ADVENT SUNDAY ISSUE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
Canadian Anglicans Google Groups:
Now "Quicklinks" are included with many items.
Otherwise, scroll down to find your selection
in the body of the blog, as in the past.
Welcome to the Season of Advent, 2012!
To help you enjoy this issue of
Colleagues List I have located a service
of Advent Lessons and Carols from
Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC.
Please feel free to enjoy this service
as you read this issue:
I have included two Special Items
this week. The first is a book notice
for the new Fortress title:
"The Collected Sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer"
I also include a movie notice for the recent
release "Life of Pi" and I have added a
trailer to enhance the presentation.
Colleague Comment this week is from Montreal
friend Douglas John Hall who announced a new
Colleague Communication is from two standard
contributors Ron Rolheiser and Jim Taylor
"Rick Warren Interviewed" - the
famous best-selling evangelical author
shares his current vision with an
interviewer from Publisher's Weekly.
"Heaven Exists - Or Does It?" - while
hell does not get much press these days,
heaven is a live topic (Washington Post)
"Bach and the Lutheran Legacy" - here
is a magnificent production of the
sacred music of Bach. Take some time
with this! (BBC Sacred Music Series)
"A Boat of Biblical Proportions" - have
you ever wondered about the existence
and size of the ark? here are people who
know, or think they do (Atlantic Online)
"Pope Creates Six New Cardinals" -
this past week, the pope named six
cardinals, many from the 2/3rd world
which is good news (Uca News)
"Melting Polar Ice - Slide Show" - if
you have any doubts about global warming,
here is visible proof (The Guardian, UK)
"Jesus Wept - Actually Bad Plumbing" -
In India, miraculous tears evoke both
attention and scandal (The Guardian, UK)
"Bernard Haring - Voice of Critical Love"
- Charles Curran, himself a voice of
critical love for the church, writes
about a hero (National Catholic Reporter)
"Last Chinese Anglican Bishop Dead at 97"
- this week a great figure dating from
China's colonial times died (Anglican Journal)
"English Women Voted Against Women Bishops"
- ironic as it may seem, the majority of
laypersons voting against the ordination
of Church of Englican women bishops last
week were actually women! (The Guardian, UK)
Wisdom of the Week comes to us from a fine
selection of persons both living and dead:
Sojourner Truth, Derrick Jensen,
Frederick Buechner, John Howard Yoder
and Wendel Berrry
On This Day:
This week, November 25th to 30th, the
New York Times reminds us of major
events with reports from the period
in which they occurred:
Iran Contra Affair Exposed
Clinton Visits Northern Ireland
Israel and Palestine Petitioned
UN Votes Upgraded Status for Palestine
We conclude with words from the medieval
woman mystice Hildegard of Bingen
I hope you can value and enjoy the
preparatory seasons of Advent we have
St. David's and ACTS Ministry Announce:
Our Spiritual Travelers Tour for 2013
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
April 23rd - May 9th, 2013
Tour sale requires a $300 deposit, with
full payment due, and of January, 2013.
Our major tour themes are: Classic Greek and Roman,
Early Christian, Muslim-Christian and the beautiful
scenery of the Mediterranian coast of SW Turkey.
*Enjoy Istanbul (Constantinople) - long a link
between East and West.
*Classical cities like Troy will be visited and
intriguing ancient sites will be revealed.
*Pilgrims from many of the regions we will visit
were present in Jerusalem at Pentecost - people
from "Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia" -
*Saint Paul founded churches in many of the centers
of central and western Turkey and we will spend
quality time in places like Ephesus.
*We will come to know cities mentioned in the
Book of Revelation (chapters 1-3) by Jobn.
Cities like Pergamon, Thyatira, Philadelphia,
Sardis and Smyrna
Details such as costs and prep notes have been
edited into a beautiful travel brochure. This
was just sent to all who have thus far expressed
interest. If you are interested, let us know!
The brochure will also be posted to the St.
David's Spiritual Travelers Discussion List Group.
which is your place to express yourself!
