I have spent the first half of my career
as a pastor of the church, and the second half as a teacher in the university and the church. I experience much satisfaction working in both worlds. As I engage in ongoing research to support my third activity which is writing, I am constantly finding many interesting items on the net and from friends which I edit and share on my Colleagues List. That way, you too might enjoy information from the worlds
of religion and culture. As of April 2020, this profile has received 2,500 hits.
Thanks for your interest!
Vol. VI. No. 17 ***** Wayne A. Holst, Editor Colleagues List Blog: http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com/ ************ CHRISTMAS WEEK END-OF-THE-YEAR EDITION ************ In this Issue - "Why I am Committed to Colleagues List" --- Annual Summary of Articles Appearing in Colleagues List ___ Colleague Contributions: Ed and Marie Schroeder - Digital Nativity Pauline Miller - Seaway Mall Celebration Angelina Waldon - Evolutionary Christianity Philip Jenkins - Liberation Theology Survives Jim Taylor - "Gifts of Life" Christmas column Lorna Dueck - "Greatest Christmas Gift" Jerry Bowler Interview ___ Net Notes: Blue Christmas Services Saskatoon Does Christmas Best My Name is Peter and I'm a Believer Anne Rice's Christmas Eve Confession On Palin's Reading List - C.S. Lewis Iraqi Christians Exercise Christmas Caution Christmas Tree Becomes New Korean Flashpoint In 500 Billion Words a New Window on Culture Catholic Hospital is Suspended after Abortion Hindu Radicals Spread Christmas Fear in Orissa What if It's Not Men that Men are Looking For? Canada Gives Sanctuary to Iraqi Christian Victims History of Evangelicals in United Church of Canada Christ's Endangered Language Gets New Oxford Boost Pope: Church Must Assess What's Wrong with Message Beneath Dead Sea Scientists Dig for Natural History Winchester: System Discriminates Against Christians ___ Global Faith Potpourri 5 stories from Ecumenical News International ___ Quotes of the Week: Augustine of Hippo St. Therese of Lisieux William Booth Hildegard of Bingen Mother Theresa ___ On This Day (Dec. 21st - Dec. 29th) Dec. 21, 1988 - Pan Am plane explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland Dec. 22, 1864 - Sherman tells Lincoln "I beg to present you asa Christmas gift the city of Savannah" Dec. 23, 1986 - experimental airplane Voyager, completes firstnon-stop, around-the-world flight without refueling
Dec. 25, 1991 - Soviet President Gorbachev announces his resignation Dec. 26, 1941 - Winston Churchill becomes first British prime ministerto address a joint meeting of the US Congress
Dec. 28, 1981 - Elizabeth Jordan Carr, first American test-tube baby,born in Norfolk, Va. Dec. 29, 1940 - Germany begins dropping incendiary bombs on London ___ Closing Thought -
Christmas Trees, by Robert Frost (1920) (end) *************** Dear Friends: Welcome to the final Colleagues List issue of 2010! This edition represents the first full year of publication on my Colleagues List blog site: http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com/ To recognize this occasion I write a brief reflection on five reasons why I produce this blog - for free - and for more than 600 readers around the world - on a regular basis. I call the article: "Why I am Committed to Colleagues List" --- As usual, I review the past 12 months and provide you with:
"A Summary of Articles Appearing in Colleagues List." This year, I authored 31 book and movie reviews/ notices; 14 personal reflections on various themes; and 1 book chapterwhich is scheduled to appear in a forthcoming publication. If you missed a piece you would like to read, just go to themain page of my Colleagues List blog, check the left side-barfor the month and date of its appearance, and find the articlein the issue that turns up on your screen. ___ Colleague Contributions: Here are six items that I have discovered from fellow-colleagues. These came to me a few days prior, and subsequent to Christmas. Ed and Marie Schroeder - provide a digital nativity scene from Youtube which they hope we can still enjoy. Pauline Miller - offers "Seaway Mall Celebration" with her own introduction. Again, a Youtube presentation. Angelina Waldon - shares a special site entitled: "Evolutionary Christianity" for those looking for goodlectures on the relationship between science and faith(evolutionarychristianity.com) Philip Jenkins - writes his regular column and offersa perspective on how liberation theology is surviving and creatively mutating in a number of Latin American countries like Brazil and Bolivia (Christian Century) Jim Taylor - "Gifts