Vol. VII. No. 35
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
Colleagues List Blog:
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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.
Word has just been received that colleague Brian
Rude, Lutheran missionary in El Salvador, will be
retiring at the end of this year. Brian has been
the longest-serving missionary of the ELCIC.
More on him and his work in a future edition
of Colleagues List.
It's mid-April and I would like to offer a -
"Personal Reflection on the Titanic - 1912-2012"
Monica Kilburn-Smith - (Calgary) is pleased to
share a cover-story on her parish St. Brigit of
Kildare Catholic Community of Calgary and the
Catholic women-priest movement. This article
has just been released in the edition of "Swerve"
- the Calgary Herald's weekend cultural magazine.
I have followed Monica and her people as they have
struggled with the release of this article and
I am proud to share it now with you.
Isabel Gibson - (Ottawa) writes on the theme
of death - "When We Go." It's always good to
post her columns and you can receive your own
weekly mailings, by registering on her blog-site
"The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth" - a helpful
assessment of what the Kingdom of Heaven means
"The Hunger Games Contradiction" - more on
the popular movie and its message
(The Christian Century) http://tinyurl.com/7d6vhlr
"Ossuary as Earliest Reference to Jesus" -
some years ago the saga of the ossuary
discoveries made headlines. Now they do again.
(Globe and Mail) http://tinyurl.com/cok8qr5
"Inuit Get First Complete Bible Translation"
- the church has been part of Inuit society
for many years. Finally, a complete translation
of the Bible in Inuit has been completed
(Anglican Journal News) http://tinyurl.com/7k6hlkv
"Scottish Prelate: "Faithful Wear the Cross"
- as debate continues in the UK over the use
of Christian symbols, the Catholic Cardinal
of Scotland speaks out at Easter (BBC)
"Theologian: Ominous Divide Exists in Church"
- an Irish theologian speaks about problems he
sees developing in the Irish Catholic Church
(Irish Times) http://tinyurl.com/88nvecq
"Former Nun Says Abuse Rife in Kerala Convents"
- in another part of the world, a former Catholic
sister describes the church as she sees it in India
(Uca News) http://tinyurl.com/6rcacf8
"Cardinal and Atheist - Popular Australia Debate"
- during the Easter Season, a popular media event
was the televised debate between Archbishop Pell
and Richard Dawkins (Sydney Morning Herald)
"Evangelicals React to Santorum Campaign Withdrawal"
- while the withdrawal of this candidate from the
Republican primaries helped clarify the race, many
conservative Christians feel bereft of an advocate
(The Christian Post) http://tinyurl.com/6nxfy3a
"Clerical Abuse Costs US Catholic Church 2.49
Billion" - while the cost in dollars has been
great, the cost in pain and reputation has been
much greater (Catholic Culture)
Global Faith Potpourri:
Thirteen religion stories appear from around
the world and are provided by Ecumenical News
Wisdom of the Week:
Felipe and Mary Barreda, Kathleen Norris,
Charles Marsh and Teilhard de Chardin
share their insights.
Thomas Aquinas - the great medieval theologian
attempts to describe God, and Matthew Fox
Post-Easter blessings to all of you,
St. David's and ACTS Ministry Announce:
OUR SPIRITUAL TRAVELERS TOUR FOR 2013
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
April 22nd - May 8th, 2013
Tour sale begins with deposit starting June, 2012
Full payment due, January, 2013
More details such as costs to be made available
in the Sunday worship guide and the St. David's
Spiritual Travelers Discussion List Group as they
To join the list discussion contact:
Deb. Charnusaki - firstname.lastname@example.org
Your tour hosts:
Marlene and Wayne Holst
NOTE: David Rostad will visit St. David's
for a Special Turkey Tour Information Night
Monday, September 10th, 2012
All are welcome!
MARY JO LEDDY WEEKEND AT ST.DAVID'S
September 21st-23rd, 2012
Watch for new information as it
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: email@example.com (or)firstname.lastname@example.org
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca/
Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
An accumulation of thirty-five books studied
since 2000 can quickly be found at:
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.
PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE TITANIC - 1912-2012
- by Wayne Holst
My mother was born on April 15th, 1912 and she
would often remark, without further comment,
that that was the day the Titanic sank.
Every year, I remember my mother's birth date
and the day the Titanic hit the iceberg.
This year is special, of course. It is the
100th anniversary of those important events.
It seems right that I share a reflection
on the sinking of the Titanic and will leave
further comment on my mother to another time.
