christianity Today)

"Nun 'Cured' by Pope Falls Ill Again" - many of us
know that John Paul II has been "fast tracked" for
canonization, the first step to sainthood in the
Catholic church. Now, we learn the disturbing news
that one of his healing miracles actually failed.
(The Guardian UK)

"UK Lords Approve Gay Church Marriage" - the august
British House of Lords has just approved gay marriage
for the Church of England. But what of those clergy
who refuse to perform such rights? Here are two
articles on the subject (The Telegraph, UK)

"Ian Paisley is Stepping Down in Ulster" - Paisley
has been controversial all his life. Now, in his
senior years, he has become a statesmanlike figure.
Ian, I almost like you now! (The Guardian UK)
"Korean Catholics Proud of Olympic Champ" - from
a land that had very few Christians a century ago
appears the story of public, as well as religious,
acclaim for a Christian sports figure (Cathnews Asia)

"Major UK Ecumenical Events Honour Romero" - on
March 24th, many in El Salvador and around the world
will honour Oscar Romero on the thirtieth anniversary
of his martyrdom. The British are planning major
ecumenical commemorations (Independent Catholic News)
"Earlier Divorce Granted Kerala Christians" - Kerala's
Catholics have not had the same divorce rights as its
other citizens, but that is changing (Cathnews Asia)

"1641 Massacre of Protestants to be Studied" - the
history of poisoned Protestant-Catholic relations in
Ireland is a sequence of historial disasters, both
real and imagined. Here is a story of a project that
may help to set at least part of the record straight
and lead to better understanding (Belfast Telegraph)

"Kenney Denies Role in Gay Rights Text Removal" -
a man whose views of gays are well-known denies that
he was responsible for removing gay rights texts for
a citizenship guide he overseas as Canada's current
Minister of Immigration (Globe and Mail)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Enjoy the thirteen news items I have located for you
from Geneva-based Ecumenical News International service


Quotes of the Week:

Stanley Hauerwas, Tewanee Joseph, Virginia Woolf,
Tahir ul-Qadri, Donald Miller, Anne Lamott and
Kurt Vonnegut share good reflection pieces.


On This Day (Feb. 28th - March 4th):

We are St. David's Calgary are growingly interested
in the patron saint after which our church is named.
March 1st is the day St. David is celebrated in Wales.
I include the Wikipedia article on the commemoration.

The Branch Davidians (a Seventh Day Adventist sect)
took on federal agents at a fatal Waco Texas shootout
(1992); Rodney King, a black man, was severely beaten
by members of the Lost Angeles police force and the
ingnomineous act was caught on video (1991); Alexander
Graham Bell was born on March 3rd (1847) and died in
Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Read his obituary.
Winston Church delivered his famous "Iron Curtain"
speech in Fullerton, MO, anticipating the Cold War

These articles are courtesy of the New York Times.


Closing thoughts are provided by Henri Nouwen.

Continued blessings on your Lenten journey.




Contact us at: (or)
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Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish



Monday Night Study, January 18th - March 29th, 2010
An insightful description of where Christian faith
is moving in the twenty-first century.
Follow our class videos, power point presentations,
other notes and study resources. Bookmark this link:



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

This collection of study resources represents a decade of
Monday Night Studies at St. David's, plus extra courses too!
You are welcome to use our course outlines, class notes and
resource pages in your personal and group reflections.



My reflection on:

A 2009 documentary - introduced to Canada at the Toronto
International Film Festival last September.

It is directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith.

The film follows Daniel Ellsberg and explores the events
leading up to the publication of the Pentagon Papers (1971)
which exposed the top-secret military history of the
United States involvement in Vietnam.

"More than a documentary; it is a suspense thriller"
- The Boston Globe



Some major historical events are remembered as facts;
and some as paradigm shifts in their own right.

This film describes a significant change in human
consciousness as it recounts the stages of moral
transformation occurring in Daniel Ellsberg's life.

Ellsberg was a US Defense Department-contracted policy
analyst, who, in a dramatic act, leaked 47 volumes
(7,000) pages of top secret CIA documents to the press
and congress almost forty years ago. The upshot of this
was that US public sentiment finally turned against
the Vietnam war which was continuing indefinitely.

