Friday, January 27, 2012

Colleagues List, January 28th, 2012

Vol. VII. No. 24


*****

Wayne A. Holst, Editor

*****

Colleagues List Blog:
http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com/

My E-Mail Address:
waholst@telusplanet.net

New "Quicklinks" are now included 
with many items. Otherwise, scroll
down to find your selection in the 
body of the blog, as in the past.

*****

Special Item in this Issue -

Thoughts on
Two Oscar-Nominated Movies

"The Help"
"The Iron Lady"
___

Colleague Contributions:

Jim Taylor
http://tinyurl.com/82e7dlb

Erich/Miranda Weingartner
http://tinyurl.com/6ug8aew

Doug Shantz
http://tinyurl.com/4uwkccz
__

Net Notes: 

Temples for Atheists
http://tinyurl.com/6lk2elw
http://tinyurl.com/7n38vln

Chinese Lunar New Year
http://tinyurl.com/7v6oz9l

Where the Dinosaurs Roam
http://tinyurl.com/6lshfaj

Hunger in Newest Country
http://tinyurl.com/8434tv5

Religions Unite vs Bullies
http://tinyurl.com/7gjhun4

France Passes Genocide Bill
http://tinyurl.com/6pd9cd6
http://tinyurl.com/89zc3mc

China Dismisses Tibet Brutality
http://tinyurl.com/7sb55ee

Torturing First Megachurch Pastor
http://tinyurl.com/6usfade

Horror Greeted John XXIII's Vatican II
(Use Mozilla Foxfire to Open)
http://tinyurl.com/89o2hk4

Restoring Religion to the Public Square
http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/162261
___

Global Faith Potpourri:
Eighteen ENI Geneva stories.
___

Wisdom of the Week:

Annie Dillard
Clarence Jordan
Dom Helder Camara
Bilbo
Anne Lamott
Teresa of Avilla
___

On This Day:

Russian revolutionary V.I.
Lenin died at age 54 (1924)
http://tinyurl.com/7a9hhpv

---

Nixon announces accord reached 
to end Vietnam War (1973)
http://tinyurl.com/7wwa8qy

---

Churchill dies at 90 (1965)
http://tinyurl.com/85hopjz

---

India proclaimed itself 
a republic (1950)
http://tinyurl.com/7uzdxlr

Republic Day
picture gallery (2012)
http://tinyurl.com/87azxsd

*****

Closing Thought - 

Hildegard of Bingen

(end)

******

Dear Friends:

This week, I shift gears a little
and provide reflections on two
current movies that are in the news
because of Academy Award nominations.

I have things to share about "The Help"
which came out in late summer, and
"The Iron Lady" that appeared at year end.

Whether you have seen these films or not,
I hope the material I have gathered
will be of interest to you my readers.
___

Colleague Contributions:

Jim Taylor (Okanagan BC) - has thoughts
to offer on the Costa Concordia.

Erich/Miranda Weingartner (Calendar, ON) -
provide us with an update on North Korea
in the wake of leadership transition there.

Doug Shantz (Calgary, AB) - welcomes a 
special guest to the Chair of Christian
Thought lectures who speaks on homelessness. 
___

Net Notes: 

"Temples for Atheists" - a British
atheist introduces a dichotomy - 
places of worship for non-believers
(Uca News and TED Talks)

"Chinese Lunar New Year" - here are
some dazzling pictures to admire
(The Atlantic Online)

"Where the Dinosaurs Roam" - those
who want to see a non-scientific
presentation of children playing
amid dinosaurs in a world created 6,000
years ago should visit this museum
(Anglican Journal)

"Hunger in Newest Country" - not
long ago the South Sudan voted to
form its own country. It now risks
destruction due to food shortages
(Christianweek.org)

"Religions Unite Vs. Bullies" -
religious leaders in Korea have joined
together to stand against the plague
of bullying in the nation's schools
(Uca News)

