Friday, September 23, 2011

Colleagues List, September 24th, 2011

Vol. VII. No. 7


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:


In This Issue -

Special Item This Week:

The Long View -
An Elderwoman's Book of Wisdom
by Donna Sinclair


Colleague Comment:

Keith Boeckner, Quebec City

Colleague Contributions:

John Stackhouse
Ron Rolheiser
Mark Noll
Jim Taylor


Net Notes:

I Don't Do Funerals
Dealing With the Devil
Pope is Visiting Germany
Pope Meets German Muslims
Malcolm X - A Changed Man
Chittister Writes About Fox
Koreans Working in Guatemala
Religious Leaders Visit N. Korea
Breakaway Anglicans Find New Home
Anglicans and Lutherans "Stronger Together"

Global Faith Potpourri:
Ten ENI Geneva stories.

Quotes of the Week:

Saint Basil
Sadhu Sundar Singh
Mary E. Hunt

On This Day:

Sept. 22, 1862 -
Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation

Closing Thought: Meister Eckhardt



Dear Friends:

Welcome to the first of my autumn
issues of Colleagues List which now
come to you weekly.

In this issue I introduce a book
of reflections by Donna Sinclair.
Donna lives in North Bay, Ontario
and has been a leading writer for
the United Church Observer. In
addition, she has written many
books including "The Spirituality
of Bread" (2007) one of a beautiful
series produced by Northstone.

Her current title is:

"The Long View - An Elderwoman's
Book of Wisdom" which, she claims
is directed to woman readers. I
suggest in my comments that perhaps
she is limiting her audience.


Colleague Comment:

Last week I shared a comment from
colleague Susan Hutchinson.

Colleague Keith Boeckner of Quebec City
was quick to update me and I try to
clear things up now (see below).

Colleague Contributions:

John Stackhouse - (personal blog)
shares an article on public prayer
he recently wrote for the National Post.

Ron Rolheiser - (personal blog)
continues his series on creeds with
an article on "A Sufficient Creed"
he has created for himself.

Mark Noll - is interviewed (podcast) by
Christianity Today on his most recent book:
"A Very Short Introduction to Protestantism"

Jim Taylor - (personal blog) reflects
on the curse of consumerism.


Net Notes:

"I Don't Do Funerals" - we are a society
that does not like to talk about death -
especially in many of our mainstream
churches (New Catholic Times)

"Dealing With the Devil" - politics does
not help us cope with the reality of evil,
but then religion is often of little help
either (America Magazine)

"Pope is Visiting Germany" - as noted
here previously, the pope is currently
visiting the land of Luther and contending
with both friends and foes there (Ucan News)

"Pope Meets German Muslims" - a while back,
the pope raised international Islamic hackles
for remarks made in Austria about the Muslim
faith, and he is trying to set the record
straight. We wish him well (Vatican Radio)

"Malcolm X - A Changed Man" - here is a
study on the life of Malcolm X - who was
always going through personal re-invention
(America Magazine)

"Chittister Writes About Fox" - we quote
Matthew Fox frequently on these pages.
Joan Chittister, another favourite, writes
about Fox this week (New Catholic Times)

"Koreans Working in Guatemala" - another
glimpse at the growing internationalization
of the Christian church (Ucan News)

"Religious Leaders Visit N. Korea" - then,
a story about an unusual meeting of global
faith leaders (Ucan News)

"Breakaway Anglicans Find New Home" - during
the summer, we reported the supreme court
ruling against breakaway Anglicans in BC.
Now, a new chapter in that story.
(Anglican Journal News)

"Anglicans and Lutherans "Stronger Together"
- youth leaders from these two mainline
Protestant traditions have recently met to
discuss their on-going collaboration, and
the resulting story is very positive
(Anglican Journal News)


Global Faith Potpourri:

This week I share ten news items
from around the world, provided by
Ecumenical News International.


Quotes of the Week:

Saint Basil, Sadhu Sundar Singh and
Mary E. Hunt offer insights with us.