After that act, the Nixon administration adopted a
paranoid bunker mentality, which resulted in "dirty
tricks" performed by a squad of White House "plumbers"
which sought to stop such leaks by gathering negative
information on perpetrators like Ellsberg.

"Watergate" - became synonymous with Nixon's attempt
to find evidence against Ellsberg by trying to steal
confidential files from his psychiatrist whose office
was located in that now-famous Washington building.

Ultimately, Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace as the
details of what had transpired slowly dribbled out during
subsequent senate hearings. (Boston Globe)

Ellsberg was charged on various counts, but ultimately all
charges against him were dropped.

All this happened because a "not-very-religious man" of
great gifts and recognized political influence determined
to heed the promptings of his conscience and do something
about it - even though he risked his career and implicated
others close to him in the process.

His son, colleague Robert Ellsberg, is portrayed live in
the film as being deeply influenced by his father's
behaviour. Robert helped his father copy those pages.

The film dramatizes a kind of secular spiritual journey
of a man who changes from warrior to anti-warrior, from
military analyst to peace activist, and from patriot
to "traitor" (New York Times)

Henry Kissinger famously and derisively dubbed Ellsberg
"The most dangerous man in America."

Ellsberg certainly performed one of the most daring
whistleblowing acts of the century (L.A. Times) but
most of those who lived through those historic events
quickly determined whether he was a traitor or a hero.

His supporters remember him as a larger-than-life
figure. His detractors regard him as "slippery" -
with a flair for political theatre - who got off on
a legal technicality.

My sense is that most Canadians who remember Ellsberg
consider him a hero. I certainly do; and am honoured to
call his son Robert a friend as a result of our literary

Whether or not people love or detest Ellsberg, however,
he is clearly one who changed the course of history. He
did so by defining a different paradigm (or way of viewing
reality) based on recognizing his situation honestly;
following his conscience; and making a decisive break from
former committments when others would have compromised
their integrity for the sake of personal security.

"This story changed the world... We have not celebrated
Daniel Ellsberg enough," says the New York Magazine.


What the Pentagon Papers Episode Taught Me About: -


I was brought up during an era when loyalty to institutions
was expected. Those who stepped "outside the bounds" were
considered traitors. Whether the institution was political,
educational, healthcare/social service or religious - that
commitment was required.

To recognize how much has changed, we need only consider
a modern tragedy - the sex abuse scandals currently plaguing
the Catholic church in many places. Decades ago, it was
assumed that an honourable institution was worth protecting
above all other considerations. When it became clear,
however, that bishops placed loyalty to the institution
ahead of concern for the people within it, most of us
recoil in profound anger and chagrin.
This suggests to me how profound has been our general
change of attitude regarding loyalty to institutions. No
institution stands above the law - as the bishops of Ireland
have dramatically discovered. If that can happen on the
Emerald Isle, it can happen anywhere.

What applies to secular institutions, applies to the church.



This means that those who would defend institutions
must come to view integrity in new ways.

In the past, people were much more willing to accept
the "appearance" of trustworthiness as tantament to
trustworthiness itself. Today it has become a truism
that leaders must not only "reflect" integrity, they
must in truth "be" people of integrity.
The checks and balances we have established to assure
this have increased exponentially in recent years.
My parents automatically respected persons with
"professonal" roles. But that changed. What I
gradually experienced became their experience too.

Several weeks before he died, my father told me that
"respect for church leaders" was "no longer automatic"
as far as he was concerned. He advised me to continue
to live the life I had chosen, through great struggles,
and he could now support me in that.

"Leaders have to prove they are leaders" he implied.
"I no longer trust them automatically, and I assume
the same about you," he told me.

This exchange with my dad - within weeks of his death
- became greatly liberating. I never expected that
he would choose transparency over automatic respect.

What he now allowed made life so much freer for me.

I believe that - in his own way - Daniel Ellsberg
influnced my dad's thinking - even though the
connection between the two (i.e. the societal
implications of this development in my dad's mind)
would necessitate an explanation I cannot provide



"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" (the
more things change, the more they stay the same) -
is a famous french axiom that both Daniel Ellsberg
and I came to recognize and acknowledge.

