Friday, November 5, 2010

Colleagues List, November 6th, 2010

Vol. VI. No. 10


Edited by Wayne A. Holst


Colleagues List Blog:


Book Notice:

"Pastoral Prayers to Share (Year A)
 Prayers of the People for Each
 Sunday of the Church Year"
 by David Sparks

Colleague Contributions:

Donald Grayston
Jim Taylor
Margaret Somerville
Michael Higgins

Net Notes:

Muslims in Germany
One Nation, Divisible
Our Ecumenical Future
Preparing for Retirement
The World Comes to Cape Town
Germany's First Post War Female Rabbi
World's Oldest Person, a Nun, Dies at 114
Priestly Conversion Needed for Church Reform
Would the Amish Use this Hand-Cranked Lap Top?
Egyptian Book of the Dead Reveals Ancient Beliefs
Christian Worshipers Killed in Baghdad Church Raid


Global Faith Potpourri:

10 stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Henri J.M. Nouwen
Shoshana Zuboff
Benjamin Jowett


On This Day (Oct. 31st - Nov. 4th)

Oct. 31, 1984 - Indian PM Indira Gandhi assassinated
Nov. 1, 1952  - US tests first hydrogen bomb in Marshall Islands
Nov. 4, 2008  - Obama elected first US black chief executive


Closing Thought -



Dear Friends:

Welcome to the latest edition of Colleagues List.

I hope that at least some of the items I have gathered
will prove to be helpful to you this week.

Today, I introduce a worship resource just released
by Canadian church publisher Wood Lake Books of Kelowna -

"Pastoral Prayers to Share (Year A) Prayers of the People
for Each Sunday of the Church Year." It is authored by
United Church of Canada minister David Sparks who lives
in Summerland, BC.


Colleague Contributions this week:

Donald Grayston, Jim Taylor, Margaret Somerville and
Michael Higgins provide  both visual and written items
for your enrichment.


Net Notes:

"Muslims in Germany" - The Islamic peoples of Germany
are generally "underclass," "non-citizen" and "disaster
waiting to happen" - as any visit to Berlin will reveal
(Religion & Ethics, National Public Radio visual/text)

"One Nation, Divisible" - A perspective on the recent
American elections is provided by The Tablet, UK.

"Our Ecumenical Future" - There is still hope for the
ecumenical movement, as this recent article suggests
(America Magazine)

"Preparing for Retirement" - With more people in our
western societies entering retirement age, this piece
is timely and helpful - especially for people of faith
(Virtual House, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada)

"The World Comes to Cape Town" - Recently, evangelical
Christians from around the world met in South Africa.
Here is a report of that event (

"Germany's First Post War Female Rabbi" - It has taken
more than seventy years for Judaism in Germany to return
to a point where a woman rabbi is appointed to lead a
congregation in that country (The Guardian, UK)

"World's Oldest Person, a Nun, Dies at 114" - The
honour of human longevity was held by a Catholic
nun living in the Caribbean, who died this week
(Cathnews Asia)

"Priestly Conversion Needed for Church Reform" -
The pope continues to stuggle with news from some part
of the world where new priestly sexual abuse is reported.
The pope has a narrower view of what needs to happen
than that expressed by colleague Michael Higgins (above)
(National Catholic Reporter)

"Would the Amish Use this Hand-Cranked Lap Top?" -
The invention of a computer that runs by hand poses
the question suggested by this article (The Atlantic)

"Egyptian Book of the Dead Reveals Ancient Beliefs" -
Almost weekly, anthropologists and archeologists are
unlocking ancient spiritual secrets (The Guardian, UK)

"Christian Worshipers Killed in Baghdad Church Raid" -
This story represents the biggest global faith tragedy
of the past week and I provide reports and assessment
(ENI, The Guardian and The Tablet (UK)


Global Faith Potpourri:

7 stories appear this week from Ecumenical News
International, World Council of Churches, Geneva.