"France Passes a Genocide Bill" -
two reports on the decision of the
French government to declare is illegal
to deny the Turkish war on the Armenians
living inside its own boundaries
(Euronews, Anglican Journal News)

"China Dismisses Tibet Brutality" -
Chinese propaganda has been strong
in denying that nation's violence 
against the people of Tibet (BBC)

"Torturing First Megachurch Pastor" -
an interesting juxtaposition of a
modern big box pastor and a church
reformer of the late Middle Ages
(Huffington Post Canada)

"Horror Greeted John XXIII's Vatican II" -
when the beloved pope announced that
he was calling the church together to
discuss renewal fifty years ago, his curia 
was aghast (National Catholic Reporter)

"Restoring Religion to the Public Square" -
this book from the UK proposes how to bring
religion back to the world of modern secular
universities. It may prompt interest here
(The Tablet, UK)
___

Global Faith Potpourri:

Eighteen religious news stories
appear this week from Ecumenical
News International, Geneva.
___

Wisdom of the Week:

Annie Dillard, Clarence Jordan,
Dom Helder Camara, Bilbo, Anne Lamott
and Teresa of Avilla share their
thoughts with us.
___

On This Day:

The following stories occurred
during the dates January 22-27:

Russian revolutionary V.I.
Lenin died at age 54 (1924)
http://tinyurl.com/7a9hhpv

---

Nixon announces accord reached 
to end Vietnam War (1973)
http://tinyurl.com/7wwa8qy

---

Churchill dies at 90 (1965)
http://tinyurl.com/85hopjz

---

India proclaimed itself 
a republic (1950)
http://tinyurl.com/7uzdxlr

Republic Day in India
picture gallery (2012)
http://tinyurl.com/87azxsd

*****

Closing Thought 

This week, it comes to us from
Hildegard of Bingen with more
commentary by Matthew Fox.

---

The end of January is soon upon us and 
by next week we will enter February.

May you have a good transition!

Wayne

********************************

SPECIAL WINTER STUDY ANNOUNCEMENTS
Introducing the Full Program

ST. DAVID'S MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
WINTER 2012

"The Other Face of God:
When the Stranger Calls Us Home"

by Mary Jo Leddy

Ten Monday Nights - 
January 16th - March 26th, 2012
(except February Family Weekend Monday)

Information about the book from Amazon.ca:
http://tinyurl.com/c6aror6

Visit Romero House, Toronto on the web:
http://tinyurl.com/7c9dsb4

NOTE: Mary Jo Leddy is coming to St. David's
the weekend of April 20th-22nd. Watch for new
information as it becomes available.

*****

ST. DAVID'S ACTS MINISTRY AND
THE FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE 
ON THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY CAMPUS

Welcome to our -

LENTEN STUDIES 2012

Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty, 
Staff and Students Winter Series for 2012:

"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 
Centre

Led by: Wayne Holst, 
Coordinator of the ACTS Ministry, St. David's United
and a Faith and Spirituality Centre Liaison.

Cost of the book: $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. - artuliss@ucalgary,ca

*****

SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS

Contact us at: asdm@sduc.ca (or)admin@sduc.ca
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca/

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
http://sduc.ca/services.htm

*****

STUDY ARCHIVES

An accumulation of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:
http://bookstudies.stdavidscalgary.net/

This collection of study resources represents 
more than 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

Reflections by Wayne Holst

Two Oscar Movie Nominations -
The Help
The Iron Lady


THE HELP

The Help is a 2011 drama film adaptation of 
Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name. 
The film is an ensemble piece about a young 
white woman, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, and 
her relationship with two black maids during 
Civil Rights era America in the early 1960s. 
Skeeter is a journalist who decides to write 
a controversial book from the point of view 
of the maids (known as the Help), exposing 
the racism they are faced with as they work 
for white families.

The film takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, 
and stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, 
Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, 
Mike Vogel, Mary Steenburgen, and Allison Janney. 
The Help opened to positive reviews and became a 
massive box office success with gross of about 
$205.3 million against its budget of $25 million. 

