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!
Heard the One About the Pope?
Listen to Those Sinned Against
Christians Get Cemeteries in Nepal
Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Good Move
Gay Bishops Must be Celibate: Proposal
London Protests Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws
Venezuelans Defied Pope and Backed Chavez
Online Photo Exhibit - Anticipating WWII
Global Faith Potpourri:
Nine ENI Geneva stories appear this week.
Quotes of the Week:
On This Day:
June 20, 1967 -
Muhammad Ali convicted
for refusing to be drafted
June 22, 1940 -
Adolf Hitler wins stunning victory.
France forced to sign an armistice
Closing Thought -
Provided by Douglas Hales
This is my second to last issue of
Colleagues List until it is sent to
you every two weeks this summer.
Watch for the July 2nd issue next
Bob Todd, an American colleague
and free-lance publicist sent me
a copy of a new title produced by
Fortress Press. It is entitled:
Devil's Ink: Blog from the Basement
Office and I share a notice of this
imaginative book with you today.
After my notice of colleague
June Maffin's new book "Soulistry"
two weeks ago, I provide an update.
Ron Rolheiser - thanks me for my
notice, last week, of his new book
"Our One Great Act of Fidelity"
Reginald Stackhouse - rejoins
Colleagues List with a new email
address, and provides news of
his family life and teaching.
Thanks to both of you!
Beth Porter - director of the
L'Arche Canada Foundation is
also editor of "A Human Future"
- a thought sheet for Canadians.
In this issue, she interviews
author Margaret Atwood.
Isabel Gibson - posts a tribute
to her recently deceased father,
Martin Marty - issues a
"Sightings" article on the
spiritual characteristics of
modern American youth.
Robert Ellsberg - offers a
tribute to his father, Daniel
Ellsberg on the 40th anniversary
of the publishing of the
Pentagon Papers - a landmark
event in American history.
Ronald Mayan - invites people
to meet two bishops of the
Mar Thoma Church (India and
Canada) sponsored by the
Ronning Centre in Edmonton.
Ron Rolheiser - reflects on
Jim Taylor - reminds us about
time in the southern hemisphere -
just the reverse - at our summer
"Heard the One About the Pope?" -
Religious satire today can do with
some clean up, says this writer
(The Guardian, UK)
"Listen to Those Sinned Against" -
here is a good editorial calling
on church leaders to heed the voice
of the abused (The Tablet, UK)
"Christians Get Cemeteries in Nepal" -
Christians have been granted the right
to their own burial grounds in this
ancient Hindu kingdom (Ucan News)
"Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Good Move"
- President Obama's military cut-back
is lauded (New York Times)
"Gay Bishops Must be Celibate: Proposal"
- in an attempt to bring human rights in
the church into closer sync with British
society, the Church of England proposes
a revision of its current policies
(Episcopal News Service)
"London Protests Pakistan's Blasphemy Laws"
- a city of global significance plans to
hold organized protests against religious
laws in Pakistan (Ucan News)
"Venezuelans Defied Pope and Backed Chavez"
- in an act of identification with national
will, Venezuelan bishops supported American
president Bush and ignored John Paul II.
"Online Photo Exhibit - Anticipating WWII"
- for history buffs, a marvelous collection
of black and white photos from the 1930's
demonstrating how the world was heading to
war (The Atlantic Online)
Global Faith Potpourri:
Nine ENI Geneva stories appear this week.
Quotes of the Week:
Studs Terkel, Walt Whitman, Oswald Chambers
and a Chinese Proverb elevate our thoughts.
On This Day:
Return to two significant events in
history, courtesy of the New York Times:
Muhammad Ali was convicted for refusing
to be drafted in the US army (1967)
Adolf Hitler won a stunning victory, and
France was forced to sign armistice (1940)
Closing Thought -
Douglas Hales ventures
that men have it better
I wish you a good first week of summer
(in the Northern Hemisphere, of course!)
Those readers from the Southern Hemisphere
will hopefully bear with me.
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: email@example.com (or)firstname.lastname@example.org
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca/
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.
In this issue:
Book Notice -
Blog from the Basement Office
by Jeffrey C. Pugh. Fortress Canada.
April, 2011. $12.00 paper. 193 pages.
Publisher's Weekly Book Summary -
Comprising a series of blog posts by the
devil, this book imagines Satan's take on
modern life, from social networking and
politicians' sexual dalliances to terrorism.
Pugh, professor and chair of religious
studies at Elon University and author
(Religionless Christianity: Dietrich
Bonhoeffer in Troubled Times), is so
winsome a voice for evil that readers will
have to remind themselves not to adopt his
point of view. The device lends itself to
discrete meditations on individual topics,
so readers will be hard-pressed to discern
a narrative or particular order to the posts.