Two overworked themes emerging from that horrific
disaster are human hubris and class-ism. I don't
think I have much new to say about our misplaced
tendencies to build towers of babel that need to
be challenged, or that we consider some groups of
people to have greater significance than others.
Humans are as they are. They have changed little
in terms of pride and prejudice over the millennia
that constitute our history.
Marlene and I have had the opportunity to visit
several Titanic exhibitions in Calgary and
elsewhere over the past few years. We have also
observed the location in Belfast where the Titanic
was built and several port cities in the UK and
Ireland where the Titanic passed on her maiden
voyage that ended so disastrously.
What this exposure to the story has taught me is
the 'ordinary' nature of it all. We have come to
expect humans to do grandiose things as well as
to treat others unjustly. It is the banality of
it all that affects me.
Do jeremiads against hubris or class-ism have
any affect on us? Probably very little.
The reason we do not really learn, I think, is
because pride and prejudice run up against two
other profoundly held human values.
We are encouraged to "be all that we can be" -
and that means we need to possess a certain
amount of self-worth (read that as pride) in
order to break from the pack in order to do
unusual things. We are naturally inclined to
rise above others in the process. When we do
this we construct hierarchies between people
and rank them accordingly.
Here is my little sermon for the season.
The image of Jesus emerges as an alternative
to this thinking. Paul probably writes it best:
"Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus -
Who, being in the form of God, did not count
equality with God something to be grasped.
But he emptied himself, taking the form of
a slave, becoming as human beings are; and
being in every way like a human being, he
was humbler yet, even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
And for this God raised him high, and gave
him the name which is above all other names."
(Philippians 2:5-9. NJB)
Jesus did more than infuse divinity to
humanity. He became "humbler yet" and
accepted (in Hebrew prophetic terms) the
role of the suffering servant. So secure
was he in his divinity that he could stoop
to serve; even to die for those with whom
he came to identify.
From that act, Jesus models a corrective
to our human pride and prejudice.
May these post-Easter, post-Titanic, thoughts
give us a helpful perspective from which to
live our lives.
St. Brigit of Kildare
Monica wrote me today (in part)
I think they did an excellent job with a
complex story - I am feeling a bit self-
conscious with my photo out there like that,
but at least they didn't put me on the cover!
(I begged them not to.)
Thank you for sharing it on Colleagues List.
That will be wonderful.
April 13th, 2012
"A Woman's Place is at the Altar"
April 8th, 2012
"When We Go"
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN ON EARTH
Differing Ideas, and Maybe Not
April 12th, 2012
THE HUNGER GAMES CONTRADICTION
More Comment on the Current Movie
The Christian Century
March 30th, 2012
OSSUARY HINTS AT EARLIEST
REFERENCE TO JESUS
Update on the Story
Globe and Mail
April 12th, 2012
INUIT GET FIRST COMPLETE
Bible Society Project
April 12th, 2012
SCOTTISH PRELATE ADVOCATES
FAITHFUL 'PROUDLY WEAR CROSS'
Cardinal Speaks Out for Christians
April 8th, 2012
THEOLOGIAN CLAIMS 'OMINOUS'
DIVIDE EXISTS IN CHURCH
Irish Church Appears Divided
April 9th, 2012
FORMER NUN SAYS ABUSE
IS RIFE IN CONVENTS
Kerala Situation Tragic
April 10th, 2012
CARDINAL AND ATHEIST
DEBATE IN AUSTRALIA
Popular Event in Secular Land
Sydney Morning Herald
April 9th, 2012
EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS REACT
TO SANTORUM CAMPAIGN END
End of a Political Era
The Christian Post
April 10th, 2012
CLERICAL ABUSE HAS COST U.S.
