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!
From her experience has come a rich
harvest of understanding that is
readily evident in the material.
June has known some difficult challenges
in her spiritual journey, but from what
I know of her, I have always admired
the balance and equanimity with which
she faces life's problems.
A point about the 80 Soulistry Journal
Prompts and Soul-Questions that constitute
almost 90 pages of the book. She includes
the wisdom of a wide-range of spiritual
guides - some of whom are Christian and
some of whom are not. In this, she shows
that the spirit of God is not limited or
confined to a particular faith. But at
the same time - she reveals through such
quotes - the broadness and depth of her
own Christian life.
She demonstrates that one can grow in
spiritual maturity only if one has a
solid grounding upon which to stand.
That maturity is not always found today
but when she quotes persons I know
personally or with whom I have had a
long-standing reading acquaintance, I
realize that she is not simply 'spiritual
name-dropping' but has solid reasons for
quoting such people. They have become
intimate partners in her own spiritual
She includes a biographical listing of all
her contributors, which I found helpful -
especially for the less familiar names.
Don't read this book because you want
to collect a string of quotes or impress
people with your literary prowess. Read
it because you sense a depth and quality
in the person quoted.
For example, one of her subjects is also
a person to whom I owe a great deal of
respect and appreciation. Herb O'Driscoll,
a colleague of this list and a retired
priest of the Anglican Church of Canada is
a wonderfully creative preacher and writer.
The author quotes these words from him:
"Come and journey, journey upward.
Sing God's praises. Offer prayer.
In the storm and in the stillness
Find God's presence everywhere."
This is but one example of many I could
mention; but why not secure the book
and meet other inspiring mentors and
guides in the process?
Thanks for sending the article on "thin places"
visited during our tour of the Celtic Lands.
Several people from St. David's, who were not
on the tour, have asked me if we will be telling
the congregation about our trip. I'm not sure
what this would look like or when it would happen.
I toss that thought out there and hope you would
share it with the rest of the tour group - and
perhaps others have some ideas too.
It was a memorable trip!
(Joanne is chair of St. David's Calgary Council)
June 5th, 2011
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all.
When I read your words it reminded me of a
quote by Albert Einstein:
Sensation of the Mystical
"The most beautiful and profound emotion we
can experience/ Is the sensation of the
mystical./It is the sower of all true science./
He to whom this emotion is a stranger,/
who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in
awe,/is as good as dead./
To know that what is impenetrable to us really
exists,/ manifesting itself as the highest
wisdom/and the most radiant beauty,/ which our
dull faculties can comprehend only in their
primitive/forms - this knowledge, this
feeling,/is at the center of true religion
- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
I thought you might be interested
in this article.
"United They Fall"
Some Claim the UCC has 'Lost it'
FCJ Christian Life Centre
219 - 19th Avenue, SW Calgary, AB
Tuition for one year is $1500, payable on
the first day of the course. Arrangements
may be made to pay in two instalments:
2/3 on the first day and 1/3 by post
dated cheque dated November 21, 2011.
Application fee ($75.00), room and
board for King’s Fold retreats (191.00
per weekend retreat), books, travel,
and cost of personal spiritual direction
This course will be team led with input
from the following facilitators:
Credits for this course and for
the 18 month course in the Art of
Spiritual Direction may be applied
toward the Master of Arts in
Spiritual Formation at Carey
Theological College, Vancouver, BC.
For more information on dates, etc.
contact Brandon Ferguson at:
Marjorie Remembers Blog
June 9th, 2011
An article to appear in
the Periodical of the
Anglican Diocese of Calgary
'The Sower' September 2011
"Metaphors in the Bible"
Several years ago, I wrote an article
about the two metaphors that tend to
dominate in the scholarship and
practice of education: the child as
a tender plant that needs careful
nurturing and the child as clay that
needs repeated, firm moulding. The
article was published in Comparative
Education Review (1985). the leading
journal in my specialized field.
Since then, I have been especially
interested in the way metaphors and
another figure of speech, similes
(sibling to metaphors) are used by
the authors in the Bible. Metaphors,
let us recall, implicitly compares
one less familiar thing to another
more familiar thing in a way that
assists our understanding. Metaphors,
when aptly used, add colour and spice
to one's personal writing style.
We use metaphors explicitly and
implicitly more often than we know.