of Life" is Jim's Christmas column from his personal website (personal correspondence) Lorna Dueck - "The Greatest Christmas Gift" here is an interview Lorna undertakes with a Christmas "specialist" living in Winnipeg - Dr. Jerry Bowler (ListenUp TV) ___ End-of-Year Specials: Looking Back on 2010 - National Public Radio provides a summary of news stories from an American perspective. Ten Top News Stories - Christianity Today offers its take on religious news in 2010 from an American evangelical Protestant perspective. Christmas in the Middle East - The Guardian (UK) offers a slide show on how minority Christians are celebrating this year. The Twelve Books of Christmas - from the Telegraph (UK) here is a surprizing list of Christmas books appearing in the secular/popular press. The Best Spiritual Books of 2010 - Spirituality and Practice (one of our favourite resource sites) offers its take on "the best books" of the past twelve months. ___ Net Notes: "Blue Christmas Services" - an interesting article on a Christmas season service that is gaining attention in many places - it focuses on those who are unhappy in the midst of so much festivity (National Public Radio) "Saskatoon Does Christmas Best" - Kids seem to get the best Canadian Christmas experience in Saskatoon! (Toronto Sun) "My Name is Peter and I'm a Believer" - the personal Christian testimony of a writer in the British press (The Independent, UK) "Anne Rice's Christmas Eve Confession" - apparently, the popular author is still a Christian believer, though not a church member (Wall Street Journal) "On Palin's Reading List - C.S. Lewis" - the would-be Republican presidential candidate has a favourite author (Wall Street Journal) "Iraqi Christans Exercise Christmas Caution" - It's a difficult time to openly practice the Christian faith in Iraq right now, as we have already discovered (New York Times) "Christmas Tree Becomes New Korean Flashpoint" - tensions between North and South Korea are apparent in how each side approaches symbols of the Christmas season (ABC News) "In 500 Billion Words a New Window on Culture" - an interesting article on the amazing changes taking place in media today (New York Times) "Catholic Hospital is Suspended after Abortion" - Phoenix hospital is dumped by the local bishop for performing an abortion to save a mother's life (The Guardian, UK) "Hindu Radicals Spread Christmas Fear in Orissa" - Another difficult place to be a Christian at this time of year is in the Indian state of Orissa (Cathnews Asia) "What if It's Not Men that Men are Looking For?" - A woman pastor takes exception to the argument that men stay away from church today because of thegrowing prominence of female clergy and worship leaders (Christian Century) "Canada Offers Sanctuary to Iraqi Christian Victims" - Canadians are not unaware of persecution presently taking place in Iraq and are trying to do something about it (ChristianWeek.org) "History of Evangelicals in United Church of Canada" - Here is an interesting study produced by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada on the long-standing evangelical presence in the United Church of Canada (Faith/Culture Trends, Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) "Christ's Endangered Language Gets New Lease at Oxford" - The language spoken by Jesus, Aramaic, is being studied in new ways at a famous British university these days (The Guardian, UK) "Pope: Church Must Assess What's Wrong with its Message" - Benedict seems growingly aware that there is a disconnect between what his church claims to stand for, and what it conveys to the general public (The Telegraph, UK)
"Beneath Dead Sea Scientists Drilling for Natural History" - this ancient body of water in the Holy Land is becoming a hotbed of scientific study (New York Times) "Winchester: Legal System Discriminates Against Christians" - the bishop of Winchester is on record as stating that when it comes to human rights in the UK, some religious groups are more equal than others - and that does notinclude Christians (The Telegraph, UK) ___ Global Faith Potpourri 5 stories are provided this week from Ecumenical NewsInternational, Geneva. Come the new year, ENI is being reorganized and a new central news team is being formed. ___ Quotes of the Week: The following insights come via Sojourners Online and are issued by - Augustine of Hippo, St. Therese of Lisieux, William Booth, Hildegard of Bingen and Mother Theresa ___ On This Day (Dec. 21st - Dec. 29th) Significant events in human history are provided fromthe archives of the New York Times: Pan Am plane explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland (1988) Sherman tells Lincoln "I beg to present you as a Christmasgift the city of Savannah" (1864) Experimental airplane Voyager, completes first non- stop,around-the-world flight without refueling (1986) Soviet President Gorbachev announces his resignation (1991) Winston Churchill becomes first British prime minister toaddress a joint meeting of the US Congress (1941) Elizabeth Jordan Carr, first American test-tube baby, born in Norfolk, Va. (1981) Dec. 29, 1940 - Germany begins dropping incendiary bombs on London (1940) ___ Closing Thought - The poet is one of our favourites and his poem "Christmas Trees" (Robert Frost, 1920) is timely and beautiful. ___ Christmas and New Year blessings to all! Wayne ************ SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS Contact us at: email@example.com (or) firstname.lastname@example.org St. David's Web Address -http://sduc.ca/ Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services - http://sduc.ca/services.htm ___ ST DAVID'S ACTS WEB PAGE Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish http://stdavidscalgary.net/ __ INTRODUCING OUR ST.DAVID'S WINTER STUDY FOR 2011 Books Considered: "An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor (and) "I Shall Not Hate - A Gaza Doctor's Journey" by Izzeldin Abuelaish Books on sale since Sunday, December 12th, 2010 More study and website particulars will be posted as they become available ***** INTRODUCING MY UNIVERSITY WINTER COURSE FOR 2011 GOD, ATHEISM, AND MORALITY We continue our investigation of the New Atheists and consider the question: "Can we be good without God?" Text for the course will be Sam Harris' new book: "The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values" (Free Press, October, 2010) Course description and registration information: http://tinyurl.com/2fc7xr4 ***** REMINDER: ST. DAVID'S 50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF CELTIC LANDS - 2011 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! We have 26 choristers signed up as part of the tour group. This special choir begins rehearsals in early January - led by our congregation's music director, Brent Tucker. Details are presently being finalized with the St. David's cathedral dean, Fr. Jonathan Lean. We are also planning to sing while visiting Iona, Scotland and the Church of Mary Immaculate in Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland. Fr. Ned Carolan, host. ALL 38 PLACES ON THE TOUR ARE NOW SOLD OUT We continue to gather a waiting list for this trip, as they may be some drop-outs as we near deadlines. We have started an interest list for future tours! Let me know if you are interested in knowing more about exciting, spiritual tourism! ***** SUMMARY OF OUR AUTUMN MONDAY NIGHT STUDY We are introducing live videos of our sessions, edited by Jock McTavish: Review Our Fall Program at St. David's by clicking: http://www.1journey.net/stdavids/SD/BookStudy/25/25.htm New material will continue to be added to this page as it becomes available. ***** STUDY ARCHIVES A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can quickly be found at: http://bookstudies.stdavidscalgary.net/ 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. ***************************************************** SPECIAL ITEM WHY I AM COMMITTED TO COLLEAGUES LIST A Short, Personal, Year-end Reflection I have now completed a full complement of Colleagues List web log mailings during the year 2010. That amounts to 41 issues provided for readers of my blog this year. I usually write more infrequently during the months of June, July and August; and sometimes when my schedule is too crowded to produce a quality edition. This is a good time to carefully assess why I do, in fact, produce this blog. It involves a significant part of myweek, and I need to be mindful of my life priorities. Here then are five reasons why I am committed to creating Colleagues List on a regular basis for you my readers: Colleages List - 1. Exposes me to a wide range of faith/culture developments - Every week, I peruse hundreds of online and hardcopy articles. I need to be discriminating about what is truly helpful to myawareness and growth. What you read is a culling from a much broader information base which I hope is helpful to you also. 2. Regularly disciplines me to form/consolidate my thinking - I need constantly to be exposed to many new discoveries if I hope to grow and mature as a person. Often this causes me to 'stretch' in ways I might not always prefer. I try torefine my thoughts with you from a 'big tent' of ideas. 