Quotes of the Week:

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Shoshana Zuboff and Benjamin Jowett
offer their contribution for reflection.


On This Day (Oct. 31st - Nov. 4th)

Read the stories provided by the New York Times on -

Indian PM Indira Gandhi assassinated (1984)
US tests first hydrogen bomb in Marshall Islands (1952)
Barak Obama elected first US black chief executive (2008)


Closing Thought - humour from George Bernard Shaw

Blessings to you from my home office in Calgary!




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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish




We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
and at Evensong, on Saturday, May 7th!

Chorister selection is currently taking place.
An organizational meeting will occur this
month, and rehearsals start - early January -
led by our music director, Brent Tucker.

Details are presently being finalized with
the St. David's cathedral dean, Jonathan Lean.

We are also planning to sing while visiting
Iona, Scotland and the Church of Mary Immaculate
in Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland.


We have a waiting list for this trip; also an
interest list for other, future tours!

Let me know if you have an interest in exciting
spiritual tourism!



Introducing our New Fall Program at St. David's:

Follow this series by clicking:

A Celtic Spirituality (Philip Newell)

Including background material from the book:

THE CELTIC WAY (Ian Bradley)



Join our ten week Monday Night Study, which will run
from September 20th through November 29th

Special Guest:

Monday, November 8th - 7-9PM

Dr. Wayne Davies, Department of Geography, U of C.
is a native of Wales. He will speak with us at one
session, introducing us to his homeland, and explaining
some of the important sites we plan to visit to maximize
our appreciation of the tour.

This program is being made available for regular
Monday Night study-folk plus those planning to
take the tour of Celtic Lands next spring.

37 persons, representing tour and non-tour participants
are currently registered for this ten-week series and
we have been experiencing our best attendences ever!

This study series is part of our St. David's fiftieth
anniversary celebrations and is available to all!



Announcing our Autumn Series:

"The Book of Genesis"

Primeval and Patriarchal Stories -
Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel
Abraham, Covenant, Ishmael & Sodom.

Join us Wednesday mornings, 9-10 AM
October 6th through December 1st


Students, faculty and staff

"Becoming Human" by Jean Vanier
 (the 1998 CBC Massey Lecture Series)

Thursdays, Oct 21 through Nov 25, Noon-1 PM
Native Centre, Small Boardroom (MSC 390)

Oct 21 – Loneliness, Chapter 1
Oct 28 – Belonging, Chapter 2
Nov 4  – From Exclusion to Inclusion, Chapter 3

[skipping Remembrance Day]

Nov 18 – The Path to Freedom, Chapter 4
Nov 25 – Forgiveness, Chapter 5



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.



Book Notice:

Prayers of the People for Each Sunday
of the Church Year, by David Sparks
Wood Lake Books, 2010. $24.00 CAD.
244 pages. ISBN #978-1-55145-585-3.

Publisher's Promo:

Acknowledging that the pastoral prayer is often overlooked
and undervalued, and that clergy and lay leaders may be
hard-pressed for time to compose a fresh pastoral prayer
each week, he has put together a unique and comprehensive
collection of prayers that can be adapted to present
circumstances and used in a variety of settings.

The prayers are responsive, written for one or two leaders
and a congregational response. They all allow for the
inclusion of local and worldwide current events, and
individual and congregational concerns. David usually
uses the weekly Gospel reading as the broad theme for
the prayers and divides them into four easily identified

* world
* suffering
* church
* ourselves

The “how to use” section covers preparing to offer pastoral
prayer, and offers 12 ways to “do” pastoral prayer, such as:

* two leader congregational response
* using people and objects to dramatize a theme
* using part of a hymn for a lead or a response
* using silence for effect

Each week offers specific suggestions for two or three
prayer formats.

Other features include:

* Thematic Index
* Scripture Index
* Icons in the margin to enable quick identification
  of prayer sections and alternate suggestions
* Data CD with text files for Year A included with
  the print version

This book is available in print and will be available
soon as an e-book edition.