To join this unique internet discussion contact:
Deb. Charnusaki - firstname.lastname@example.org
Your tour hosts:
Marlene and Wayne Holst
OUR WINTER AND SPRING 2013 PROGRAMS
With more to be announced -
AT ST.DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
"WELCOMING THE STRANGER" WEEKEND AT ST. DAVID'S
Friday March 1st - Sunday, March 3rd (confirmed)
Mary Jo Leddy, Romero House, Toronto.
Mary Jo's presentations will take place
at St. David's church.
Other guests are presently being secured for
panels, workshop and as seminar leaders. These
activities will be held on the university
Watch for new information on this
special weekend focused on Canada's
policy for welcoming new Canadians
and how Christians might respond.
MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
From Monday, January 14th
thru Monday, March 18th.
7:00 -9:00 PM
"Radical Gratitude" by Mary Jo Leddy
Review of book links:
(Western Catholic Reporter)
(Gospel and our Culture)
Cost of the course: $50.00
Buy only the book: $25.00
The course and books will be
on sale at the church beginning
Sunday December 2nd
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Begins Thursday, January 17th, 2013
"'Wisdom' in the Biblical Literature"
A six week series running through
the winter. 10-11 AM
All welcome. No cost.
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
Tuesday Night University Study sponsored
by the Faculty of Continuing Education:
HERESIES AND HERETICS - The Real Story of
Early Christianity. Cont Ed Course 198-001
Ten Sessions - Jan. 22nd - Mar. 26th, 2013
Click this link for books, costs and details:
Faith and Spirituality Centre Winter Study
Sponsored by the Christian chaplains of
the University of Calgary
TWELVE STEPS TO A COMPASSIONATE LIFE
A Study of Karen Armstrong's latest book.
Fridays - March 1st - April 5th
12 noon - 1:00 PM
Six Weeks - Native Centre Board Room,
McEwan Student Centre, University of Calgary.
12 noon to 1:00 PM: Cost of the book: $15.
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.
Book Notice -
THE COLLECTED SERMONS
OF DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Edited and Introduced by
Isabel Best, Fortress Press,
Minneapolis, 2012. $30. CAD
Preaching, according to Bonhoeffer, is like
offering an apple to a child. The gospel is
proclaimed, but for it to be received as a
gift depends on whether the hearer is in a
position to do so. Offered here are thirty-
one of Pastor Bonhoeffer's sermons, in new
English translations, which he preached at
various times of the year and in a variety
of different settings. Each is introduced
by Bonhoeffer translator Isabel Best, who
also provides a brief biography of
The foreword is by Victoria J. Barnett,
general editor of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Works, English edition, published by
Fortress Press, from which these sermons
In his preaching, Bonhoeffer's strong,
personal faith the foundation for
everything he did shines in the darkness
of Hitler's Third Reich and in the churches'
struggle against it. Though not overtly
political, Bonhoeffer' s deep concern for
the developments in his world is revealed
in his sermons as he seeks to draw the
listener into conversation with the
promises and claims of the gospel a
conversation readers today are invited
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is usually not
remembered as a preacher. Although
he preached throughout his adult life
there were only two relatively brief
periods of his life in which he
actually preached every Sunday to a
These occasions were to German-speaking
congregations in Barcelona, Spain (1928)
and in London (1933-35).
Luther believed that preaching - the
proclamation of the word of God as
revealed in Scripture - was at the very
heart of the Christian life...
During the Nazi years (the 1930s and 1940s)
Bonhoeffer understood his sermons both
as a way of confessing his faith and as
a prophetic means to call his church
and his students at the Finkenwalde
Seminary (1935-37) to withstand the
ideological spirit of the times. In
addition, the act of writing and
preaching a sermon became for him a
source of spiritual discipline and
The sermons in this book are a long-
overdue addition to the writings of
Bonhoeffer in English.
He spoke in a language that has
withstood the test of time. He had a
gift of expressing the very essence
of the Christian message and what it
means to live the Chrisitan life of
faith in this world.
As a result, his writings are still
read and pondered by Christians around
the world and at all points of the
Sermon for Advent Sunday, Dec. 2nd, 1928
and preached in Barcelona, Spain (excerpts)
Celebrating Advent means being able to
wait. Waiting, however, is an art our
impatient age has forgotten...