For example, the sentence “I have
invested a lot of time in developing
her faith” carries a hidden metaphor
that says time is money. Authors of
the books of the Bible have used to
different kinds of metaphors which
we need not go into here. They have
struggled to depict God, an abstract
entity, in familiar terms, for example,
as our refuge (Psalm 7:1), as rock
(2 Samuel 22:3) and as Father
(2 Corinthians 1:2)
Let us look at a very familiar metaphor:
God as a shepherd, as in “The Lord is
This is a powerful metaphor that comforts
us even though we have probably never seen
a shepherd or even seen sheep grazing in
an open field. In Alberta's cattle country,
would it make more sense to say that the
Lord is my cowboy? Doesn`t sound right
because "cowboy" does not connote the same
meaning for us that we have been taught as
Christians to associate with the notion
of a caring shepherd.
Let us see how David, as psalmist, carries
the metaphor of the shepherd through the
short, beautiful twenty third psalm. In
the first four verses, David compares God
as one who makes him lie down in green
pastures; leads him beside still waters;
takes him to the right paths; provides
solace in the darkest valley, and, whose
very rod and staff give him comfort. Then,
David does not stretch the metaphor of the
shepherd which may have compromised its
ability to help our thinking. Instead, in
verses five and six he switches metaphors
to show how God is a gracious (almost human)
host who lives in a house and shelters
David from enemies and takes care of him.
David is also careful not mix metaphors and
cause confusion to the reader or listener
as, if I say say Jesus is the clay that
washes our sins. Metaphors also change.
The sentence "His prayerful hands on my
head sent a shock wave through me," would
not have made much sense before we knew
about conducted electricity.
Metaphors, with their seductive powers can
also misleads us, unless we are careful.
If God is my shepherd, then, by definition,
I am a sheep. What does a shepherd do with
his flock of sheep? He will milk some of
them or shear them for wool or sell them
to be slaughtered for their meat. In these
instances, the metaphor of God as shepherd
or us as unthinking sheep is no longer
Knowing the limits of metaphors means that
we should not be stretching them or mixing
them up beyond their capacity to clarify
an idea or concept for us.
I learned much about the nature and limits
of metaphors from a short, brilliant 1980
book by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,
"Metaphors We Live By" (U. of Chicago Press)
Ecumenical News International
6 June 2011
German church gathering ends
on note of reconciliation
Dresden, Germany (ENI news) - The biennial faith
gathering called the Kirchentag ended on 5 June
after five days of theological and political
discussions, concerts and a sense of reconciliation
in a city devastated during World War II. "It was
a Kirchentag where a new culture of participation
and shaping democracy was discovered. A Kirchentag
of active politics. A Kirchentag where we had open,
thought provoking debate, even if it was
controversial at times," Katrin Goering-Eckardt,
president of the Kirchentag and a prominent
politician said on 4 June.
Vatican City (ENI news) -A Vatican investigation
of clerical sex abuse in Ireland has finished its
"first phase," the Vatican announced on 6 June,
but a published report of its findings may not
appear until next year. The announcement came
four days after Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid
Martin said that he was "increasingly impatient
at the slowness in the process (of the probe)
which began over a year ago," Religion News
7 June 2011
New York exhibit examines 'the Man of Sorrows'
New York (ENI news) - An acclaimed exhibit ending
a four-month run in New York City has given art l
overs the chance to explore a single theme, Christ
as the Man of Sorrows, and the Venetian artistic
tradition that gave it full flowering. "Passion
in Venice: Crivelli to Tintoretto and Veronese"
at the Museum of Biblical Art in Manhattan has
been a rare opportunity to see how the theme of
Christ depicted between death and resurrection
evolved throughout history.
Nudity in religious art: Godly or sinful?
Salt Lake City, Utah (ENI news) - The Rev. France
Davis doesn't want any nude Adam-and-Eve figures
at his Calvary Baptist Church -- even if they
were painted by Michelangelo himself. Davis is
unequivocal in his view that there is nothing
inspiring or redeeming about naked figures in
religious art. "Since we sinned, as it said in
the book of Genesis, the human body has certain
parts that are private," the pastor said. "We
should keep them for more intimate settings
like people's bedrooms." Davis is hardly alone
in that view, reports the Salt Lake Tribune via
Religion News Service.
Indian churches deplore crackdown on
Bangalore, India (ENI news) - While endorsing
criticism of the midnight police crackdown
that ended a massive fast against corruption
led by yoga guru Swami Ramdev, Indian churches
have expressed concern over what they see as
politicization of the anti-corruption campaign.
