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 September 2016, this profile has received almost 1,800 hits.
Thanks for your interest!
Vol. VI. No. 28 ***** In this Issue Special Item This Week -
"The Universal Spirituality of Classical Music" ___ Colleague Contributions: Ryan Slifka Tony Parel Martin Marty Monica Kilburn-Smith ___ Net Notes: Ratzinger and Kung Religion and Obesity Linked Obama Visits Grave of Romero Mustard Seed Pioneer Moves On Book of Mormon Opens on Broadway Mass in B Minor Consoles Japanese Rights Council Affirms Freedom of Belief McLaren Provides a Safe Harbor for Doubt Jerusalem Bomb Victim UK Bible Translator UK Concerned About Creationism in Schools UK Humanists Want Change in Census Questions _____ Global Faith Potpourri: Twelve ENI stories appear this week. _____ Quotes of the Week: Provided courtesy of Sojourners.online: Joan Chittister, Thomas Merton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Thomas Berry and Marilynne Robinson - offer this week's reflection-pieces _____ On This Day: (March 20th - March 25th) Provided courtesy of the archives of the New York Times: March 20, 1995 - Poisonous Gas Attack in Tokyo March 21, 1965 - MLK Leads Rights March from Selma March 23, 1965 - First US Two-Person Space Launch March 24, 1989 - Worst US Oil Spill - Exxon Valdez March 25, 1965 - MLK Arrives in Montgomery, Ala. Read these stories as they actually unfolded. ___ Closing Thought - Colleagues List Danger Wayne ************** Dear Friends: Heading through the season of Lent I would like to share with you this week some thoughts I have been pondering on the subject of the international value of classical religious music. What prompted this was the appearance at Carnegie Hall, New York of the Bach Collegium of Japan for a benefit concert in support of the beleaguered people of that nation. Many of us have friends who are going through similar trauma as those at the New York concert and this is a timely reflection, it seems to me. ___ Colleague Contributions: Ryan Slifka (Halifax), Tony Parel (Calgary), Martin Marty (Chicago) and Monica Kilburn-Smith (Calgary) have special letters and links to share with you this week. Anticipated seminary studies, thoughts on Gandhi and culture, Holy land images and a close-to-home media investigation of the Womenpriest movement are included here. ___ Net Notes: "Ratzinger and Kung" - here are two Germans with much more in common than might seem possible because of the stormy history separating the two (Ucan News) "Religion and Obesity Linked" - are the more religious among us really couch potatoes? A recent study suggests as much (Chicago Sun Times) "Obama Visits Grave of Romero" - when the US president visited the grave of Oscar Romero in El Salvador this week, the event prompted mixed reaction (ENI, National Catholic Reporter) "Mustard Seed Pioneer Moves On" - from street person to Order of Canada recipient in less than three decades - is how Calgarian Pat Nixon might be described. Rough edges and all - he evokes respect (ChristianWeek.org) "Book of Mormon Opens on Broadway" - a signal of the domestication of Mormonism appears this week with the opening of a musical on this growing US - based religion (Salt Lake Times) "Mass in B Minor Consoles Japanese" - as noted in my 'special item' column this week, the appearance of the Bach Collegium of Japan at Carnegie Hall was poignant (New York Times) "Rights Council Affirms Freedom of Belief" - the United Nations reaffirms freedom of religion as one of the basic human rights (Ucan News) "McLaren Provides a Safe Harbor for Doubt" - emergent church leader Brian McLaren was in Winnipeg this week with reassurance for those who live with religious doubts in a church environment that usually discourages personal doubt (ChristianWeek.org) "Jerusalem Bomb Victim UK Bible Translator" - a British woman, on her way to Africa - and taking Hebrew language studies in the Holy Land - was one of this week's bombing victims (The Guardian, UK) "UK Concerned About Creationism in Schools" - in the UK, Free Schools are a sub-unit of the Private (which we call Public) schools. Some government officials fear that the 'science' of creationism is being taught in such schools (The Guardian, UK) "UK Humanists Want Change in Census Questions" - another sign of the growing influence of secular thinking in Great Britain (The Guardian, UK) _____ Global Faith Potpourri: Twelve ENI stories appear this week. _____ Quotes of the Week: Provided courtesy of Sojourners.online: Joan Chittister, Thomas Merton, Aung San Suu Kyi, Thomas Berry and Marilynne Robinson - offer this week's reflection-pieces _____ On This Day: (March 20th - March 25th) Read these stories provided courtesy of the New York Times archives: Poisonous Gas Attack in Tokyo (1995) MLK Leads Rights March from Selma (1965) First US Two-Person Space Launch (1965) Worst US Oil Spill - Exxon Valdez (1989) MLK Arrives in Montgomery, Ala. (1965) Consider them, as they actually unfolded. ___ Closing Thought - Consider the danger reading Colleagues List! Wayne ************************ SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (or)email@example.com 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 More study and website particulars will be posted as they become available. Classes are well underway! Here is the link to the session design: http://tinyurl.com/46eyn5j Here is a TV Ontario Interview with Dr. Abuelaish provided by Bookbrowse.com: http://tinyurl.com/4nbdreg ***** 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) Supplementary text: "Godless Morality" by Richard Holloway (Canongate (new edition) 2009) Course description and registration information: http://tinyurl.com/2fc7xr4 Classes ending well. A great group representing a gamut of believers through atheists. I have been learning much from them and will post insights at the end of the sessions. ***** UNIVERSITY LENTEN STUDY FOR 2011 A Joint Project of the Multi-Faith Chaplains and St. David's ACTS Ministry This Year's Subject: "Community and Growth" by Jean Vanier. The book first appeared in 1989 and continues to be widely read. Learn from Vanier's years of experience in L'Arche communities around the world. This book will be of interest to those who seek insights for living and working together in a pluralistic society such as our own. This study is for university faculty, staff and interested students. It runs for six weeks. Time: Thursdays, 12 noon to 1:00PM March 3rd through April 7th, 2011 Cost: Free. Copies of the book available for purchase, courtesy of the Christian Reformed Chaplaincy and thanks to Paul Verhoef Location: Small Board Room, Native Centre, McEwan Student Centre. Vanier book study link: http://tinyurl.com/4hkv66x ***** 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 Evening Prayers on Saturday, May 7th! We have 25 choristers signed up as part of the tour group. This special choir began rehearsals in late January - led by our congregation's music director, Brent Tucker. Details have been finalized with St. David's Cathedral dean, Fr. Jonathan Lean. We are being warmly welcomed! We are also planning to sing while visiting other locations on our tour. More details to follow. 36 PLACES HAVE BEEN FULLY REGISTERED AND PAID, AN IDEAL SIZE FOR THE TOUR January 26th was the deadline for all trip payments - 90 days before departure. We have started an interest list for other, future tours! Let me know if you are interested in learning more about exciting, spiritual tourism! This is a cutting edge ministry at St. David's. We hope to do many more of these tours in future! Take a look at the St. David's, Wales Sacred Site: http://tinyurl.com/4gbg35t ***** 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 THE UNIVERSAL SPIRITUALITY OF CLASSICAL MUSIC This week, the Bach Collegium of Japan gave a special guest performance at New York's Carnegie Hall during a festival series entitled: "JapanNYC." As the New York Times reported (see "net notes" below) "... the festival was dedicated to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. To that end, there could not have been a more consoling work than Bach's Mass in B Minor." The Times went on to say that the performers had come from their stricken country to present this piece to a New York audience, and this lent a special emotional resonance to the music. To the critic who wrote in the Times, the evening performance was admirable and often beautiful. When the conductor Masaaki Suzuki founded the collegium in 1990, he was a pioneer in bringing period-instrument performances to modern Japanese audiences. The group has long been highly regarded. Mr. Suzuki and his ensemble have been recording an extensive series of Bach works on the Swedish label Bis, and I am the happy owner of their recent "Bach and Beyond" box set of 15 discs. (purchase information at the end of this article.) --- For more information on the group visit - Bach Collegium of Japan Website: http://tinyurl.com/6dctwt3 I am playing one of these discs as I write and it is a lovely interpretation of one of the famous German composer's great works. These include his Magnificat and lovely choruses from many of his sacred contatas - written for worship services in the Thomas Church of Leipzig. This sequence is entitled: "A Choral Year With Bach" "The chorus, made up of 50 Japanese and other international performers made clear its purpose from the opening Kyrie eleison, which begins with the chorus, fortified by the orchestra, singing anguished cries of "Lord, have mercy." "It was, over all," wrote the Times critic Anthony Tommasini, "an involving, insightful and honest performance... and the audience, clearly moved, gave the courageous visitors from Japan