On This Day:

The archives of the New York Times go back
many years. Here is a story, as it unfolded,
of a key legislative decision enacted by the
government of US President Abraham Lincoln:

Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation (1862)

Closing Thought: Meister Eckhardt, who has
had a strong influence on mystical Christian
thought, brings this issue to a close.


The crab apples hang red on the tree in our
back yard, inviting me to pick several pails
of them for jelly! Marlene shudders!!

What a beautiful autumn we are experiencing
in many part of Canada this year!



Introducing the Full Program


"Living Ethically Amid Chaos"
 Two Books by Richard Holloway

September 19th - November 28th
TM Room, St. David's United Church
7:00PM - 9:00PM

"Godless Morality"
 Learning how to separate "God says"
 from doing what is right

Information about the book from


"Between the Monster and the Saint"
 Spiritual support for pursuing a life
 that seeks above all to be good

Information on the book from


Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

Registration: $50.00 for class fees,
the two books and special hospitality

Purchase only the books - $35.00



A Study Program Sponsored by:
The Department of Continuing Education
At the University of Calgary

Taught by: Wayne Holst

"God, Atheism and Morality" (ten sessions)
 Tuesday Nights, 7:00PM - 9:00 PM
 September 27th - November 29th




Welcome to our -

Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty,
Staff and Students Autumn and Winter Series
for 2011-12

Series One -

"A Public Faith:
 How Followers of Christ Can Serve the Common Good"
 by Miroslav Volf

Putting your personal faith to work for others.
October 21st - November 25th - six Friday noon sessions


Series Two -

"An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor

Discovering God in the ordinary experiences of life
March 2nd - March 30th - five Friday noon sessions

Time and Location for all sessions:
12:00 to 1:00PM in the Native Centre Board Room
Located above the Dairy Queen, Mac Hall Student's

Led by: Wayne Holst,
Coordinator of the ACTS Ministry, St. David's United
and an official U of C Spirituality Centre Liaison

Cost of the books: $15.00 each


Join us this year for stiumlating campus discussions!

For more information:  Adriana Tulissi 403-220-5451
Co-ordinator, Faith and Spirituality Centre, U. of C.



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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
a decade of Monday Night Studies at St. David's,
plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice:

An Elderwoman's
Book of Wisdom
by Donna Sinclair

Northstone/Wood Lake Publishers
Kelowna, BC. 2011
$16.00 CAD. 333 pages.
ISBN #978-1-55145-595-2.

Publisher's Prom:

"The Long View" is all about finding
and offering hope. It’s about claiming
the full meaning of eldership and knowing
that elderwomen have much to offer.

This collection of 365 daily reflections
offers elderwomen (and younger women who
wish to listen in) an opportunity to nourish
the wisdom and deep knowing that comes from
life experience. It also holds out the
potential for growth, the opportunity to
waken to different perspectives that can
lead to rich possibilities and courageous

This is territory Donna Sinclair knows well.
Retired from a 35-year career as a respected
journalist, Donna has found plenty of life
and purpose to carry her forward. In
particular, she has come to realize the
important role elderwomen can play in our
society – remembering the past, speaking
out against injustice, seeking to restore
the balance of creation.

Donna also knows that in order to accomplish
these difficult yet essential tasks, elderwomen
need to nourish their inner life. The challenges
we face today are so enormous, so threatening,
it is easy to fall into despair. For this reason
especially, elderwomen need to seek hope and
offer it generously.


Author's Words:

(Younger women and perhaps men too, ed.)
might want to know if there is life as an
elder woman.

I had to experience life as an elder for a
few years before I could answer that question.

I am pleased to report that there is plenty
of it. While elder women still face many of
the issues they experienced as middle-aged
women, they have more freedom to consider
them. I am still working, for example, to
understand the emotional legacy of my
parents, especially my mother. My elder
years gave me time to do that.