One of the significant discoveries decribed by
Ellsberg in the documentary is that - whatever
had changed in the public mind since the historic
Pentagon Papers episode - people tend to forget
the price that was paid and too easily assume that
"things are different now."

Ellsberg and I share an enigma. We as humans are
too easily lulled into complacency over important
issues like "trust" and "transparency" - and that
is something about which we must be perpetually
on guard.

As much as our situation seems to have changed,
the fact remains that it probably has not changed.
Theologians may ascribe that to the vagaries of
human nature. Evil may be defeated, they may say,
but it is never fully overcome this side of eternity.

To counter that, I keep harping on some issues - even
when I may sound like an aging, broken record.

Margaret Atwood once stated that some things need to be
said again and again.

When it comes to important matters like the people
in whom I invest my social trust - in government,
education, health and church - as well as those
I care about - I must be perpetually alert.
I will continue to repeat some things, perhaps long
after some may think I should cease and desist. That
simply means I am responding to voices deep inside me
that will not be silenced.


"The Most Dangerous Man in America"

Read the New York Times review:
September 16th, 2010

Watch several trailers:

Cheer for the film during the Academy Awards
presentations this weekend.

Anticipate its appearance on DVD.

View it by yourself or with people who
are important to you.




Alberta Views
March, 2010

Suicide in Alberta (second highest rate in the nation
following Quebec) was the major theme of the February
issue of Alberta Views. On page 62 (Alberta by Numbers)
an extensive listing of various types of confirmed
suicides was provided as well as statistics of hospital
Emergency Room visits by those attempting suicide or
performing other self-inflicted injuries.

In accompanying articles, graphic verbal imagery -
- while creative in nature - concerned Mike.


College Michael Trew wrote an extensive letter to the
Alberta Views editor which appeared this month.

Here are some excerpts:

"First, I would like to thank you for taking on the
challenging task of writing about the difficult subject
of suicide. Your articles are generally well-written, with
a respect for the challenging language of suicide and the
need to emphasise hope and help-seeking. They help to
explain how complex suicidal behaviour can be...
"However, I am concerned by a few aspects of your issue.
The depiction of suicide on page 62 is particularly
troublesome. It may be offensive or even traumatizing to
those who have had a loved one die by suicide... in
several instances the authors used the term "committed"
rather than the preferred "died by" suicide...

"Media guidelines (see advise against
describing in detail, in picture or text, a method of
suicide. (Some of your articles go into too much detail
and emphasis on methods.) Guidelines advise against
this for a very important reason. Research indicates
the potential for copycat suicides and contagion effect
when potentially suicidal people read/see articles
containing this information. These depictions can
increase suicide - an outcome I am sure you did not

- Dr. Michael Trew


If your are interested, try to locate the February
issue of Alberta Views in a library. Unfortunately,
an electronic version is hard to find.



John Stackhouse's Weblog
February 26th, 2010
Invocations at Secular Events

A friend writes: I have been asked to say grace at our
company¹s anniversary dinner. It is a secular Canadian
company. The people who will be attending the dinner
come from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
I felt awkward about this and asked for the rationale
behind it. The person in charge of the program simply
says she wants this to be an opportunity for us to give
thanks for the success we have enjoyed in the past 70
years of our company¹s history. And besides she has
had no complaints when other people said grace in our
company¹s previous annual dinners. What is your
opinion on this? Is there a way I can do it in a
winsome way or does this violate the spirit of respect
in a pluralistic society..?

Read the full blog article and posted comments"



Globe and Mail
March 3rd, 2010

"Focus on the Big Stuff, Mr. Harper"

Read the article -



March 1st, 2010

"Biblical Literalism"

Read the article -




Christian Week
March 2nd, 2010
by Mags Storey



New York Times
February 28th, 2010

Read the article:



Christianity Today
March 3rd, 2010

Terminal cancer patients do better when doctors
and medical staff are spiritually supportive



The Guardian
March 5th, 2010

Read the article:



The Telegraph

March 3rd, 2010

Homosexuals may be allowed to hold civil partnership
ceremonies in churches after the House of Lords voted in
favour of scrapping a ban on same-sex religious unions.
Read the article, click:


The Telegraph,
March 4th, 2010

Clergy could be sued if they refuse to carry out
'gay marriages' in church, leading figures have warned.