In January 2012, the film received four Academy 
wards nominations including Best Picture and 
acting nods for Davis, Chastain and Spencer.
(Wikipedia)

Movie Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_ajv_6pUnI

Review Beyond the Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiWi8cMsrp0

---

My Thoughts:

As a young Canadian teenager, I was baffled -
during a summer family vacation trip through 
Virginia in the 1950's - to see three public 
washroom signs at a tourist center near Luray, 
near the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The signs read "Men" "Women" and "Colored."

I asked my father what this meant. He said
that in the USA they have a challenge with
how they treat their 'negro' (the term for
blacks at the time) population. They see
them as different.

I could not help but feel diminished by
the experience. Canadians have always tended
to be smug about certain American practices,
but this one seemed universally grotesque - 
even to a young, sensitive boy.

Little did I realize how deep-seated and
even subtle was this racism. The movie -
"The Help" is a modern reminder that the
racism of that era, now long gone in a way,
is still lurking subliminally, and one does
not have to be American to experience it.

---

"The Help" is set in early 60's Jackson, in
the deep south, and stars a number of blacks 
who would never have had a chance at an Academy 
Award nomination fifty years ago. 

So some progress has occurred. 

Half a century later,  the film introduces us
to a group of young white mothers who were
once raised by black maids, who have repressed
their love and dependence on them, and have
signed on to the "Home Help Sanitation Initiative"
which meant building separate bathrooms for
the help because "everyone knows they carry
different kinds of diseases than we do."

Washrooms for "colored folk" were still being
discussed by decent, middle-class Christian 
white women in Mississippi ten years after 
I saw that sign, and even while the Civil 
Rights Movement under Martin Luther King Jr.
was gaining momentum.

---

It's unfortunate that the young writer in
the movie - Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who 
exposes this racism in a book - is white. 
The movie is based on the book "The Help" 
by Kathryn Stocket whose role Skeeter plays
(more or less). There just weren't many 
southern black women in those days with 
New York publishing connections.

It's also unfortunate that it was still
a time when the civil rights revolution
in the USA - one of the great human
revolutions in history - was seemingly
happening in a foreign land as far as
many of the people in the film were
concerned. Both white and black people
depicted here seem to have been living
in a very different world than the one
envisioned by many civil rights leaders
at the time.

---

Still, great movements often start small
and take time to evolve. That is certainly
the case with civil rights in the USA.

I had a student, recently, who attended
Ol' Miss (The University of Mississippi
in Jackson)) some years ago. While she 
still saw some vestiges of the old racial 
divide (in the form of cliques) she was 
pleased to be able to study with many able 
black students in the school Medgar Evers 
helped to desegregate.

---

Currently, when the first black president of
the USA still has to defend his legitimacy
in some parts of his own country - it is
good that a movie like this can remind
all of us - American and non-American -
that racism is always near the surface of
our awareness, even when we fight hard
to ignore, deny or reject it.

As Judith Timson in her Globe and Mail
article suggests "I knew I wasn't supposed 
to like The Help" - last summer:

"I'm glad The Help is packing them in.
Enlightenment rarely comes in perfect
packages."

http://tinyurl.com/7xgsbou

---

Marlene and I found this movie
both enlightening and troubling. 

It is enlightening because it takes us 
back to a different time still remembered 
by many. Troubling, because it suggests 
we not rest easy with what we consider 
progress.

If you did not see this movie half a year ago,
find a way to see it now to help you reflect
on the current Academy Awards.

___

Religion and Practice review:
http://tinyurl.com/8xohgc3 

*****

THE IRON LADY

The Iron Lady, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, 
is a biographical British film about Margaret 
Thatcher, longest serving Prime Minister of the 
United Kingdom of the 20th century, portrayed 
primarily by Meryl Streep, but also, in her 
formative and early political years, by 
Alexandra Roach. Thatcher's husband, Denis 
Thatcher, is portrayed by Jim Broadbent, and 
Thatcher's longest-serving cabinet member and 
eventual deputy, Geoffrey Howe, is portrayed 
by Anthony Head.