I have also come to realize the importance
of the elder women. One major job is to
remember the past. The world has changed
remarkably in the last decade. Social
networking means that everyone can be in
touch every minute. Vast amounts of data
and the latest news can be available at
the click of a mouse. This is both very
convenient and world-altering. It means
that, as individuals or nations, we find
ourselves faced with rapid change and with
having to make quick, hard decisions.

Elder women can help because we have a
long, and often practical view...

We can contribute by speaking out.

In order to accomplish these tasks of
our old age we need to strengthen our
own inner life... It is our task as
older women to seek hope and offer it

I find abundant hope in children and
spouse and friends, in the wit and
meaning of dreams... in the hard and
necessary work of envisioning a
community full of beauty...

This book is about all these things.


My Comments:

This is a book of 365 meditations - the
kind of year-long collection I like to
introduce to others on Colleagues List.

This is not a book with prominent biblical
passages and a special meditation punch-
line taken from the Christian tradition -
like many I have recommended here.

It is essentially a book about life, and
the lessons a thoughtful Christian woman
has learned over many years of devotion
to her faith and to living the spiritual
way as she has known it.


Here is Donna's reflection for March 9th:

Time Is Short

My sense of purpose, as an elder, is
heightened and intensified by my knowledge
that the time remaining in which to be
useful is short. There is no way around
this. We receive the wisdom of age hand
in hand with the knowledge that life is
short, and getting shorter.

I embarked with a like-minded group to
travel an historic portage. The weather
was a fine mix of sun and cloud. We saw
a deer. Despite my increasing age, I
paddled and hiked and proudly carried
a pack. Only one moment - kneeling with
others for a simple photo - nearly killed
me. My knees hate that now.

Elder-work includes the ability to pretend,
as long as possible, that we can live as
if nothing hurts.


Her reflection for April 22nd:

Earth Day

It's a wonderful idea and responsible
for a multitude of good things, including
international pressure by ordinary
citizens to act on climate change.

But isn't it a bit like bringing Mom
breakfast in bed on Mother's Day and
letting her clean the toilets by herself
the rest of the year?

Shouldn't every day be Earth Day?


Some might say - why promote this as
a spiritual book? It does not contain
a lot of the familiar Christian terms
or messages. It has themes, however,
with which many people might identify -
like encroaching old age and how to live
creatively with it.

It is also a book with which I as a male
might identify. For many years I have
sought to understand female perspectives
and spirituality because this has given
me insight into my own life and relations.

Reading this book - in spite of the
author's suggestion that it has been
written primarily for women - is an
exercise I would suggest that men could
also profitably undertake.

Like me, Donna comes from an era and
a Canadian experience, when women were
not treated as equals. Much has changed
and I find that a lot of my younger female
students do not express chagrin with the
same issues as their mothers or grandmothers.

We elders need to listen to the voices of
the young (as well as the young to the old)
because this provides us all with very
important intergenerational perspectives.

My caution, then, is that Donna remain
open to the voices of sensitive males
and younger women, because her issues
may not always be their's.

Still, it is obvious that older women
have a wisdom - simply because they
are older women - that deserves our
attention. That gift is obvious in
this collection, and I am pleased to
celebrate it with you here.

Buy the Book from the Publisher

Buy the Book from



From Keith Boeckner
Quebec City

September 17th, 2011

Hi Wayne:

Just a note about Susan Hutchinson.
She WAS in the Diocese of Quebec in the
Gaspe, but as she mentions in her note,
she moved to BC in 2008 and is with
Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior.




Corrections to my Colleagues List blog
issue for September 17th have been made.

Thanks for pointing this out.