Author's Words:

The pastoral prayer is a common enterprize of faith.

Worship leaders and people together have the responsibility
of offering to God those situations, persons and challenges
that concerns our hearts, our minds and our essential spirit.

We faithfully offer our prayers Sunday by Sunday in a world
where the inroads of our materialistic society threaten to
erode completely the ancient and treasured life of faith.
But does it do any good to pray for the world and its needs?
Does it do any good to pray for our own needs? Could we not
be doing something more useful? Will the next generation be
a praying generation?

The questions will continually come to us, but at the end
of the day we can only look to the one all-loving God and
say, "We cannot cease from praying."


My Comments:

Can we move beyond practices pitting 'formalized'
against 'free will' pastoral prayers during worship?

Author David Sparks believes we can, and he provides
us with this book of prayers for the church year to
demonstrate the point.

This book will help many worship leaders - both lay and
clergy - to make the most of that period of worship we
designate as "The Prayer of the Church," "The Prayers
of the People" or whatever.

I was trained to follow a fixed liturgy, with set prayers,
adapted to the various seasons of the Church Year.

I have learned to value prayers with more immediacy and,
for me, personal meaning.

Yet, rarely have I seen liturgical resources providing
a blend of the best of both formal and informal prayer
in a public worship setting.

This is a book that attempts to bridge that gap. I believe
it will become a welcome resource for pastors and lay
leaders alike.


David Sparks, the author of these prayers, was educated
theologically in England and Canada and has served for
30 years with the United Church of Canada. He lives in
Summerland, BC. David's previous three-book, lectionary-
based series, "Prayers to Share" has been widely used
around the world. He is also a prolific and well-received
contributor to the worship leader's resource "Gathering"
and has had prayers and hymns published in other
ecumenical and national worship publications. He has
led many workshops on public prayer.


Read below, for example, the first part of a litany that
David has created for the First Sunday after the Epiphany,
(Year A) - The Baptism of the Lord:

After providing the lectionary readings for the day, which
emphasise the Gospel, namely Matthew 3:13-17, the author
notes thematically that Jesus is singled out for ministry
by John the Baptizer, and is anointed by the Spirit.

The litany begins:

Jesus was baptized by John and his ministry began.
We too are called to minister to our world:

- to gain the confidence of elected leaders in our area;
- to speak out directly against racial slurs, "jokes"
  or prejudiced remarks;
- to learn about the threats to our environment and to
  advocate for change;
- to be alert to the needs of the poorest on our planet
  and find ways to meet their needs;
- to be aware of those at risk in our neighbourhood and
  find ways of helping them.

Sometimes we see ministry as the work that other people do.
Loving God, you call each of us to minister.

People: We will minister!

(the litany continues...)

(Liturgical Option) - at the end of each section, water
may be poured into the baptismal font from a pitcher. Or,
the congregation may be lightly sprayed with water from a
frond or a leafy branch, for effect.


These prayers avoid worship leader "hobby horse" themes
and phrases because they are firmly grounded in the three
year Gospel lectionary-themes. They are presented with a
balance of focus on "the world" "suffering" "church"
and "ourselves."

They come in various petitional formats to add variety
and flexibility to the order being followed. The language
of these prayers is well-framed to balance beauty with
common parlance.

Sparks gives the lie to liturgical purists who believe
that only traditional language is appropriate; as well
as to those who are locked into the vernacular of the day.

I like what David Sparks does with these prayers and
I think you will too.


Buy the book from Wood Lake:




Friends: do I send you too many emails?  Do you
sometimes say to yourself, "Another damn email from
Don Grayston?" I know the feeling, because I myself
receive too many damn emails from other people.

The real issue is discernment. To what can I/ought
I to give the precious moments of my life? This or
that experience, this or that book, this or that
person, this or that email? We live in the age of
information overkill, even possibility overkill:
un embarras de richesses, which can easily flip
over into un embarras de pauvreté.