"Tags" lead readers to investigate
connections, such as why the devil likes
human striving for perfection and what
Thomas More might have to do with that.
Many will disagree with some of the more
sly satanic observations (e.g., that the
devil loves Disney World or that terrorism
is excusable). However, the author plans
to set up a Web site for readers to
continue the conversation. This writing-
yet-to-come may be as valuable as the
thought-provoking and humorous posts that
compose the book. (April, 2011)
"Of course, evil is elusive — difficult
to discern and more difficult to define.
Still, since ancient writers first put
the Satan figure into the story of Job,
or the serpent into the story of creation,
evil has been the subject of much of our
greatest literature, from fiction to
philosophy. This vast output is testimony
to the fact that the mystery of evil
perplexes and puzzles us, creates daily
struggles for us, and continually scars
our existence. If we can imagine
intentionality behind all the evil in
the world not hard to do — then the image
of Satan blogging to his minions and to
all interested parties about the
contemporary ways and means of evil
is not much of a stretch at all."
The man most known for giving devils a
literary voice in recent times is, of
course, C. S. Lewis, in "The Screwtape
I have been concerned to do something
different than Lewis' accomplishment.
For this generation, not only has the
medium changed - from letters to a blog -
but the whole character and locale of
evil has changed.
"Devil's Ink" explores how evil arises in
stealthy ways in popular culture.
Questions abound. How does evil mask
itself so that we accept it as a matter
of course...? How does evil colonize our
attitudes, habits and thoughts...? How do
people of faith relate to their cultural
contexts when those contexts seem so
indifferent, or even hostile to faith? -
These are some of the struggles I try to
represent in this small book.
This is not a book about our personal
relationship with sin, which can be
defined in so many ways, as much as it
is an exploration of the ways that evil
embeds itself structurally in human life.
Until we think clearly about how the
choices we make construct architectures
of imprisonment for us, we simply repeat
patterns that have wounded our souls.
Sixty years ago, Bonhoeffer wrote:
The huge masquerade of evil has thrown
all ethical concepts into confusion.
That evil should appear in the form of
light, good deeds, historical necessity,
social justice is absolutely bewildering
for one coming into the world of ethical
concepts that we have received. For the
Christian who lives by the Bible, it is
the very confirmation of the abysmal
wickedness of evil (Letters and Papers
It is my hope that framing our reflections
on evil in (a) creative way provokes in
readers some questions and reflections about
the great "masquerade of evil" all around us.
I frequently remind my students about how
easy it is for us to be unaware of the
existence of evil, even in the best of our
intentions. We can become the blinded agents
of evil against our will.
St. Paul was not speaking lightly when he
wrote (Romans 9:17):
"For the good that I would I do not: but the
evil which I would not, that I do." (KJV)
"I don't do the good I want to do, instead
I do the evil that I do not want to do."
Ask any Canadian today to describe the
greatest wrong we have perpetrated against
the First Nations people of our land. Chances
are, they will reply automatically -
"the residential schools."
I have involved myself extensively in this
issue of euro-Canadian history. It is quite
clear to me that the visionaries, advocates
and functionaries in the residential school
system that sought to "educate" the Native
children of Canada a century and more ago
were operating with the best of intentions.
They employed some of the most advanced
educational theory available to them at
Now, however, the judgement of thoughtful
historians is that profound cultural violence
was done to a hapless population.
I then suggest to my students they consider
some of the modern educational practices which
we have adopted in our society. I say to them,
"Don't be surprized if our grandchildren
condemn us for at least some of what we now
consider honourable theory and nobly-based
Reading "Devil's Ink" I am provocatively
reminded that evil is real in my life and
I can be easily misled by what the classic
Christian tradition has called the Evil One.
A second discovery I make as I reflect on this
book is that I should guard myself against the
dangers lurking in a belief in my own rightness
and the self-righteousness that so readily
accompanies that belief.
One of the entries of the author's excellent
glossary at the end is the following:
Ted Haggard (1956- ) An American evangelist who
became enormously important in the evangelical
world, serving as the leader of the National
Association of Evangelicals from 2003-2006. In
2006, a male prostitute claimed that Haggard
had paid him for three years to have sex and
that Haggard had taken crystal methamphetamine
in these sessions. Haggard resigned his
positions shortly thereafter.
"Let the one without sin cast the first stone"
said Jesus on one occasion (John 8:7)
Jeffrey C. Pugh does us all a service by
opening our eyes to the evil that lies within
our current best intentions and judgments.