a long ovation." --- This is but one example of many I might note to suggest that the phenomenon of sharing what was originally Western classical spiritual music has now become international. Several years ago, one of Calgary's largest Chinese evangelical churches sponsored a full orchestra and chorus production of Handel's Messiah with equally pleasing response as the Japanese presentation just noted. Nowadays, especially during the seasons of Christmas and Easter, it is possible to attend quality performances of classical religious music composed by notables like Vivaldi, Beethoven and Haydn, but also from North and South American, and the more-recently contributing nations of Austral-Asia, the Arab world and Africa. The value of particular kinds of folk music aside, "classical music" has emerged to connect people from all parts of the globe. It is already becoming the possession of many who live beyond its original European settings. --- Is it possible to enjoy these compositions of masses, requiems and cantatas without plumbing deeply the religious words that make up the text of these compositions? Of course it is. I commented recently to my partners in the Chamber Choir at St. David's Calgary to which I belong, that it is better that we NOT know some of the words like the 'burning in hell' parts of Mozart's Requiem! (It is, of course, from the classic Latin mass.) Sometimes it is possible to sing things we would not be able to say with conviction. Still, I believe that some of the profound meanings from these classical texts carry with them something that any human can be exposed to with spiritual benefit. You don't have to believe in God, or in the Christian faith, to value the experience of Vaughan Williams' or Bernstein's sacred music. It is possible to view such things purely as an art form, bereft of religious connotations. But spirituality knows no human boundaries and the universal truths inherent in such music is bound to seep into human hearts and minds, without reference to race, colour or creed. I celebrate this development when many might disparage the results of global culture. --- To purchase the music for yourself: "Bach and Beyond Collegium Japan" Limited Edition, boxed set of 15 CDs Arkiv Music Online: http://tinyurl.com/4oml4qn Amazon.ca Music: http://tinyurl.com/4el6tc6 ***** COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS RYAN SLIFKA Halifax, NS March 18th, 2011 Wayne, I hope all is well in Calgary and at St. David's. Here's an article I thought might interest your readership. It's brilliant: http://tinyurl.com/47dyout I'm headed to VST (Vancouver School of Theology) this fall for my MDiv, finally. An exciting time. Hope things are well with you, body mind and spirit. Peace Ryan _____ TONY PAREL Calgary, AB March 19th, 2011 Dear Wayne, I read about your fast approaching pilgrimage to Celtic lands. It is a wonderful way of combining spirituality with aesthetic pleasure and renewing contact with cultural roots. When secularism is parading itself as the only valid approach to culture, it is wonderful that you think otherwise. Gandhi is very much in your company. He wanted to harmonize secular culture and spiritual culture. I would say that harmonizing the two, or at least attempting to harmonize the two, is one of his major legacies to the world. He saw radical secularism as a foolish attempt to explain the intricacies of culture. Warm regards to Marlene. Have a good trip to the UK. Tony ___ MARTIN MARTY Chicago, IL Sightings 3/21/2011 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem" Jerusalem, Jerusalem is not about Jerusalem the city. Guidebooks abound and histories are plentiful. What author James Carroll was moved to write is a reflection that deals with Jerusalem both as real and as metaphor. He does not exactly do justice to or make much of his subtitle: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World, but his reflections will ignite at least sparks in the minds of readers who want to ponder with him the question: what is it about religion, with all the solace-bringing good its various forms can bring, that also prompts and promotes violence of most barbaric sorts? Marty's article:http://tinyurl.com/4j63jkl New York Times Review, March 18th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4djb5qe ***** MONICA KILBURN-SMITH Calgary, AB Update on Womenpriest movement "Crime Against Religion" Global TV Video March 24th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4cgyjlj ********************** GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI RATZINGER AND KUNG Parallel and Different Lives Ucan News March 24th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4g48u6o ***** RELIGION AND OBESITY LINKED Chicago Sun Times March 24th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4cagvns ***** OBAMA VISITS GRAVE OF OSCAR ROMERO ENI New Report March 24th, 2011 Obama praised, criticized for Romero commemoration New York (ENI news) - U.S. President Barack Obama's visit earlier this week to the tomb of the late Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop who was assassinated 31 years ago on 24 March, is getting mixed reviews by U.S. commentators. On 22 March, the U.S. president, while on a two-day visit to El Salvador and accompanied by Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, visited the tomb of Romero, who was killed after he criticized the U.S.