3. Keeps me connected globally to many people and places - I have continued to keep in touch with friends from every stage of my life since childhood. This involves people from around the world, as well as closer to my home base in Canada. I try to offer you a universal tapestry from a Canadian perspective. Wherever feasible, I seek to include input from you my readers. Don't hesitate to submit your thoughts. They may get published! 4. Helps me to live with a greater awareness of real life - Working extensively in the field of 'religion and culture' means that I am constantly exposed to ideas and situations that challenge and sometimes upset me. I penetrate areas ofliving with which I am often quite unfamiliar. That should make things interesting for all of us since you are a very 'diverse' group of readers and writers. 5.Gives me an opportunity to share my gifts and discoveries
At a more difficult time, I promised God that - if given theopportunity - I would share my life generously with otherssince I was learning that generosity is what gave meaningto my continued existence. At base, that is my reason for creating each free issue of Colleagues List. Thanks for reading and contributing! ***** ANNUAL SUMMARY OF ARTICLES APPEARING IN COLLEAGUES LIST All items can be retrieved from my Colleagues List Blog Archives, links to which are found on the left sidebar of the blogsite. Go to "month" and "date" as shown to locate your desired selection. Book Notices and Reviews: 1. Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC's of Faith (Bueckner) - January 9/2010 2. A Case for the Divinity of Jesus: Examining the Earliest Evidence (Overman) - January 23/10 3. Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ to Engage Our Multicultural World (Livermore) - January 30/10
4. Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul (MacDonald) - February 13/10 5. The Grasshopper (Lothian) - March 6/10 6. Common Ground: Islam, Christianity and Religious Pluralism (Heck) - March 13/10 7. Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Should Believe for the Next 1,500 Years (Jenkins) - March 13/10 8. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ (Pulman) - April 10/10 9. Toward a Hopeful Future: Why the Emergent Church is Good News for Mainline Congregations (Snider and Bowen) - April 17/10 10. The Emerging Church: A Model for Change and a Map for Renewal(Sanguin) - April 24/10 11. Compassion: Loving Our Neighbour in an Age of Globalization (O'Connell) - May 1/10 12. Letters from India: 1932-1945 (Puxley and Titus) - May 8/10 13. The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion (Wouk) - May 15/10 14. The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada (McDonald) - May 29/10 15. And Babies Make Seven (Self-Published) (Koning) - July 10/10 16. Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith (Borg) July 31/10 17. Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (Robinson) - August 14/10 18. More Everyday Parables: Simple Stories for Spiritual Reflection (Taylor) - October 2/10
19. The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief (Naipaul) - October 9/10 20. The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values (Harris) - October 16/10 21. Going Missional: Conversations with 13 Canadian Churches Who Have Embraced Missional Life (Stiller and Metzger) - October 23/10 22. Nelson Mandela: Conversations With Myself (Mandela, with a Preface by Barak Obama) - October 23/10 23. A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions that are Transforming the Faith (McLaren) - October 30/10 24. Pastoral Prayers to Share - Year A; Prayers of the People for Each Sunday of the Church Year (Sparks) - November 6/20 25. The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why (Tickle) November 13th, 2010 26. My Search for My Great-Grandfather: The Venerable Oommen Mamen, Archdeacon of Mavelikara of the CMS Anglican Church of India (1830-1904) (Zachariah) - November 20/10 27. Christmas - Festival of Incarnation (Heinz) - November 27/10 28. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality (Newell) - December 4/10 29. The Celtic Way - New Edition (Bradley) - December 4/10 30. What Good Is God? In Search of a Faith that Matters (Yancey) - December 11/20 --- Movie Review: 1. The Most Dangerous Man in America - Daniel Ellsberg Documentary and Academy Award Nominee - March 6/10 --- Lecture Notes and Personal Thoughts: 1. A Reflection on the Changing Seasons: Walking the Banff Fenland Trail - January 23/10 2. Background Reflection on Thomas Aquinas - "Jesus as True Human" (Wawrykow) - February 6/10 3. Spiritual Leaders Who Changed the World (Part 1) Joseph Campbell, Thomas Berry, Huston Smith - February 20/10 4. Spiritual Leaders Who Changed the Word (Part 2) Simon Weil, Dorothy Day, Albert Schweitzer - February 27/10 5. Notes on "Cross-Pressured Authenticity: Charles Tayloron Religious Identity in a Secular Age" (Kuipers) - March 20/10 6. Notes on "God is Dead and I Don't Feel So Well Myself - A Reflection on Charles Taylor's book, A Secular Age" (Kuipers) - March 20/10 7. Notes on "Jahid of the West: Alienation, Integration and Identity (Tariq Ramadan) - March 20/10 8. When Pentecostals Visited a United Church: Learning to Encounter Each Other Openly (Johnson, Ryland and Webster) - March 27/10 9. Claiming the Passion and Hope of Holy Week and Easter in My Own Life - A Personal Reflection on My Cancer - April 3/10 10. Notes on "Christian Nationalism and Business Propaganda: Do They Threaten Democracy?" (McDonald and Gutstein) - May 22/10 11. "Against My Will: Like Clay in the Potter's Hands" (a sermon on my cancer experience preached at St. David's United Church, Calgary) - September 5/10 12. "Roots and Wings: A Reflection on Summer Travels in BC and Ontario" - September 18/10 13. Holst Family Christmas Letter - December 18/10 13. "Why I Am Committed to Colleagues List" - A summary reflection on the first year of the Colleagues List Blog, 2010 - December 31/10 --- Book Chapter: 1. "The Mill Experience: Five Vignettes from Impressionabl Years" produced for Jane Snider Epp who is writing a history of the Snider Flour and Feed Mill, St. Jacobs, ON. - June 12/10 --- I composed a total of 46 presentations during 2010. ***** COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS ED AND MARIE SCHROEDER St. Louis, MO. A DIGITAL NATIVITY (Youtube) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA _____ PAULINE MILLER St. Jacobs, ON. A friend sent "Seaway Mall" to me. It is absolutely amazing. I will not attempt to forward his message. You can find it easily by going on the Internet. Pauline Seaway Mall - Christmas Food Court Flash Mob Hallelujah: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXh7JR9oKVE ***** ANGELINA WALDON Calgary, AB Wayne: While I was reading your newsletter it occurred to me that you could be interested in this series. Just in case you did not get the link earlier in December I forward it to you as it is so easy to register and listen to it. It's a fantastic idea, so many good speakers (writers) coming all together. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and the Best in the New Year. Angelina EVOLUTIONARY CHRISTIANITY WEBSITE: http://evolutionarychristianity.com/ ***** PHILIP JENKINS University Park, PA NOTES FROM THE GLOBAL CHURCH - A SECOND SPRING The Christian Century December 20th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/27ogn3s ***** JIM TAYLOR Okanagan, BC GIFTS OF LIFE Earlier this week I sat at my computer wondering what I could write about Christmas that might be new and insightful. Far too often, the Christmas message feels just like dusting off ornaments exhumed once a year. In desperation, I thumbed through some Decembers of the journal I’ve kept -- more or less regularly -- since 1964... Read Jim's entire column: http://edges.canadahomepage.net/2010/12/22/945/ ***** LORNA DUECK Burlington, ON THE GREATEST CHRISTMAS GIFT With Winnipeg Author Jerry Bowler Listen Up TV Dec. 23rd, 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ZTwDrgYuo ******************** END-OF-YEAR SPECIALS LOOKING BACK ON 2010 From an American Perspective Religion and Ethics - National Public Radio December 23rd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/25xcqph ***** THE TEN TOP NEWS STORIES FROM CHRISTIANITY TODAY December 28th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/232zgsz ***** CHRISTMAS IN THE MIDDLE EAST A Slide Show of Christian Life The Guardian, UK Dec. 23rd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2bd4a4b ***** THE TWELVE BOOKS OF CHRISTMAS The Telegraph, UK December 22nd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2eycc7n ***** THE BEST SPIRITUAL BOOKS OF 2010 Compiled by the producers of Spirituality and Practice December 2010: http://tinyurl.com/2eaghxx *************** NET NOTES BLUE CHRISTMAS SERVICES NPR Religion and Ethics December 17th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2elf928 ***** SASKATOON DOES CHRISTMAS BEST FOR KIDS - SURVEY Toronto Sun December 25th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/29g8z3v ***** MY NAME IS PETER AND I'M A BELIEVER The Independent December 21st, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/28k879h ***** ANNE RICE'S CHRISTMAS CONFESSION Vampire Author Declares Her Faith - Dropped Out of Church but Still a Believer Wall Street Journal