Since its release, The Iron Lady has met with 
mixed reviews, but Meryl Streep's performance 
was widely acclaimed. Streep has won the Golden 
Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama, 
her eighth win and twenty-sixth nomination, and has 
been nominated for both the BAFTA Award for Best 
Actress in a Leading Role, a fourteenth nomination, 
the Academy Award for Best Actress, her seventeenth 
nomination overall. The film has also been nominated 
for the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
(Wikipedia)

Movie Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDiCFY2zsfc

Review Beyond the Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWUp9uqPDYI 

---

My Thoughts:

Readers of Colleagues List will know that I
am not a political conservative by preference.
Like many Canadians, I am wary of what our own
current prime minister might try to do. I cringed 
at the likes of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and 
(on the other side of the pond) Margaret Thatcher.

At the same time, I respect people with principles
(even principles I cannot agree with) who stick
to their guns and can look back on their lives
with a certain satisfaction.

Margaret Thatcher, however, continues to leave
me ambivalent. There is no doubt that she was
a strong women who had to contend with many
large challenges to achieve what she did.

After Marlene and I saw "The Iron Lady" last
weekend, I wrote the following in my journal:

"The Iron Lady" demonstrates that living by
sheer determination can prevail for a time, but
rugged inflexibility can only ultimately lead to
downfall. Her position of fiscal responsibility
- taken to extreme, and in the midst of human
disparity - resulted in riots in the streets,
led by great numbers of impoverished people.

It didn't help that the IRA was running rampant, 
in England. They blasted Brighton, a popular
vacation spot, and even Number 10 Downing Street.

You can't get close to the front door of the
British Prime Minister's official residence now
because of terrorism. We learned when we visited
there last year that the effects of the IRA
- followed by similar tactics by Islamic groups -
make the protection of the prime minister more
important than catering to tourist curiosities. 
(I do remember having may picture taken at
#10 when I was a student in the 1960's, but
those were simpler times.)

Margaret Thatcher led parliament for more than
eleven years, through deeply troubling times 
during the 80's. But she finally had to resign 
due an uprising originating in her own party.

Since most people know the Thatcher story,
it is pretty hard to develop a gripping plot
concerning her life. What does emerge, as 
the film critics have said, is an amazing
character study, portrayed by Meryl Streep
who has garnered an Academy Award nomination
for her portrayal of a "real woman" with
flaws - aging skin and all.

So its an inspirational movie about a woman
who triumphed, for a time, against all the
odds - and that includes old age.

Marlene and I were inspired by the Streep
performance, if not Thatcher's political 
stance.

We think you should see this film, as part
of the Awards frenzy, so that you can claim
some awareness of what the fuss is all about.

---

Spirituality and Practice movie review:
http://tinyurl.com/6wo36jq

*****

COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTION

JIM TAYLOR
Okanagan, BC

Personal Blog Comment on:
The Costa Concordia -

"There But for the Grace of God..."

http://tinyurl.com/82e7dlb

---

ERICH AND MIRANDA WEINGARTNER
Calendar, ON

Current Cankor Report
January 27th, 2012

"A Critical Period of 
 Opportunity in North Korea"

http://tinyurl.com/6ug8aew

---

DOUG SHANTZ
Calgary, AB

The Chair of Christian Thought
at the University of Calgary

presents:
The Iwaasa Lectures on Urban Theology

with:
Dr. John Rook, 
CEO of Potential Place Society, Calgary

Monday, January 30, 2012 7:30pm
"Am I My Sister's and Brother's Keeper? 
The Ethics of Homelessness and Programs 
that Work"

Grace Presbyterian Church, 1009 - 
15th Ave SW, Calgary

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 12:30pm
"Homeless Shelter Residents: Who Are They 
and What Are Their Needs In a Time of Rapid 
Economic Growth"