CHURCH 2.49B. SINCE 2004
Huge Outlay for Catholics
April 11th, 2012
GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI
Ecumenical News International
9 April 2012
Pope's Easter message includes Middle East
Vatican City (ENI news) - Pope Benedict XVI
used his traditional Easter message on 9
April to call for an end to the conflict
in Syria, while his shorter-than-usual
"Urbi et Orbi" blessing and frail appearance
spurred speculation that his health might be
worsening. "May the risen Christ grant hope
to the Middle East and enable all the ethnic,
cultural and religious groups in that region
to work together to advance the common good
and respect for human rights," he told about
100,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Holy Week draws pilgrims
to St. Thomas shrine in India
Malayattoor, India (ENI news) Last Palm Sunday,
James Chevalloor began his annual 200-km (120-
mile) pilgrimage on foot with his friends under
a blazing sun to the Malayattoor shrine in India's
southwestern Kerala state, where St. Thomas the
Apostle is said to have prayed. Though Malayattoor
attracts pilgrims throughout the year, several
million climb the 609-meter (1900 feet) hill to
the shrine during Holy Week between Palm Sunday
and Easter Sunday. Over a million arrived on Good
Friday alone, causing a traffic jam that extended
to the national highway 20 kilometers (12 miles)
10 April 2012
Orthodox spokesman questions Turkish
position on confiscated seminary
(ENI news) - A spokesman for the Orthodox
Ecumenical Patriarchate has rejected suggestions
by the Turkish government that the reopening of
a confiscated Orthodox seminary near Istanbul
should be linked with parallel concessions to
Muslims in neighboring Greece. "I don't
understand how this can be linked with steps
by Greece, with which we have nothing in common,"
the spokesman, Dositheos Anagnostopoulos, said
in an ENI news interview in early April. "The
Halki Seminary is a problem between the
Patriarchate, Ankara and the European Union;
Athens is not a party to this discussion."
Filmmaker looks at religion, human rights
through eyes of Flemish painter
(ENI news) - As he travels around the world
presenting his film "The Mill and the Cross,"
Polish director Lech Majewski finds himself
discussing the many religious themes in the work.
The film centers on about a dozen of the 500
characters that inhabit Pieter Bruegel the Elder's
painting "The Procession to Calvary," painted in
1564 when Flanders suffered under Spain's attempt
to crush the Protestant Reformation in the Low
Greek monk is released from detention
for tax fraud charges
(ENI news) - The head of the largest of 20
Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece
has been conditionally released three months
after being arrested by police on tax fraud
charges. Greece's Ekathimerini newspaper
reported that Abbot Ephraim, chief monk at
the Vatopedi monastery, had returned to his
community on 31 March, a day after being
freed from pre-trial detention at Korydallos
Prison in Athens on bail of 300,000 euros.
11 April 2012
Youth in Peru less likely to consider
Lima, Peru (ENI news) - Less than a third of
Catholic youth in Peru consider themselves to
be religious, according to a study carried out
in March by the market research firm GFK Company
and the national newspaper The Republic. The
survey, conducted in three cities in Peru, also
reveals that 41 percent of people polled consider
themselves to be religious, compared to 59 percent
that consider themselves to be somewhat, little
or not at all religious, the Latin America and C
aribbean Communication Agency reported.
Australia's Anglican church
still divided over women's ordination
(ENI news) - Australia's Anglican Church has its
third female bishop, Genieve Blackwell, but her
31 March consecration was boycotted by her
archbishop, Sydney's Peter Jensen, a strong
opponent of women clergy. Blackwell, the first
Anglican woman bishop in the state of New South
Wales, was appointed regional bishop of Wagga
Wagga, located between Sydney and Melbourne,
by Bishop Stuart Robinson of the Diocese of
Canberra and Goulburn. Jensen is archbishop
of the region, which also includes Sydney,
one of the most conservative dioceses in the
Anglican Communion. Of her new role, Blackwood
told ENInews, "It is about promoting Christ's
church in the world, and encouraging parishes
in what they are doing now and in the future."
12 April 2012
Indonesian Christian responders say
2004 training helped during earthquake
(ENI news) - Christian disaster responders in
Indonesia said that training put in place after
the devastating 2004 earthquake and tsunami
helped on 11 April when two large earthquakes
measuring 8.5 and 8.2-magnitude on the Richter
scale struck the northwest coast. Five people
were killed and a child was critically injured,
according to the nation's disaster mitigation
agency, Reuters reported. The quakes struck off
the island of Sumatra in the same area as in
2004, when a 9.1-magnitude quake triggered an
Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated
230,000 people, about half of them in
Indonesia's Aceh province.