Not Every Event Calls for Prayer

The National Post,
September 16th, 2011



Personal Blog
September 18th, 2011

"A Sufficient Creed"





Oxford University Press:


Christianity Today Podcast
September 20th, 2011



Personal Blog
September 21st, 2011

"Cursed By Consumerism"



We're a Death Denying Society

New Catholic Times
September 19th, 2011



"Political Evil"
 What it is and how to deal with it
 by Alan Wolfe

America Magazine Review
October 3rd, 2011


Serious Challenges Confront Church

Ucan News
September 22nd, 2011


Text Provided from Vatican

Vatican Radio
Sept. 23rd, 2011



Review of new book:
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

America Magazine
September 26th, 2011


Joan Chittister on Matthew Fox

New Catholic Times
September 19th, 2011



Ucan News
Sept. 22nd, 2011


First Gathering of its Kind

Ucan News
September 21st, 2011


Alliance Church Provides Facility

Anglican Journal
September 22nd, 2011



Anglican Journal News
September 23rd, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
19 September 2011

Lutheran church seeks global context
for homosexuality discussion

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - The worldwide
Lutheran church is seeking to address the
issue of homosexuality and the church
within a global context, said the Rev.
Kenneth Mtata, Lutheran World Federation
study secretary for Lutheran theology and
practice, at an international theological
consultation. The issue "has to be dealt
with as it appears in different contexts
... the Lutheran Church is managing [it]
very carefully in different parts of the
globe so that an appropriate response can
be found," Mtata told journalists at a news
conference in Nairobi after a 9-14 September
consultation for Lutheran theologians on
contemporary Bible interpretation.


Palestinian, Israeli students
use art to bridge differences

Jerusalem (ENI news) - Though their leaders
may be at political odds with each other, a
group of Israeli and Palestinian students
learned that they can communicate through
art. "Before I saw art as a hobby, now I
see that art can even connect between people
who have preconceived ideas and prejudices
against one another," said Israeli student
Noga Zer, 14. Zer was among 50 eighth and
ninth graders at the Israeli Hebrew
University High School, the Palestinian
Al-Quds High School for Girls and the Ibn
Khaldoun Junior High School for Boys who
participated in the two-year "Through the
Window" project.


20 September 2011

Group calls for greater
religious freedom in Egypt

Berlin (ENI news) - As Egypt prepares for
parliamentary elections expected to take
place in November, religious freedom is
coming under pressure, a German human
rights organization said on 20 September.
The human rights situation in Egypt since
the end of Hosni Mubarak's dictatorship
is "worrying," Martin Lessenthin, a
spokesman for the Frankfurt-based
International Society for Human Rights
(ISHR), told reporters in Cologne Tuesday
during a press conference focusing on the
plight of Egypt's Christian minority.


Muslims helping to rebuild
Christian school in Kashmir

Bangalore, India (ENI news) - Muslims in
Kashmir, in the northwest of the Indian
subcontinent, are supporting the re-building
of a Christian school that was destroyed by
fire during anti-Christian violence one year
ago. "What happened here is certainly wrong
and it should not have happened. I can assure
you that our people will not allow it to
happen again," Munshi Mukhtar Ahmed, a Muslim
teacher in a government school in the town
of Tangmarg, told ENInews on 20 September.
On 13 September 2010, the Tyndale Biscoe
School was the target of Muslims protesting
a reported desecration of the Quran in the
U.S. that marked the ninth anniversary of
the 11 September 2001 terror attacks. The
school is in the town of Phulwama and is
run by the Church of North India (CNI),
the dominant Protestant denomination in
North India.


22 September 2011

Religious dialogue helped release
of U.S. hikers in Iran

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) -The 21 September
release of U.S. hikers Shane Bauer and Josh
Fattal from an Iranian prison "affirms the
importance of the role of religious dialogue
and its end product in this case, public
diplomacy, as we seek ways to define common
ground between our two countries," said
Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop John
Chane, who returned from a weeklong visit
to Iran on 19 September. Chane and a
delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders
had traveled to Iran at the invitation of
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad;
one objective was to seek the release of
the hikers on humanitarian grounds, reports
Episcopal News Service.