He uses the medium of the blog and employs
the literary conceit of allowing the devil
to speak in the first person. Yet, the reality
of evil remains, and we do well to recognize
it is as real in our own time and circumstance.
Re: "Our One Great Act of Fidelity"
Book Notice, Colleagues List -
June 11th, 2011
San Antonio, TX
June 23rd, 2011
Thanks so much for this. I much appreciate
the review, especially since I worried that
I would be too blind re the ecumenical
dimensions of the Eucharist.
June 13th, 2011
Good Morning, Wayne:
... and what a happy surprise to receive your
e-mail enquiry via Wycliffe. Yes, my e-mail
address changed some time back and now is:
Be sure I will look forward to hearing from
you any time.
You kindly ask about my wife, and the news is
not what I could wish. Margaret suffered a
massive stroke three years ago, and is still
in a chronic care hospital where she is likely
to remain for the foreseeable future. She has
improved since entering this impressive
community (Baycrest), but we have no reason
to think she will come home.
On the plus side, I can spend a large part of
each day with her, and they are mostly good
days - reading, sharing in recreation programs,
attending services (it is a Jewish community),
watching old black and white movies. Two weeks
ago we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary
with a family luncheon attended by 30.
My evenings are occupied with preparing two
courses I will give in the Fall, one for the
Toronto School of Theology, the other for the
university's School of Continuing Studies.
The TST one is Christianity and Politics: a
biblical and historical examination of such
issues as church and state, war and peace,
religious toleration, economic justice, human
rights. The other is eschatology, a subject
made timely again by prophecies of the end,
such as Nostradamus' prediction the world
will end in 2012!
Richmond Hill, ON
A Human Future (Summer, 2011)
"Sobering Thoughts -
An Interview with Margaret Atwood"
Forwarded from Augustana University
June 22nd, 2011
From: "Rebecca Warren"
Mar Thoma Bishops - Ronning Centre Consultation
We would like to invite you to attend a Ronning
Centre consultation in Edmonton on July 5 with
two bishops of the Mar Thoma Church: The Rt. Rev.
Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius, Diocesan Bishop,
North America, and Rt. Rev. Joseph Mar Barnabas,
Diocesan Bishop, Kerala, India.
We also ask that you kindly send the announcement
below and poster attached around to your faith
communities and your networks so that we can
publicize the event as widely as possible.
Note in the details below the event includes
a free light lunch to follow, and we only ask
that those who wish to attend sendan RSVP to
email@example.com by July 1.
Thanks for helping us to get the word out about
this important event.
Ecumenical News International
17 June 2011
Methodists and Church of England
renewing efforts at unity
Canterbury, England (ENI news) -
Leaders of the Church of England
and the Methodist Church have been
urged to work more closely in the
future in order to strengthen
Christian unity. A statement
issued by the Church of England's
communications office on 16 June
said the Joint Implementation
Commission (JIC) set up under the
Anglican-Methodist Covenant of 2003
to enhance unity is recommending
the two churches share their mission
and their ministry more widely.
Lutheran World Federation agrees to
dialogue with Roman Catholics and
Geneva (ENI news) - At a meeting in
Geneva that concluded on 14 June, The
Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council
approved plans for three-way talks that
will include Lutherans, Roman Catholics,
Recommendations were made for the
founding of a Trilateral Dialogue
Commission comprised of four
representatives each from the LWF,
the Vatican's Pontifical Council for
Promoting Christian Unity, and the
Mennonite World Conference.
According to a news release, the Council
asked general secretary Rev. Martin Junge,
in consultation with member churches, to
identify and propose names of Lutheran
members to the Commission, taking into
consideration gender and regional
representation as well as familiarity
with the ecumenical partners and the
issues to be discussed. Junge was also
asked to continue the process of
preparing for a Lutheran-Pentecostal
International Commission and report his
progress at the next Council meeting.
Latvian churches reiterate
condemnation of homosexuality
Warsaw (ENI news) - Christian churches
in Latvia have criticized a new social
science school textbook that describes
gay and lesbian life as a "normal
aspect of sexuality." "The church isn't
alone in its traditional view of the
family in Latvia," said Ivars Kubcis,
spokesman for the country's Evangelical
20 June 2011
In Australia, World Refugee Day
marked by protest
Sydney (ENI news) - Thousands of Australians
marked World Refugee Day (20 June) on 19 June
by rallying to demand an end to mandatory
detention of asylum seekers. The turnout was
sparked by a backlash against a federal
government plan to deport 800 boat arrivals
to Malaysia as early as next week as a "swap"
for the resettlement of 4,000 refugees from
Malaysian detention centres. Australia's
National Council of Churches, Catholic aid
agency Caritas, the Uniting Church and 15
human rights groups released a joint
statement criticising the policy. "We call
on the Australian Government and Opposition
to abandon policies aimed at punishing
groups of asylum seekers as an example to
others and to work cooperatively on the
challenging task of developing a regional
framework to protect people fleeing
persecution," they said.