December 24th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2fee4pd ***** ON PALIN'S READING LIST - C.S. LEWIS Wall Street Journal December 21st, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2vgsn8r ***** IRAQI CHRISTIANS EXERCISE CAUTION AT CHRISTMAS New York Times December 25th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/24qdchd ***** CHRISTMAS TREE BECOMES NEW KOREAN FLASHPOINT ABC News Dec. 21st, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2843778 ***** IN 500 BILLION WORDS A NEW WINDOW ON CULTURE The New York Times, Dec. 17th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2aa6b5r ***** CATHOLIC HOSPITAL TIES CUT AFTER ABORTION THAT SAVED MOTHER'S LIFE The Guardian, UK Dec. 23rd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/29erj6a ***** HINDU RADICALS SPREAD CHRISTMAS FEAR IN ORISSA Cathnews Asia Dec. 22nd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2bu78dx ***** WHAT IF IT'S NOT MEN THAT MEN ARE LOOKING FOR? Perspectives on Worship Leadership The Christian Century Blog December 14th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2g7l2nw ***** CANADA OFFERS SANCTUARY TO VICTIMS OF ETHNIC CLEANSING IN IRAQ ChristianWeek.org January 1st, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/34cwmzs ***** A HISTORY OF EVANGELICALS IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA Faith and Culture Trends - Evangelical Fellowship of Canada December, 2010 "The Loyal Opposition" http://tinyurl.com/2cbooux ***** CHRIST'S ENDANGERED LANGUAGE GETS NEW LEASE ON LIFE AT OXFORD The Guardian UK Dec. 23rd, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/29hjxl3 ***** POPE SAYS CHURCH MUST REFLECT ON WHAT IS WRONG WITH ITS MESSAGE The Telegraph UK December 21st, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2wbpy6q ***** BENEATH DEAD SEA SCIENTISTS ARE DRILLING FOR NATURAL HISTORY The New York Times December 18th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2fe26ww ***** BISHOP OF WINCHESTER: LEGAL SYSTEM DISCRIMINATES AGAINST CHRISTIANS The Telegraph, UK December 27th, 2010 http://tinyurl.com/2vvdx55 ***** GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI Ecumenical News International News Highlights 20 December 2010 Bethlehem 'centre of Christian spirituality' despite conflict Bethlehem, West Bank (ENI news). Despite political conflict involving Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Bethlehem remains the centre of Christian spirituality, especially at Christmas, says the Palestinian minister of tourism Khouloud Deibes. "Christmas is a source of joy and pride for us Palestinians because here it happened," Deibes, a Christian resident of Bethlehem, said during a press briefing on 14 December. She noted that Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem include those of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Christians. "Here we have the time also to celebrate our churches; they are living monuments, not museums." Deibes added, "We are still under occupation, people are still suffering. Christmas is a good occasion to show how the political situation is negatively impacting the Christian presence in the Holy Land." _____ Dublin archbishop apologises as former priest jailed for sexual abuse Dublin (ENI news). The Roman Catholic archbishop ofDublin, Diarmuid Martin, has apologised "unreservedly" to the people of Ballyfermot, a parish in Ireland's capital city, after a former priest who had ministeredthere was sentenced to 16 years in prison for childabuse. The 57-year- old former priest, Tony Walsh, wassentenced in Dublin on 8 December to jail terms rangingfrom four to 16 years on 12 counts of indecent assault and homosexual assault on three boys, aged between sevenand their early teens, between 1978 and 1985. In a 12December homily at the Church of the Assumption inBallyfermot, Archbishop Martin said, "I came here thismorning to renew my apologies to the people of thisparish for the facts that this week have emerged onestep more clearly about the abuse of children inBallyfermot by the former priest Tony Walsh andabout the way this abuse was hushed-up by peoplewith responsibility in the parish and in the diocese." _____ Islam's 'special demands' a 21st century test, says UK secular chief Canterbury, England (ENI news). Accommodating Islam's specialdemands on Britain will be one of the greatest governmentalchallenges of the 21st century, says the president of the UK'sNational Secular Society. In an interview with ENI news, TerrySanderson warned that if the British government continues to"bury its head in the sand" and pretend that Islamicfundamentalists are not running some faith