-supported Salvadoran military, which had been aligned with death squads during a civil war that killed more than 75,000 persons. --- What would Romero say to Obama? US Has a Sad History in El Salvador National Catholic Reporter March 24th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4bsnycd ***** MUSTARD SEED PIONEER MOVES ON Pat Nixon Steps Down After 26 Years ChristianWeek.org March 22nd, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4nd7c6r ***** BOOK OF MORMON MUSICAL OPENS ON BROADWAY Salt Lake Times March 25th, 2011 Latter Day Saints Penetrate American World of Culture http://tinyurl.com/4sjf9qn ***** MASS IN B MINOR CONSOLES JAPANESE Japan's Bach Collegium at Carnegie Hall New York Times Mar. 24th, 2010 In a Mass, a Cradle of Consolation for Japan That the performers of Bach Collegium Japan had come from their stricken country to present Bach's Mass in B minoron Tuesday lent added emotional resonance to the music. http://tinyurl.com/4ba9ggq ***** HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL UPHOLDS FREEDOM OF BELIEF Religion as a basic right Ucan News March 25th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4e6wgkx ***** MCLAREN CREATES A SAFE PLACE FOR DOUBT Controversial Leader Appeals in Winnipeg ChristianWeek.org March 18th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/6gp6ecd ***** JERUSALEM BOMB VICTIM WAS UK BIBLE TRANSLATOR On her way to Africa The Guardian, UK March 25th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4rudk3r --- Palestinians at Worst and Best Sojourners Online March 24th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/46o59jp ***** UK GOVERNMENT CONCERNED ABOUT CREATIONISM IN FREE SCHOOLS Fears of Fundamentalism The Guardian, UK March 21st, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4wejbsw ***** UK HUMANISTS WANT CHANGE IN CENSUS QUESTIONS Secularism on the Rise The Guardian, UK March 21st, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/4o6t3vb ***** GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI Ecumenical News International News Highlights 21 March 2011 Muslims in Britain urged to unite and defeat Islamophobia London (ENI news) Britain's 1.8 million Muslims have been urged to build bridges with other faith communities and society as a whole in order to defeat the forces responsible for Islamophobia in the media. _____ Nurse from rural Zambia awarded Swiss leadership prize Geneva (ENI news) - Zambian nurse Agnes Lisulo Mulemwa on 20 March was honored in Geneva for helping women in her rural community raise their standard of living, train to become leaders and support health care. The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and the women presidents of regional Swiss Reformed churches awarded Mulemwa the Sylvia Michel Prize, which includes a cash award of US$5,000. The prize is named for the first woman to be elected president of a Swiss cantonal (regional) church. _____ On World Water Day, student Christian group focuseson 'water justice' New York (ENI news) -Humanitarian and advocacy groupsare marking the 22 March commemoration of World WaterDay with renewed focus on the need for "water justice." "The global water crisis is going to be one of the'hot topics' and key issues of the 21st century,"Luciano Kovacs, the North America Regional Secretaryof the World Student Christian Federation, told ENInews that "Water could become the oil of the 21st century." ***** 22 March 2011 Orthodox churches find it difficult to overcome differences Moscow (ENI news) - Diptychs, an arcane liturgical term that describes the order in which Orthodox churches commemorate each other at their services, is one of the tangled issues blocking plans for what could be the first great church council in 1,200 years. Some Orthodox leaders say the churches need to get together to discuss common issues and speak with one voice on such important topics as bioethics, sexuality and the environment, but differences over arcane church issues such as diptychs and autocephaly (the independent status of Orthodox churches) run deep. ***** 23 March 2011 Catholic nun to head Norway's council of churches Oslo, Norway (ENI news) - Sister Else-Britt Nilsen, 64, a Dominican nun, has been elected the first Roman Catholic to moderate the Christian Council of Norway, the national daily Vaart Land