Read the article, click:



The Guardian
March 3rd, 2010
by Henry McDonald

Democratic Unionist MP will not stand in general
election after representing North Antrim for 40 years

Read the article:



Cathnews Asia
March 2nd, 2010
Catholics in Korea were overjoyed to see Stella Kim Yu-na
make the sign of the cross during her Gold Medal performance
at the Olympic figure skating competition on Feb. 23rd.




Independent Catholic News
February 7th, 2010

Thirtieth Anniversary of Oscar Romero Martyrdom



Cathnews Asia
March 1st, 2010

Striking down a clause in the Indian Divorce Act as
"discriminatory", Kerala's High Court has allowed
Christian couples to apply for divorce after less
than two years of their marriage.

Read the article:



Belfast Telegraph
March 5th, 2010
Scottish Academics to Study a Longstanding Enigma
Project to Investigate Deep Wound in Irish History

Read the article:



Globe and Mail
March 4th, 2010

Read the article:


Reaction from Scott Brissen:

Globe and Mail
March 4th, 2010

Please click:



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights

1 March 2010

Protest to go on against Israeli occupation of
Christian-owned land

Beit Sahour, West Bank (ENI). Palestinian activists say they
will continue protests against an apparent re-occupation of
an abandoned Israeli army outpost on the outskirts of Beit
Sahour near Bethlehem, despite being repelled by the Israel
Defence Forces. "We are going to be there next week. We
object to the military presence there, and will demonstrate
peacefully against that presence there," said Bethlehem
University professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, who belongs to the Greek
Melkite Church and lives in Beit Sahour. People at the 28
February protest said it turned violent after Israeli border
police officials fired stun grenades, tear gas and rubber
bullets at a group of about 75 banner-waving demonstrators.
They had marched up to the outpost to protest about the
Israeli presence there.


Jewish groups laud hate-crimes charge
in Canadian cross burning

Toronto (ENI). Canadian Jewish groups have been among the
first to applaud the laying of hate-crime charges against
two men accused of using racial epithets, and burning a cross
at the home of an interracial couple in the country's Nova
Scotia province. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced
on 24 February that it had charged two men with public
incitement of hatred, mischief and uttering threats. The
charges were laid after an incident in the early hours of
21 February, when Shayne Howe, who is black, found a two-
metre-high cross burning in front of his home in Poplar Grove,
Nova Scotia in eastern Canada. Howe heard a man yell, "Die,
nigger, die," before he ran off. Howe is black; his wife,
Michelle Lyon, is white. She is a distant relative of the
two accused men, Nathan Neil Rehberg, aged 20, and his brother
Justin Chad Rehberg, who is 19.


Scottish pensioner, aged 90, leaves fortune
to Salvation Army

Edinburgh (ENI). The Salvation Army is renowned for helping
people, sometimes when they are in desperate need. But in its
own hour of need, a Salvation Army branch in a small Scottish
town got a pleasant shock after it received a donation of
850,000 British pounds (US$1.3 million) from a pensioner who
had benefited from the Christian organization's welfare services.
When 90-year-old Robert Saddler, a retired Edinburgh architect
who lived in Forfar, 120 kilometres( 75 miles) north-east of
the Scottish capital, died in 2009 he left the Salvation Army
a small fortune in his will. Major Jim McCluskey, team leader
of the army's Angus county's community service, told Ecumenical
News International, "We have been thrown a lifeline with this
legacy. It is truly God sent."


2 March 2010

Washington Cathedral hosts Christian-Muslim summit

New York (ENI). Washington National Cathedral is
currently hosting a summit of Christian and Muslim
faith leaders, which seeks to promote understanding
and reconciliation between the two traditions, and
is due to culminate in a public dialogue on 3 March.
The summit began on 1 March, and organizers told
Ecumenical News International it is the first of four
interfaith dialogues on reconciliation planned with
representatives of the Shi'a and Sunni Muslim traditions
along with members of the Roman Catholic and (Anglican)
Episcopal churches. The author and associate editor of
The Washington Post newspaper, David Ignatius, is
moderating the summit. Still, the Washington-based
Institute on Religion and Democracy, which is often
critical of "liberal" stands taken by ecumenical
institutions, said that the summit had the potential
for leading to "appeasement to Islamists".