Taylor Family Digital Library Gallery Hall, 
University of Calgary

Everyone welcome to join us for this free event!

http://tinyurl.com/4uwkccz

*****

NET NOTES

TEMPLES FOR ATHEISTS
Vision of British Philospher

Uca News
Januaery 26th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/6lk2elw

A TED Talk by Alain de Botton:
http://tinyurl.com/7n38vln

*****

CHINESE LUNAR NEW YEAR
Eastern Cultural Extravaganza

The Atlantic Online
January 23rd, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/7v6oz9l

*****

WHERE THE DINOSAURS ROAM
Not Tyrell, to be Sure

Anglican Journal News
January 24th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/6lshfaj

*****

FOOD CRISIS LOOMS IN
WORLD'S NEWEST COUNTRY

Christianweek.org
January 24th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/8434tv5

*****

RELIGIONS UNITE AGAINST
SCHOOL BULLIES IN KOREA
Death Prompts Joint Response

Ucanews
January 27th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/7gjhun4

*****

FRANCE PASSES GENOCIDE BILL

Euronews,
January 24th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/6pd9cd6

---

Armenian Prelate Praises
French Genocide Bill

Anglican Journal News
January 26th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/89zc3mc

*****

CHINA DISMISSES TIBET
BRUTALITY AS 'DISTORTIONS'

BBC News
January 24th, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/7sb55ee

*****

TORTURING THE WORLD'S
FIRST MEGACHURCH PASTOR

Huffington Post Blog
January 23rd, 2012

http://tinyurl.com/6usfade

*****

CURIAL 'HORROR' GREETED POPE JOHN 
XXIII'S ANNOUNCEMENT OF VATICAN TWO

National Catholic Reporter
January 25th, 2012

Use Mozilla Foxfire to Open:
http://tinyurl.com/89o2hk4

*****

RESTORING RELIGION TO THE PUBLIC SQUARE
Bringing Faith Back to the University

The Tablet, UK
January 28th, 2012

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/162261

*****

GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI

Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
20 January 2012

In Fiji, Methodists frustrated 
over repressive decree

Suva, Fiji (ENI news) - Methodist clergy 
in Fiji are frustrated that the removal 
of a repressive law requiring permits for 
religious meetings has been replaced by a 
more permanent decree by the country's 
interim military regime. Leaders of Fiji's 
2,000 Methodist congregations were thrilled 
when Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe 'Frank'
Bainimarama announced on New Year's Day 
that the  Public Emergency Regulations 
(PER), which in 2009 granted the police 
and military extensive powers, would be 
lifted by 7 January. Clergy believed 
meeting permits would no longer be 
required. But they were disappointed 
when anew and permanent law  - a revised
Public Order Act - subsequently replicated 
the PER, requiring churches to apply for 
permits at community police posts. 
_____

Churches in Sudan encounter more 
hostility after south's independence

(ENI news) - Christians and churches in 
Sudan are facing increased restrictions 
and hostility, since the secession of the 
southern part of the country six months 
ago, according to some church leaders. 
The leaders are highlighting arrests 
and abduction of Christians and threats 
directed at clergy, while warning of more 
challenges when the country implements 
Sharia (Islamic law). "Restrictions in 
Sudan are not new, but we are worried 
things are getting harder since the 
secession of the south. With Sharia law 
we expect things to get even harder," 
the Rev. Mark Akec Cien, the Sudan 
Council of Churches, deputy general 
secretary of the told ENInews on 20 
January in a telephone interview. 
_____

Health, human rights experts 
call for "safe spaces" in churches

Geneva (ENI news) - Experts in health and 
human rights from around the world gathered 
in Geneva 16-18 January to ponder a question: 
How can churches create "safe spaces" where 
people can learn and discuss sensitive issues 
without fear of judgment? "We need to have 
open and inclusive dialogue on mental and 
physical health issues, so that we can 
create safe spaces, where communities can
express their concerns in an atmosphere 
of mutual respect and trust," said Dr. 
Elizabeth Vadakekara, of the Medical 
Mission Sisters in London, based in India. 
_____