Church of England says gay bishops
must be celibate
London (ENI news) - The Church of England
has issued a set of "legal guidelines" that
pave the way for openly gay clergy to become
bishops -- so long as they are and promise
to remain celibate. Details of the internal
report, entitled "Choosing Bishops," were
carried by Christian Today, an independent
London-based publication, on its website
on 20 June. The new guidelines aim to bring
church policy in line with Britain's
Equality Act, passed in 2010, which
prohibits discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation, Religion News Service
reports. The guidance says "openly gay
clergy can become bishops so long as they
are celibate," according to the Christian
23 June 2011
In Northern Ireland,
reconciliation arises from flames
Belfast, Northern Ireland (ENI). Peace in
Northern Ireland can sometimes be a fragile
concept, as seen by this week's riots in
East Belfast, but across the city, the
people of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church
have found durable ways to conquer the
hatred that destroyed their building nine
years ago. In the early hours of August 2,
2002, police woke the Rev. Liz Hughes, to
tell her the Victorian-era church had been
set ablaze by a petrol bomb tossed onto
the roof. By morning, only the walls and
baptismal font were left standing. No one
was charged, but police blamed the arson
on youth from a nearby Catholic housing
Fresh role likely for charities as
Nepal's refugees find new home
Tokyo (ENI). After two decades in a
refugee project in Nepal that became
the United Nations' largest resettlement
program, the faith-based agencies and
philanthropic organizations involved
are expecting a wider role by 2015.
As nearly 95,000 Bhutanese refugees out
of over 108,000 begin to leave their
camps in eastern Nepal and start life
afresh in eight western countries, the
Lutheran World Federation Nepal (LWF
Nepal), a country program of the Lutheran
World Federation's Department for World
Service; Caritas Nepal, the social arm
of the Roman Catholic Church in Nepal;
and five other non-profit bodies are
likely to be involved in the
assimilation of the remaining
refugees in Nepal.
Archbishop of Canterbury urges greater
church involvement in environment and
Nairobi, Kenya (ENI). The church must
be clear about the need to care for the
environment, the Archbishop of Canterbury,
Rowan Williams, said in Nairobi today
while addressing a symposium discussing
the mission of the church in the 21st
century. "Caring for the environment
is caring for our children, our
grandchildren, and caring for the
generosity God has given us," he said.
Williams outlined several challenges
churches will encounter this century
and urged them to use new means of
communication and social media to more
effectively spread the gospel.
Anglican development group gives
cautious welcome to G20 food pledges
Warsaw (ENI). An Anglican expert has
welcomed an action plan by agriculture
ministers from the Group of 20 Finance
Ministers and Central Bank Governors
(G20) to combat growing volatility in
international food prices. However,
Sally Keeble, director of the London-
based Anglican Alliance for Development,
Relief and Advocacy, warned that recent
church demands were "just a warm-up" to
what could be expected in the run-up to
the G20 summit in November. "Although
there's still a long way to go, it's
very important that food security is
now high on the political agenda,"
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Provided courtesy of Sojourners.online
June 21st, 2011
"Heroes are not giant statues framed
against a red sky. They are people who
say: This is my community, and it is
my responsibility to make it better.
Interweave all these communities and
you really have an America that is
back on its feet again. I really
think we are gonna have to reassess
what constitutes a 'hero'."
- Studs Terkel
June 22nd, 2011
"Whoever degrades another degrades me,
And whatever is done or said returns
at last to me."
- Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"
June 23rd, 2011
"Faith never knows where it is being led,
but it loves and knows the One who is
- Oswald Chambers
June 24th, 2011
"Do not fear going forward slowly;
fear only to stand still."
- Chinese Proverb
ON THIS DAY
June 20, 1967 - boxer Muhammad Ali was
convicted for refusing to be drafted.
The conviction was later overturned by
the Supreme Court.
Men Are Just Happier People --
What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can be President.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another gas station
restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don't have to stop and think of which
way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress $5000. Tux rental-$100.
People never stare at your chest
when you're talking to them.
New shoes don't cut, blister, mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the
slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you,
He or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.
Three pairs of shoes are more than enough..
You almost never have strap problems in public.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original color.
The same hairstyle lasts years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes --
one color for all seasons.
You wear shorts no matter how your legs look..
You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice
concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives
On December 24 in 25 minutes.
No wonder men are happier.
Men Are Just Happier People...