"We condemn the police action that could have
been avoided. We are also worried about the
politicization of the protests," the National
Council of Churches in India (NCCI) said in a
7 June statement. Religious leaders fear that
members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),
the main opposition party, are using the
protests to attack the governing Congress
Palestinian and Israeli leaders
condemn mosque attack
Jerusalem (ENI news) - Israeli and Palestinian
politicians condemned an arson attack on a
West Bank mosque on 7 June, but Palestinians
also accused Israel of "turning a blind eye"
to the attacks, which they suspected were
carried out by Jewish settlers. According to
reports, the fire began in the mosque of the
West Bank village of al-Mughayyir northeast
of Ramallah, in the early hours of the
morning and was discovered by Palestinian
worshipers who had come for morning prayers.
8 June 2011
Lutheran community seeks to redefine path
at meeting in Geneva
Geneva (ENI news) - At a meeting taking place
from 9 June through 14 June in Geneva,
members of the Lutheran World Federation
(LWF) will vote on adopting a strategic plan
for the years 2012 through 2017 that places
greater focus on responding to emergencies,
especially those having to do with the
environment. The new focus also includes
proposals for increasing the role of youth
and creating financial sustainability.
"There is a need to explore how to get
involved in advocacy work that is linked
to climate change," said LWF General
Secretary Rev. Martin Junge, who is leading
the renewal process. Under the proposal,
Lutheran churches hope to be able to better
respond to human suffering through
oordinated actions with partners.
Egyptian Christians fearful
of security situation
Jerusalem (ENI news) - The security situation
in Egypt has "deteriorated considerably" since
former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down on
11 February, leaving a security vacuum and
Christians feeling "threatened more than ever,"
according to aid workers. "Security is still not
where it needs to be to give people a greater
sense of personal safety. Undoubtedly, there
has been an increase in the tensions between
Muslims and Christians since Mubarak stepped
down ... All Egyptians, not just [Coptic
Christians], feel more insecure these days,"
said Jason Belanger of Catholic Relief.
African faith leaders call for action
on climate change
Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) -World leaders
must set binding targets for phasing out
fossil fuels and reduction of greenhouse
gas emissions to less than one degree
centigrade as a measure of slowing down
global warming, African faith leaders
have said. The leaders, meeting under
the auspices of the All Africa Conference
of Churches (AACC) and the Programme for
Christian-Muslim Relations in Africa
(PROCMURA), gathered from 7-8 June at
the United Nations complex in Nairobi.
They discussed how climate change will
be addressed at the 17th Conference of
Parties (COP) to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change
meeting in Durban, South Africa in
9 June 2011
Pakistani court postpones trial in
2009 attacks on Christians
Bangalore, India (ENI news) - Nearly two years
after ten Christians were killed and nearly 100
houses burned in the Punjabi town ofGojra, a
special court has suspended the trial of
suspects in the carnage after a key witness
fled Pakistan. The Anti-Terrorism Court in
Faisalabad also granted bail on 7 June to
the last three of the 66 suspects (others
had been already released on bail) who were
arrested in connection with the incident
in August 2009.
Lutheran federation president urges members
to pursue justice
Geneva (ENI news) - The president of the
Lutheran World Federation, (LWF), Bishop
Munib Younan, urged members to pursue
justice in the world, as the federation's
governing Council considers a strategic
plan for 2012 to 2017. "We must never
shy away, nor be intimidated by political
pressure, from confronting issues of
justice. Rather, we must address these
issues head on, whether they are
individual, societal, religious or
political in nature," said Younan.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Provided courtesy of Sojourners.online
June 6th, 2011
"If we could read the secret history of our
enemies, we would find in each [human's]
life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
June 7th, 2011
"Imagine a world where the representatives
of the greatest military power on earth are
humbled by an unarmed healer from the
backwaters of Galilee. If you can imagine this
kind of world, you possess -an imagination
ready to discern the reign of heaven."
- Stanley Saunders
June 8th, 2011
"'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven.' Do I fear being
poor, in spirit or otherwise, and prefer to
be rich in brains, money, or influence? Is
my desire for poverty of spirit congruent
with my lifestyle? Do I use the word of God
to rationalize my lifestyle, or am I willing
to have God's word criticize it? Do I cling
to my own ideas, opinions, and judgments
sometimes to the point of idolatry?"
- Doris Donnelly
June 10th, 2011
"The time to show up fully for life is
right now, whatever the circumstances.
The decision to be the divine attracts
the divine. Life is a swirling pool of
infinite potential at every single
moment, and we ourselves either
activate or refuse to activate the
mystical fertility of the universe."
- Marianne Williamson, "Everyday Grace"
ON THIS DAY
June 4, 1989, Chinese army troops stormed
Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the
pro-democracy movement; hundreds - possibly
thousands - of people died.