I say this by way of preface to my encouragement to
you to spend, to give, to offer 12 minutes of your
life to the watching of this YouTube item. It concerns
Alice Herz Sommer, 107 years old this month, the oldest
known survivor of the Holocaust. She is a pianist, who
survived Terezin. She tells us that she loves everyone,
hates no-one. It is a magnificent story, and special
thanks goes to my friend Lorilee Mallek for sending
it to me.

Blessings to you as always, DG



Web Log
October 31st, 2010

Sunday October 31, 2010


On this day, October 31, 1517, exactly 493 years ago,
Martin Luther nailed his challenges to the Roman Catholic
Church onto the door of a church in Wittenburg, Germany.
Today, nailing something to a church door would be
considered vandalism. In those days, it was the
equivalent of an Internet blog -- a way of posting
a few thoughts where anyone could read them and respond.
In Luther’s case, 95 thoughts...

Read the entire article...



Virtual House, EFC
Nov. 5th, 2010


"Never Let Me Go" (review)
A movie about utilitarianism and moral relativism



The Church is reaching the point where it must change
in a fundamental way. Adjustment is no longer enough.

Globe and Mail
November 4th, 2010




NPR Religion and Ethics
Repeated from August, 2010



The Tablet, UK
November 5th, 2010


What lies ahead for Christian Unity?

America Magazine
Nov. 8th, 2010


Hints for the Next Stage of Life

Virtual House
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
Oct. 29th, 2010


Evangelical assembly ends in South Africa
Nov. 2nd, 2010


Woman rabbi portends a renewed future

The Guardian, UK
Nov. 4th, 2010



Cathnews Asia,
November 5th, 2010


Pope claims renewal of church begins with priesthood

National Catholic Reporter
Nov. 4th, 2010


Manually Run Computer Can be Used in Many Settings

Atlantic Month
Nov. 4th, 2010


British Museum exhibit offers intriguing insights

The Guardian
Nov. 2nd, 2010



Global religious leaders reviled at Baghdad church killing

Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
1 November 2010

Geneva (ENI). The World Council of Churches general
secretary, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, has joined Pope
Benedict XVI and other religious leaders in condemning
the "criminal act of terror" in Baghdad when gunmen
took hostages in a city church, resulting in the deaths
of nearly 60 people. "The World Council of Churches
strongly condemns the criminal act of terror that took
place on Sunday in the Sayyidat al-Najat Church in
Baghdad and expresses its deep sympathy and solidarity
with those who lost their loved ones and prays for a
speedy recovery for the injured," said Tveit in a 1
November statement.  Earlier in an address to mark
All Saints Day, the Pope told pilgrims in St Peter's
Square, "I pray for the victims of this absurd violence,
all the more ferocious in that it struck defenceless
people united in the house of God, which is a place
of love and reconciliation."


The Guardian (UK)
Nov. 1st, 2010


The Tablet (UK)
Nov. 5th, 2010



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
1 November 2010

'Protect religious minorities' says Muslim
at talks with Christians

Geneva (ENI). The coordinator of a Muslim initiative
to promote common ground with Christians says that
leaders of the two religions have a duty to protect
adherents of the other faith against followers of
their own. "For both our religions harming religious
minorities among us is evil, is absolutely forbidden
and is ultimately a rejection of God's love and a
crime against God himself," Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad
Bin Talal of Jordan said on the opening day of a 1-4
November meeting of Muslim and Christian leaders and
scholars in Geneva. Speaking at the Ecumenical Centre,
which houses the World Council of Churches, Ghazi
urged leaders of the two faiths to, "defend the other
against followers of our own religion when the other
is weak and oppressed, especially in a social
minority context".