Sikh beheadings 'shows dangers' Pakistan minorities face
Bangalore, India (ENI). Christian groups in Pakistan and
India have joined political and other religious leaders
in deploring the recent beheading of two young Sikh men
by a Taliban group in Pakistan, and have demanded security
for religious minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.
"We condemn this diabolic act," said Victor Azariah,
general secretary of the National Council of Churches of
Pakistan, in a telephone interview with Ecumenical News
International on 1 March. "This is yet another instance
of growing insecurity to the [religious] minorities here."


Church in Poland faces new clergy shortfall

Warsaw (ENI). Poland's Roman Catholic Church has reported
a further decline in priestly and monastic vocations, which
has raised fears about the church's long-term capacity to
provide for the pastoral needs of its members. "For the
first time in years, the [total] number of diocesan
seminary students has fallen below 4000," the church's
Catholic information agency, KAI, has reported. "The number
of male monastic seminarians is comparable to the previous
year's," but the agency reported on 18 February, "the sharp
fall has continued among female religious orders, with ever
fewer women joining up."


3 March 2010

German Protestants and Catholics face
their own face image crises

Trier, Germany (ENI). Germany's churches may be facing
the biggest credibility crisis in their parishes for
decades after a bout of unprecedented negative media
coverage. At the end of February, Margot Kässmann, the
first woman to lead the Evangelical Church in Germany
(EKD), resigned as bishop and leader of the Protestant
church grouping after only four months in office, because
of a drink-drive offence. In the same week, a Catholic
Bishops' Conference consultation in Freiburg addressed
the issue of widespread sexual abuse of children by
clergy and lay people that surfaced late in January,
and damaged the largest church in the country.


Nigerian Christian leaders protest attacks in the north

Lagos, Nigeria (ENI). Two Christian groups have called on
Nigeria's federal and state authorities to make sure those
in charge in the northern part of the country to
investigate attacks they say are carried out by Islamic
extremists, on Christians in the region. The Pentecostal
Fellowship of Nigeria has urged the federal government
to ensure an end to attacks on and discrimination against
Christians in northern Nigeria, while the ecumenical
Christian Association of Nigeria has rued a lack of
response from police in states in the north, where
sectarian violence has taken place.


Hong Kong Christians urge China to release
Sichuan quake investigator

Hong Kong (ENI). Hong Kong's Christian Council, which has
called on its members to pray and offer assistance for
those hit by recent lethal earthquakes in Haiti and Chile,
is also urging Beijing to release a Chinese environmentalist
jailed for five years. Tan Zuoren was sent to prison after
he investigated building works carried out before the 2008
earthquake that killed 70 000 people in China's Sichuan
province. He was sentenced on 9 February after he had
independently looked into shoddy construction in Sichuan
schools after the May 2008 quake in which thousands of
students in the Chinese province died.


US state lawmaker wants to allow guns in churches

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (ENI/RNS). A Louisiana state lawmaker
is proposing to allow people who are legally qualified to
carry concealed weapons to bring them to houses of worship
as long as the pastor or church board approves. The proposal,
filed ahead of the legislative session that opens on 29 March,
is one of 74 house bills that have been filed so far, Religion
News Service reports. State Representative Henry Burns, a
member of the Republican Party, filed a bill to let a church,
temple, mosque or other religious institution authorise "any
person issued a valid concealed handgun permit" to carry it
into a place of worship.


4 March 2010

Women play secondary role in news,
global media project finds

Geneva (ENI). The Chinese proverb that women hold up half
the sky does not apply to the news arena, results of the
2010 Global Media Monitoring Project suggest. "Only 24
percent of persons seen, heard, or read about in the news
are female," said the project, coordinated by the Toronto-
based World Association for Christian Communication, in a
preliminary report released in Geneva. The findings are on
the agenda of the 54th session of the U.N. Commission on the
Status of Women in New York from 1 to 12 March. "We hope
that what we are going to say about the representation of gender
in the media will be taken seriously by media managers," said
Abebech Wolde with the Ethiopian Media Women's Association
and the project coordinator in her country.