The 'Protestant Ethic' still works
for Americans, and American politics

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - In 1905, Max
Weber's landmark treatise on "The Protestant
Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" argued
that a Calvinist belief in God's plan for
the saved was crucial to the rise of
capitalism because it inspired individuals
to work hard and earn money as a sign of
divine blessing on their lives. More than
a century later, new research shows that
whatever its merits, the Protestant ethic
is thriving among American believers,
Religion News Service reports. That's
especially true among evangelicals who
are driving today's economic conservatism,
and the idea goes a long way toward
explaining the political disputes that
are dividing the country and shaping
the presidential campaign.


Death toll climbs past 100
in Himalayan earthquake

Bangalore, India (ENI news) A pastor's wife
was killed and churches and schools destroyed
in the 18 September earthquake that killed
more than 100 people in several countries in
the Himalaya mountains north of India. Among
the six dozen dead in the Indian state of
Sikkim was 28-year old Nirmala Tamang, wife
of a pastor of the Believers Church. "The
young woman died when the church wall
collapsed on her," the Rev. B. Rokken,
coordinator of the Believers Church, told
ENI news from the shattered capital of Gangtok.
The 6.9-magnitude quake hit mountainous,
remote regions of Bhutan, Tibet, India and
Nepal and the death toll on 22 September was
reported to be as high as 120.


Hungarian church welcomes return
of properties, warns of hardships

Warsaw, Poland (ENI news) - A Hungarian
church leader has welcomed the fulfillment
of state pledges to restore properties to
religious communities, six decades after
they were confiscated by the country's
communist regime. "This is the only area
of church-state relations which has gone
well in recent years. The process was
transparent and well-managed," said
Zoltan Tarr, general secretary of the
Hungarian Reformed church. "However,
while it's been important spiritually
and emotionally for local communities
to get back buildings they constructed
with their own money, they weren't well
looked after and the vast majority are
now in poor shape. Refurbishing them ...
will pose a heavy burden on the churches."

Zambia's faith leaders
call for peace after voting

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) Faith leaders
in Zambia are calling for unity and peace
as the southern African nation awaits the
outcome of the presidential election held
on 20 September. The election pitted
Michael Sata, the main opposition and
the leader of the Patriotic Front, against
Rupiah Banda, the incumbent president and
the leader of the Movement for Multi-Party


Pope meets with Jewish
representatives in Berlin

Berlin (ENI news) - Pope Benedict XVI's
meeting with Germany's Jewish community on
the first day of his four-day state visit
to his homeland was marked by both goodwill
and honest criticism. Addressing rabbis from
across Germany, Benedict said that the two
faiths, "hold in common a not insignificant
part of their essential traditions." Dieter
Graumann, head of the Central Council of
Jews, welcomed Benedict. "It is nice to be
able to see clearly that the relationship
between the Catholic Church and Judaism has
dramatically improved in recent decades,"
Graumann said. "And we are highly aware
that you in particular have personally
always considered reconciliation with
Judaism to be important, in fact an absolute
matter of the heart."



September 19th, 2011

"I cannot persuade myself that without
love to others, and without, as far as
rests with me, peaceableness toward all,
I can be called a worthy servant of
Jesus Christ."

- Saint Basil


September 22nd, 2011

"A silkworm was struggling out of the cocoon
and an ignorant man saw it battling as if in
pain, so he went and helped it to get free,
but very soon after it fluttered and died.
The other silkworms that struggled out without
help suffered, but they came out into full
life and beauty, with wings made strong for
flight by their battle for fresh existence."

- Sadhu Sundar Singh


September 23rd, 2011

 "A commitment to love and justice demands
the transformation of social structures as
well as of hearts."

- Mary E. Hunt



Sept. 22, 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln
issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation,
declaring all slaves in rebel states should be
free as of Jan. 1, 1863.



We sink eternally from letting go
to letting go into God

- Meister Eckhardt

Life is a series of letting go moments:
from when we leave the womb to the hour
of our death and our final leave-taking.

Since life is about letting go, it's good
to develop the habit now and with a smile
on our faces!

- Matthew Fox in "Christian Mystics"


No comments:

Post a Comment