Polish Lutheran official says debate
on women pastors to go on

Warsaw (ENI). A spokesperson for Poland's Lutheran
church has said the issue of ordaining women as
pastors is not closed, despite a vote by the church's
main governing body not to allow women to be ordained.
"This isn't a once-for-all decision. Once a new synod
is elected in 2012, we can expect fresh calls for women
to be ordained," said Wojciech Pracki, of the
Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in
Poland, which has 80 000 registered members, mostly
in southern Poland. "There are many expectations and
hopes about this move in our church. The ordination
of women is favoured by a wide cross-section of women,
but also by many men, and much will now depend on
sitting down and working out how such a step might
become possible," Pracki told ENI news.


2 November 2010

Ex-diplomat, church official, resigns
as head of Kenya truth body

Nairobi (ENI). Bethuel Kiplagat, the head of Kenya's
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and a
former national church figure, has resigned after
mounting pressure on him to step down following
allegations of corruption against him. "In order to
allow the tribunal to carry out its mandate, I am,
therefore, as of today, stepping aside from my day
to day responsibilities at the TJRC," Kiplagat said
in a statement issued in Nairobi on 2 November.
Kiplagat's statement came two days after the chief
justice named a tribunal to investigate corruption
allegations leveled against him. The truth
commission was set up to investigate factors that
led to fierce inter-ethnic fighting and the deaths
of about 1300 people after disputed election results
in December 2007. A former deputy general secretary
of the National Council of Churches of Kenya,
Kiplagat has been involved in World Council of
Churches peace efforts in Africa. He served as
Kenya's ambassador to France in 1978, and  was
envoy to Britain from 1981 to 1983.


Secular society warns against 'intelligent design'
in Scottish schools

Edinburgh (ENI). Britain's National Secular Society
has warned against undermining the teaching of
evolution in Scottish schools after the setting
up in Glasgow of a centre on "intelligent design",
the idea that the universe is the result of a
creative mind. "The Scottish educational
establishment needs to set up safeguards, similar
to those which already exist in England and Wales,
to ensure that creationism doesn't get into science
lessons and create confusion in children's minds,"
said Terry Sanderson, president of the secular
society, which says it promotes the rights of
atheists, agnostics and other non-believers.
Sanderson was speaking after the opening in
September of Glasgow's Centre for Intelligent
Design. Its president is Norman Nevin, emeritus
professor of medical genetics at Queen's
University in Belfast, and its vice-president
is Dr David Galloway, the vice president of
the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.


Communion for unbaptised dismissal,
confirmed for Japan pastor

Tokyo (ENI). Japan's largest Protestant denomination
has confirmed the dismissal of one of its pastors for
continuing to allow unbaptised people to receive Holy
Communion at his local church. It met with protests
from fellow believers. The dismissal of Rev. Jiro
Kitamura was finalised at a three-day general assembly
of the United Church of Christ in Japan in Tokyo that
began on 26 October. The original decision to dismiss
Kitamura was made earlier in the year, after he had
been told in 2007 to stop giving communion to
unbaptised people. An attempt at the assembly to
nullify the dismissal was rejected by the Rev.
Nobuhisa Yamakita, then the moderator of the
denomination and a motion he proposed was approved
in a secret vote. Most of the members of the
denomination's Kyoto diocese and its sacked pastor,
Kitamura, walked out of the assembly venue in protest
at the decision.


4 November 2010

Christian and Muslims want
to mobilise joint crisis group

Geneva (ENInews). Global Christian and Muslim leaders
meeting in Switzerland have jointly called for the
formation of a group which can be mobilised whenever
a crisis threatens to arise in which Christians and
Muslims find themselves in conflict. In a closing
statement from their 1-4 November meeting at Geneva's
Ecumenical Centre, the leaders of the two faiths said,
"Religion is often invoked in conflict creation, even
when other factors, such as unfair resource allocation,
oppression, occupation and injustice, are the real
roots of conflict." The meeting at the Geneva centre,
which houses the World Council of Churches and other
Christian organizations, was convened by the WCC, the
Libyan-based World Islamic Call Society, the Jordanian-
based Royal Aal al Bayt Institute and the Consortium
of "A Common Word", a group that includes Muslim
scholars from around the world.