5 March 2010

Bishops of Hiroshima and Nagasaki want
nuclear weapons' ban

Tokyo (ENI). The Roman Catholic bishops of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki - the only cities to have endured war-time nuclear
bombings - are urging world leaders to abolish nuclear
weapons. And on 5 March, a group of nine churches in Britain
launched a similar campaign to the Japanese bishops that
calls on the British Government to make a commitment to
achieving a world free of nuclear weapons, thereby building
a safer future for all. Nagasaki Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami
and Hiroshima Bishop Joseph Atsumi Misue released a joint
statement on 26 February ahead of a nuclear security summit
scheduled for April in Washington, D.C. and a review
conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in
New York in May.


Jesus Bus to raise economic justice awareness
in hard-hit US state

New York (ENI). Inspired by the spirit of International
Women's Day, women from many nations will take a Jesus
Bus in June through the hard-hit U.S. state of Michigan
to highlight the connection between justice and the
economy. The World Alliance of Reformed Churches says
that it is calling on churches to recognise the gifts
of women, to celebrate the fruits of their labour and
to increase efforts to remove barriers to equality and
partnership on 8 March, International Women's Day. In
a statement on 4 March, the alliance said that in June
around 250 women from 100 countries will witness the
impact of the financial crisis on the American city of
Grand Rapids when they take the Jesus Bus sponsored by
local churches.



Sojourners Online
March 1st, 2010

Indeed, nonviolence is not just one implication
among others that can be drawn from our Christian
beliefs; it is at the very heart of our
understanding of God.
- Stanley Hauerwas, from his book,
  "The Peaceable Kingdom"


The positive energy has been incredible. There has
been an outpouring of pride [among natives] the likes
of which I've never seen before.

- Tewanee Joseph, CEO of the Four Host First Nations,
  on the involvement of native peoples in the Vancouver
  Olympics. (Globe and Mail, Toronto)


March 2nd, 2010

Once conform, once do what other people do because
they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer
nerves and faculties of the soul.
- Virginia Woolf, from her essay, "Montaigne"


Al Jezeera
March 2nd, 2010

They [terrorists] can't claim that their suicide
bombings are martyrdom operations and that they
become the heroes of the Muslim Umma [global
brotherhood]. No, they become heroes of hellfire,
and they are leading towards hellfire. There is
no place for any martyrdom and their act is never,
ever to be considered jihad.

- Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, a London-based Pakistani
  Muslim scholar, in a fatwa (religious ruling)
  against terrorism and suicide bombing.


March 3rd

I want to keep my soul fertile for changes, so
things keep getting born in me, so things keep
dying when it's time for them to die. I want to
keep walking away from the person I was a moment
ago, because a mind was made to figure things out,
not read the same page recurrently.

- Donald Miller, from book "Through Painted Deserts"


March 4th, 2010

I do not at all understand the mystery of grace --
only that it meets us where we are but does not
leave us where it found us.

- Anne Lamott, from her book "Traveling Mercies"


March 5th, 2010

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without
going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things
you can't see from the center

- Kurt Vonnegut, from first novel "Player Piano"



March 1st 2010

St. David's Day, Wales


Feb. 28, 1993, a gun battle erupted near Waco, Texas,
when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried
to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians; four agents and
six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.


On March 3, 1991, in a case that sparked a national outcry,
motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police
officers in a scene captured on amateur video.


March 3rd, 1847, Alexander Graham Bell born (see obit)


On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his famous
"Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.



Dear God, give me the courage to live and work
for a new heaven and a new earth as Jesus did.
Give me the freedom to be critical where I see
evil and to offer praises whereI see good. Most
of all, make me faithful to the vision you have
given me, so that wherever I go and whomever I
meet, I can be a sign of your all-renewing love.


- Henri Nouwen, from "With Open Hands"


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