U.S. church council names Chapman 
as interim general secretary

New York (ENI news) - Clare J. Chapman, 
deputy general secretary and general counsel 
of the National Council of Churches (NCC), 
on 20 January was named interim general 
secretary by the council's governing board. 
Chapman, who had been carrying out the duties 
of general secretary since the 31 December 
2011 departure of Michael Kinnamon, will 
serve as interim until the board decides 
on the next steps for filling the office 
permanently. 
_____

Conservative Presbyterians in U.S. 
launch new denomination

(ENI news) - Conservative U.S. Presbyterians 
launched a new denomination on 19 January, 
saying that the Presbyterian Church (USA) 
is too consumed by internal conflicts and 
bureaucracy to nurture healthy congregations. 
"This 'new Reformed body' is intended to 
foster a new way of being the church, just 
as traditional, mainline denominations rose 
to serve in their day," wrote leaders of 
the new Evangelical Covenant Order of 
Presbyterians (ECO), Religion News Service 
reports. 

*****

23 January 2012

North Korean Christian leader dies

(ENI news) - North Korean Christian 
leader the Rev. Kang Young-sup, who 
worked for the reunification of North 
and South Korea, died on 21 January at 
the age of 80, according to Chosen 
Tongshin Sa, a North Korean news agency. 
He had served as chairperson of the 
Central Committee of the Korean Christian 
Federation (KCF). Kang "played an 
important role in nation building as 
well as in working for peace and 
reconciliation on the divided Korean 
peninsula," wrote the Rev. Olav Fykse 
Tveit, general secretary of the World 
Council of Churches (WCC), in a letter 
to the Rev. Oh Kyung Woo, general 
secretary of the KCF. 

_____

Kenyan faith leaders urge calm 
after court indicts politicians

Nairobi, Kenya, 23 January (ENI news) - 
Faith leaders in Kenya called for calm 
after the International Criminal Court 
in The Hague committed to trial high-
ranking politicians for crimes against 
humanity in connection with violence 
following elections in 2007. Finance 
Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, fellow 
presidential candidate William Ruto, 
cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura and 
radio journalist Joshua Sang will be 
tried for an orchestrated campaign to 
displace, torture, and kill civilians. 
More than 1,200 people died and around 
650,000 were left homeless in clashes 
in the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Nairobi and 
Central provinces. 
_____

Lutherans in Saxony allow gay pastors 
to cohabit with partners

(ENI news)- - The Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in the east German state of Saxony 
ruled on 21 January that gay pastors will 
for the first time be allowed to cohabit 
with their partners. "I hope that Christians
 will endorse in the community of our Church 
the decision by the church leadership," the 
Lutheran Bishop of Saxony, Jochen Bohl said 
in a statement. "I am sure that homosexual 
people with whom we are joined in the 
community of the church will be accepted 
as sisters and brothers in faith." The 
decision came after discussions in 
Dresden among Lutheran leaders and was 
largely based on a report by the working 
group "Homosexuality in biblical 
understanding." 

_____

Kashmir Shariah court order 
targets Christians

(ENI news) - Churches in India have decried 
the verdict of an Islamic court in Kashmir 
that ordered the expulsion of Christians, 
including a Protestant pastor and a Dutch 
Catholic missionary, and recommended 
government control of Christian schools. 
"This is totally unacceptable," Samuel 
Jayakumar, a spokesperson for the National 
Council of Churches in India (NCCI), told 
ENInews 23 January from New Delhi. "India 
is a secular country and the personal law 
of a community should be confined to itself," 
Jayakumar said. Shariah courts have no secular 
legal standing in India. 