German churches to bridge
former iron curtain in merger

Trier, Germany (ENI news). Three regional Protestant
churches in northern Germany have cleared a key
hurdle to forming one united church that will that
will stretch from the Danish border to Poland. A
majority of 266 delegates from all three churches
voted overwhelmingly on Reformation day, 31 October,
in favour of a draft constitution and a church law
that provides for the merger. The church will be
officially called the Evangelical Lutheran Church
of Northern Germany or in its shortened form the
Nordkirche, the Northern church.


6 November 2010

China helps human rights by feeding its people
says Swiss ethicist

Nairobi/Geneva (ENInews). China is making a contribution
to human rights through its ability to feed its population
of 1.3 billion people, says a Swiss ethicist while noting
Beijing's violation of individual rights. "If China is
able to promote peace to contribute to justice by helping
developing its economy to feed 20 per cent of the world's
population, then it's a major contribution to human rights,"
said Christoph Stückelberger, of the Geneva-based group, after delivering a lecture about
global and contextual ethics on 28 October in Nairobi.
"They [the Chinese] may violate individual rights, which
is not justified … Of course they have to respect
individual rights, but we should not forget they do
something for fundamental rights," said Stückelberger,
a part-time lecturer at the University of Basel.


'Green publishing' campaign launched
after 300 years work in India

New Delhi (ENI news). On its 300th anniversary, the Indian
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, India's oldest
Christian publisher, has launched a "green publishing"
campaign aimed at cutting the resources needed to produce
books. The campaign was launched in New Delhi at the 16-23
October international conference of the ISPCK, an
autonomous Indian branch of the London-based SPCK.
"Only God has the power to change the ecology, environment
and the earth," said the society in a statement from the
conference. "At the dawn of completing 300 years of
ministry, we pledge to nurture earth keeping and work
towards being carbon positive, water positive and waste
recycling positive." A total of 36 publisher delegates
from Bangladesh, Canada, England, India, Ireland, Nepal,
Sri Lanka and the United States attended.


Forbes magazine names Pope
world's fifth most powerful figure

Washington DC (ENInews/RNS). Pope Benedict XVI won the
No. 5 spot in a list of the world's most powerful people,
one of only two religious leaders in Forbes, the U.S.
business magazine's list of 68 influential men and women.
Benedict was sandwiched between Russian Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The
only other religious leader on the list was the Dalai Lama,
who ranked at No. 39. Forbes, which released the list on
3 November, scored the rankings by the person's influence
over people, which for religious leaders meant counting
the followers in their flocks. The Pope was named the
"highest earthly authority for 1.1 billion souls," which
represents one-sixth of the world's population. He was
noted for "healing old wounds" in September when he
became the first modern pope to visit London's
Westminster Abbey, where he shook the hand of a



Provided by Sojourners Online

November 2nd, 2010

"A life in prayer is a life in open hands where you
are not ashamed of your weakness but realize that it
is more perfect for a [human] to be led by the other
than to seek to hold everything in [her] own hand."

- Henri J.M. Nouwen


"Awareness requires a rupture with the world we
take for granted; then old categories of experience
are called into question and revised."

- Shoshana Zuboff


“We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning,
justice, or kindness in general. Action is always
specific, concrete, individualized, unique.”

- Benjamin Jowett



Oct. 31, 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was
assassinated near her residence by two Sikh security guards.


On Nov. 1, 1952, the United States exploded the first
hydrogen bomb, in a test at Eniwetok in the Marshall


Nov. 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama was elected the
44th president of the United States, as the country
chose him as its first black chief executive.



"The English are not very spiritual people, so they
invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity."

- George Bernard Shaw


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