Group puts Christian spin
on Titanic disaster, anniversary
(ENI news) - Capitalizing on the 15 April
centenary of the RMS Titanic's sinking are
a spate of books, films, educational and TV
programs, and commemorative events around
the world. Center-stage is the much-hyped
3-D version of James Cameron's 1997 epic
movie "Titanic." But for one Texas-based
Christian ministry, Cameron's film delivers
now, as it did 15 years ago, a decidedly
un-Christian message: That "class warfare"
aboard the doomed ocean liner resulted in
the disproportionate deaths of poor,
female and young passengers, thus sinking
the "Christian doctrine" of "women and
Mali hopes for peace after
inauguration of civilian president
(ENI news) - A civilian president has been
inaugurated in Mali, sending signs of hope
for peace among citizens and faith
communities in the West African nation
where a coup occurred in March. Dioncounda
Traore, 70, was sworn in as interim president
on 12 April, marking a return to civilian
rule in a country where Christians and
Muslims had jointly launched an appeal for
calm, solidarity and prayers since the coup.
13 April 2012
Once divisive, pilgrimage
in Germany now fosters unity
(ENI news) - Thousands of pilgrims arrived on
13 April in the German city of Trier to celebrate
500 years of the Pilgrimage of the Holy Robe,
which centers on a sacred relic. Once the cause
of conflict between Christians, the pilgrimage
now is seen as an opportunity to promote unity.
"In the modern world, religions have to work
together," said Bernhard Fresacher, a theologian
working with the Catholic diocese of Trier.
"In 2012, we are opening the ecumenical horizon
to include many churches because we believe that
the existence of Christianity today is only
possible with an ecumenical spirit."
Anglican group to sue
London mayor over bus posters
(ENI news) - Anglican Mainstream, an orthodox
Anglican group, has started legal proceedings
against the Mayor of London following his ban
on a bus poster campaign implying that gay men
and lesbians can change and become heterosexual.
"We have instructed our lawyers to take action
against Boris Johnson for inducing one of
Britain's leading advertising companies,
CBS Outdoor, to abort our campaign, which
was due to start on 16 April and run for
two weeks," Canon Christopher Sugden,
Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream,
told ENInews on 13 April.
Fukushima woman organizes radiation
information centers at church
Aizuwakamatsu, Japan, 13 April (ENI - news)
- Terumi Kataoka, who lives just 100 kilometers
(62 miles) from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant, is one of thousands of
Japanese who frankly don't believe what
governments and scientists are telling them
about the health effects of low-dose radiation.
So Kataoka, 50, has set up the Aizu Radiation
Information Center at her local United Church
of Christ church in Aizuwakamatsu. Because
she is especially concerned about the effect
of radiation on children, she also heads the
Aizu Society to Protect the Lives of Children
from Radiation. "There is no time to lose.
We are called to pray and act with our voices
of anger to save the lives of the little ones,"
Kataoka told ENInews.
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners.online -
April 10th, 2012
"We discovered that faith is not expecting that
the Lord will miraculously give us whatever we
ask, or feeling that we will not be killed and
that everything will turn out as we want. We
learned that faith is putting ourselves in
[God's] hands, whatever happens, good or bad.
[God] will help us somehow."
- Felipe and Mary Barreda from, "Common Prayer -
A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals"
April 11th, 2012
"For grace to be grace, it must give us things we
didn't know we needed and take us places where we
didn't know we didn't want to go. As we stumble
through the crazily altered landscape of our lives,
we find that God is enjoying our attention as never
- Kathleen Norris, from "Acedia & Me: A Marriage,
Monks, and a Writer's Life"
April 12th, 2012
"Over and above all movements for social justice
is God's movement, [which is] the creative origin
of any movement toward human liberation and
- Charles Marsh
April 13th, 2012
"It is too easy to find an excuse for
inaction by pleading the decadence of
civilization, or even the imminent end
of the world. This defeatism, whether
it be innate or acquired or a mere
affection, seems to me the besetting
temptation of our time. Defeatism is
invariably unhealthy and impotent;
can we also prove that it is
unjustified? I think so."
- Teilhard de Chardin, from
"Building the Earth"
ON THIS DAY
On April 13, 1970 - Apollo 13, four-fifths of
the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank
containing liquid oxygen burst.(The astronauts
managed to return safely.)
"God is supersubstantial beauty
and God bestows beauty on all
- Thomas Aquinas
I am not sure what "supersubstantial
beauty" is or looks like, but it sounds
very great and beyond words. It is so
much beauty that it transcends our
perception. That's what God is,
according to Thomas. Then, God bestows
beauty on all beings, which means that
God must certainly have a different
standard of beauty than Hollwood.
Can you imagine God as supersubstantial
beauty? Does your religion proclaim
or promote this idea. Could you spend
a day seeing this beauty in every person
and creature you meet? How does this alter
you understanding of beauty?
- Matthew Fox from "Christian Mystics"