*****

24 January 2012

Anglican network starts campaign 
for birth registrations

(ENI news) - In industrialized nations, 
a birth certificate is taken for granted, 
even regarded as a bit of tedious 
bureaucracy. But in the developing world, 
the existence of such a record can mean 
the difference between full participation 
in citizenship, or barely living. That's 
why the International Anglican Family 
Network (IAFN) has launched a global 
campaign to register births. The network 
is calling on Anglican churches to partner
with government and other agencies to 
ensure that babies born in 2012 and after 
are registered. "More than just a legal 
formality, birth registration opens the 
door to education and healthcare," the 
IAFN said in a recent news release. 
"Without it, people may not be able 
to obtain a passport, own a house or 
land, or marry." 
_____

China frees underground church leader  

(ENI news) - The deputy chief of an 
underground network of Protestant churches 
who was arrested in China last year and sent 
to a labour camp has been "unexpectedly" 
released, Christian rights organizations 
said on 24 January. Pastor Shi Enhao was 
released on 20 January after serving about 
six months of the two-year sentence imposed 
on him in July 2011, ChinaAid Association, 
a non-profit body monitoring the state of 
the church in communist China, said. Shi, 
vice-president of the Chinese House Church 
Alliance, a network of Protestant churches, 
had been accused of  "holding illegal 
meetings and organizing illegal venues 
for religious meetings." 

*****

25 January 2012

Berlin play explores religious 
traditions concerning meat

Berlin (ENI news) - Three men, three faiths, 
and one ancient profession: A theatre piece 
performed at a historic Berlin market hall 
this week examines Jewish, Christian and 
Muslim traditions relating to the 
preparation of meat and the feasts of 
Passover, Easter and Eid al-Adha. Director 
Cagla Ilk, born and raised in Istanbul and 
for the last ten years resident in Germany, 
said the idea was born out of homesickness 
for the Turkish celebration of Eid al-Adha, 
the Islamic festival of sacrifice. 
_____

French Protestants put spotlight 
on chaplaincy, amid tensions

Paris (ENI news) - In a bid to reduce tensions 
with other religious groups and to highlight 
challenges, the Protestant Federation of France 
has turned the spotlight on chaplaincy this year. 
At the group's General Assembly on 21 and 22 
January in Paris, members examined the issues 
chaplains face in hospitals, prisons and the 
military and urged member churches to take steps 
to support chaplains' work. 
_____

Cairo congregation ministered 
to Tahrir Square protesters

Cairo (ENI news) - As Egyptians gathered this 
week in Cairo's Tahrir Square to mark the first 
anniversary of the "Egyptian Revolution," nearby 
Jasr El Dobara church continued to be a bridge-
builder between communities of faith. In January 
2011, during the intense protests that brought 
down the government of Hosni Mubarak, the 
Evangelical Church of Egypt building became 
a gathering place for protesters who were 
wounded and exhausted, earning the congregation 
the nickname "Church of the Revolution." 
_____

Churches worldwide observe 
week of prayer for unity

(ENI news) - Churches around the world observed 
a week of prayer from 18 to 25 January, holding 
special worship services and gatherings that 
emphasized what Christians hold in common. This 
year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity centered 
on the scriptural theme, "We will all be changed
by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ," from 
the book of Corinthians (15:51-58). Celebrated 
in some areas at Pentecost, the week is sponsored 
by the Catholic church's Pontifical Council for 
Promoting Christian Unity and the Geneva-based 
World Council of Churches (WCC). Materials for 
celebration and reflection this year were 
prepared by churches in Poland, sharing their 
history of partition and victory over oppression, 

the WCC said in a news release. 