schools therecould be "two societies" and "two cultures" in Britain. "Naturally, I see secularism as a major factor in permittingus all to live together without any religion being able totake temporal power and then preceding to persecute the others- which is the usual path in theocracies." ***** 21 December 2010 Latvian Lutheran church wrestles with ecumenism, female clergy Riga (ENI news). Archbishop Janis Vanags, widely knownfor his strong stand against the ordination of womenand opposition to homosexuality, is to remain as theleader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.Vanags, a dissident activist when the Baltic countrywas under Soviet rule, was chosen to lead the Lutheranchurch in his country after his predecessor died in acar accident in 1992. Seventy percent of the synod castvotes of confidence in Vanags, who told ENI news thathe called the election because of his concern overthe difficult situation in the church. _____ After 100 years, Japanese Protestant-run schools face pressures Tokyo (ENI news). The Association of Christian Schoolsin Japan, a nationwide grouping of Protestant-run schoolsin the country, has marked its centennial anniversary amid decreasing enrollment. The Christian schools' associationwas founded in Kyoto in 1910 by about 10 men's schools"to take actions together" against the government's 1899order to ban religious education in the country. Many ofthe member schools were founded with the help of Westernmissions. "Our problems today include 'internal pressures'instead of external pressures [from the government], suchas the decrease of candidates for the entrance examinations,competitions with other schools, and secularisation," saidthe Rev. Masanobu Fukamachi, who chaired the association'sboard of directors from 1999 to 2003. ***** QUOTES OF THE WEEK Provided by Sojourners Online: December 20th, 2010 "The way to Christ is first through humility, second through humility, third through humility." - Augustine of Hippo _____ December 21st, 2010 "My vocation is love! In the heart of the Church, who is my Mother, I will be love. So I shall be everything and so my dreams will be fulfilled -- to make Love loved." - Saint Therese of Lisieu _____ December 22nd, 2010 "While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go hungry, as they do now, I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do, I'll fight; while there is one drunkard left, while there is a poor girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight -- I'll fight to the very end!" - William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army) _____ December 23rd, 2010 "We shall awaken from our dullness and rise vigorously toward justice. If we fall in love with creation deeper and deeper, we will respond to its endangerment with passion." - Hildegard of Bingen _____ December 24th, 2010 "We are all called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world -- by seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time, and [God's] hand in every happening; seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, especially in the lowly appearance of bread, and in the distressing disguise of the poor." - Mother Teresa ***** ON THIS DAY Provided by the New York Times Dec. 21, 1988 - a terrorist bomb exploded aboard aPan Am Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing270 people. http://tinyurl.com/2wtmvh2 --- Dec. 22, 1864 - during the Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to President Lincoln from Georgia, saying, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah. http://tinyurl.com/28kj4jv --- Dec. 23, 1986 - the experimental airplane Voyager,piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completedthe first non-stop, around-the-world flight withoutrefueling as it landed safely at Edwards Air ForceBase in California. http://tinyurl.com/27wn6e3 --- Dec. 25, 1991 - Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachevwent on TV to announce his resignation as the eighthand final leader of a Communist superpower that hadalready gone out of existence. http://tinyurl.com/22ovlmh --- Dec. 26, 1941 - Winston Churchill became the firstBritish prime minister to address a joint meeting ofthe United States Congress. http://tinyurl.com/2dpxds6 --- Dec. 28, 1981 - Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first Americantest-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, Va. http://tinyurl.com/3982kdx --- Dec. 29, 1940 - during World War II, Germany began droppingincendiary bombs on London. http://tinyurl.com/39sbe2c ***** CLOSING THOUGHT CHRISTMAS TREES, by Robert Frost (1920) http://tinyurl.com/29o86t9 (end)