reported. The council spans most nationwide churches, from Orthodox to Pentecostals, in a country where 78 per cent of the 5 million inhabitants belong to the Lutheran state church. _____ Elements of Anglican, Lutheran worship will mark a decade of communion New York (ENI news) - Elements of Anglican and Lutheran worship will mark celebrations on 1 May of a decade of full communion relationships between the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and, in Canada, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. _____ Anti-Christian violence continues in Pakistan New York (ENI news) - Anti-Christian violence in Pakistan continued to take a toll as two Christians were shot and killed and two were wounded after Muslim youths allegedly attacked them outside a church building in Hyderabad on 22 March, according to reports in Christian media. ***** 24 March 2011 Latin American Council seeking to strengthen youth work New York (ENI news) - The Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) Youth Pastoral Ministry said that over the next three years it will be seeking to strengthen its work in Central and South America. A "Guide for Youth Workshops on the Millennium Development Goals" shortly will be made available to the Latin American public, said the council, which is based in Quito, Ecuador. Work on the guide began in November 2010. _____ Churches in Japan recovering in the midst of ecumenical spirit New York (ENI news) - As recovery efforts in Japan proceed, the full impact of the earthquake and tsunami two weeks ago continues to be felt by many churches that are providing disaster relief while grieving lost members and buildings. At the same time, prayers, letters of solidarity and donations are coming in from the ecumenical community in Asia as well as around the world. *****
25 March 2011
Shevchuk elected head of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
New York (ENI news) - The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church announced that the Most Rev. Sviatoslav Shevchuk was elected Major Archbishop at an electoral synod of bishops held from 21 to 24 March. _____
Churches march to recall Argentina's dark days of dictatorship
Toronto, Canada (ENI news) - Church members joined thousands of marchers in Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo (May Square) to mark 35 years since a military coup overthrew Argentina's elected government and installed a dictatorship that left up to 30,000 people dead or missing. _____
Woman to be first permanent Church of Norway presiding bishop
Oslo (ENI news) - Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien, 60, was appointed on 25 March to the new office of permanent presiding bishop of the (Lutheran) Church of Norway, the Norwegian Ministry of Church Affairs reported. She will be based in Nidaros (Trondheim) and will be installed in her new office on 2 October this year.
***** QUOTES OF THE WEEK Provided courtesy of Sojourners.online March 21st, 2011 "The vision of a culture lies in what becomes its major institutions, in what it remembers as its most impacting events, in who it sees as its heroes." - Joan Chittister --- March 22nd, 2011 "The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless. It is beyond words, and it is beyond speech, and it is beyond concept. Not that we discover a new unity. We discover an older unity. My dear Brothers [and Sisters], we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are." - Thomas Merton --- March 23rd, 2011 "We will surely get to our destination if we join hands." - Aung San Suu Kyi --- March 25th, 2011 "Nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense." - Marilynne Robinson, from book "Gilead" ***** March 24th, 2011 "There is need for awareness that the mountains and rivers and all living things, the sky and its sun and moon and clouds all constitute a healing, sustaining sacred presence for humans which they need as much for their psychic integrity as for their physical nourishment." - Thomas Berry ***** ON THIS DAY March 20, 1995 - in Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin leaked on five separate subway trains. http://tinyurl.com/47g49gk _____ March 21, 1965 - more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. http://tinyurl.com/4eqs26s _____ March 23, 1965 - America's first two-person space flight began as Gemini 3 blasted off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. http://tinyurl.com/643xr5f _____ March 24, 1989 - America's worst oil spill occurred as the supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and began leaking 11 million gallons of crude. http://tinyurl.com/4jdqa5f _____ March 25, 1965 - Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. http://tinyurl.com/4kfdmuk ***** CLOSING THOUGHT Colleagues List Danger: "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from e-mail." (end)