*****

26 January 2012

European church council names 
Liagre as general secretary

(ENI news) - The Rev. Guy Liagre, president 
of the United Protestant Church in Belgium, 
was named general secretary of the Conference 
of European Churches (CEC) as of June 2012, 
according to a news release. CEC said Liagre 
was elected by its central committee at its 
Geneva meeting 24 to 25 January. He succeeds 
the Rev. Viorel Ionita who retired as interim 
general secretary in October 2011.
_____

British Museum exhibit 
highlights Muslim pilgrimage

(ENI news) Non-Muslims are barred from the Hajj, 
the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that is central 
to Islam, but anyone can access this faith 
journey through an exhibit at the British Museum 
in London, beginning 26 January. "The exhibition 
will help non-Muslims understand how the Hajj is 
organized and its importance and significance as 
one of the five pillars of Islam," Venetia Porter, 
curator of the exhibition, told ENInews.
_____

Ecumenical group cites increased 
attacks against Palestinian villages

Asira Al-Qibliya, West Bank (ENI news) - The 
homes at the edge of this Palestinian village 
are located a few hundred meters from houses 
in the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar. But the 
relationship is anything but neighborly. 
On a late January tour of the Palestinian 
village led by representatives of the 
Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in 
Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), residents 
said attacks by Jewish settles on their 
village are more organized and increasing.

*****

WISDOM OF THE WEEK

Provided by Sojourners Online:

January 20th, 2012

"If you cultivate a healthy poverty and 
simplicity, so that finding a penny will 
literally make your day, then, since the 
world is in fact planted in pennies, you 
have with your poverty bought a lifetime 
of days."

- Annie Dillard

---

January 23rd, 2012

"The good news of the resurrection of Jesus 
is not that we shall die and go home to be 
with him, but that he has risen and comes 
home with us, bringing all his hungry, naked, 
thirsty, sick prisoner [brothers and sisters] 
with him."

- Clarence Jordan

---

January 24th, 2012

"To walk alone is possible, but the good 
walker knows that the trip is life and it 
requires companions."

- Dom Helder Camara

---

January 25th, 2012

"It's a dangerous business, going out your 
door. You step onto the road, and if you 
don't keep your feet, there's no telling 
where you might be swept off to."

- Bilbo, from J.R.R. Tolkien's 
 "The Fellowship of the Ring"

---

January 26th, 2012

"To be a good writer, you not only have 
to write a great deal but you have to care. 
You do not have to have a complicated 
moral philosophy. But a writer always tries, 
I think, to be a part of the solution, to 
understand a little about life and to pass 
this on."

- Anne Lamott from, "Bird by Bird"

---

January 27th, 2012

"Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for 
your neighborÂ… If someone else is well spoken 
of, be more pleased than if it were yourself; 
this is easy enough, for if you were really 
humble, it would vex you to be praisedÂ… Force 
your will, as far as possible, to comply in 
all things with othersÂ’ wishes although 
sometimes you may lose your own rights by 
doing so. Forget your self-interests for 
theirs, however much nature may rebel."

- Teresa of Avila

*****

ON THIS DAY

From the archives of the New York Times:

On Jan. 21, 1924 - Russian revolutionary 
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died at age 54.

http://tinyurl.com/7a9hhpv

---

On Jan. 23, 1973 - President Richard Nixon 
announced an accord had been reached to end 
the Vietnam War.

http://tinyurl.com/7wwa8qy

---

On Jan. 24, 1965 - Winston Churchill died in 
London at age 90.

http://tinyurl.com/85hopjz

---

On Jan. 26, 1950 - India proclaimed itself 
a republic.

http://tinyurl.com/7uzdxlr

--

India Celebrates Republic Day
The Guardian, UK 
Jan. 26th, 2012

(picture gallery)
http://tinyurl.com/87azxsd

*****

CLOSING THOUGHT

"The earth is at the same time mother,
she is mother of all that is natural,
mother of all that is human. She is
the mother of all for contained in her
are the seeds of all.

- Hildegard of Bingen

Pre-modern thinkers - native peoples
around the world but also our medieval
ancestors of Europe - honored the earth
as mother. This naming renders us in a
familial relationship with the earth.
Mother is bountiful and generous. She
cares and she provides. This is the way
of any mother and it is surely the way
of mother earth.

Are we treating her with the respect
that the mother of all that is natural
and the mother of all that is human
deserves? 

Who would choose to abuse one's mother?

- Matthew Fox

(end)

No comments:

Post a Comment