Those who do not know what it feels like
to to wrestle anxiously with the most
profound questions of life, of one's own
life, and then to keep watch in anticipation
and yearning until the truth is unveiled -
cannot imagine how glorious is the moment
when clarity emerges...
(One of the things we discover through a
stance of waiting) is that we are no longer
alone; God is with us. (As we approach
Christmas) we sense that God's goodness
(revealed in the Christ child) is once again
coming near to us.
Why not make this time of Advent waiting
into a blessed time of preparation!
The time of Advent is a time of waiting,
our entire life is a time of Advent, a
time of waiting for that final time when
there will be a new heaven and a new earth.
I have been reading Bonhoeffer for fifty
years since he was first introduced to me
through seminary classes during the mid-60s.
His writing, though profound, is usually
very lucid and helpful. I have always been
proud that a person like Bonhoeffer shares
with me the great theological tradition of
Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation.
The sermon I quoted from (above) is but one
of more than thirty that have been collected
in this volume by editor Best. My reason for
lifting this selection from the others is
purely seasonal, but what he writes for
Advent applies to all the other occasions
for which his sermons were prepared.
I have donated my complete collection of
Bonhoeffer's Works to the University of
Calgary Library where I continue to have
easy access to them. This addendum to his
works will also be donated to the library
to add to that already rich collection.
As one gets older, one tends to be more
discriminating of what writings are wheat
and what are chaff. Theologian Bonhoeffer
certainly fits the first category and
if you have not read him before, this
book may well be a worthy introduction
to his writings. If you have read him,
this book will add to your appreciation
of the man and his work.
Buy the book from Fortress:
Buy the book from Amazon.ca
Movie Notice -
Life of Pi
There are several good reasons to
see this movie in a local theater.
One is the magnificent cinematography.
Ang Lee, the director, turns the vast
and desolate ocean and the immense sky
into a magnificent collage of images.
He also turns wild animals into glorious
creations of beauty as Pi attempts to
relate to them - often just to save his
Another special thing about this movie
is the way faith and reason, myth and
realism are compared and contrasted.
Though Pi was raised in an Indian family
where science ruled (at least in the
case of his father) the son opted for
faith and myth. This, it could be
argued, was the key factor in preserving
his life as he survived almost three
hundred days adrift on the Pacific.
We are beginning to be exposed to
more and more movies linking East
and West, and - on the whole - I
welcome this development.
Life of Pi is one such movie.
Consider, for example, the very
'un-western' nature of Pi's religion.
He ended up claiming membership in
Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths
simultaneously, and had no problem
to do so! That's new for most of
us, but I was intrigued by the way
Pi sought to integrate faith
authentically in his life.
If you read the book when it appeared
ten years ago, you will like this
movie. If you are new to the story
this film is a happy introduction to
the "Life of Pi"
Spirituality and Practice Review:
DOUGLAS JOHN HALL
November 24th, 2012
Did you get any notice of my new book:
"Waiting for the Gospel: An appeal to
the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant
'Establishment'" (Wipf and Stock, 2012).
No I didn't, but I am always happy to hear
of new publications by colleagues and I try
to introduce them to others as I can.
San Antonio, TX
WORKING TOO HARD
MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING
RICK WARREN INTERVIEWED
His Current Vision Described -
November 28th, 2012
HEAVEN EXISTS - OR DOES IT?
The Discussion Continues
November 20th, 2012
BACH AND THE LUTHERAN LEGACY
BBC Spiritual Music Series (4)
An excellent production:
A BOAT OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS
The Atlantic Online
POPE CREATES SIX NEW CARDINALS
Selection Shows Concern for Global Balance
November 26th, 2012
MELTING POLAR ICE
The Guardian, UK
November 29th, 2012
JESUS WEPT - ACTUALLY BAD PLUMBING
Reaction to Incident in India
The Guardian, UK
November 23rd, 2012
BERNARD HARING - VOICE OF CRITICAL LOVE
A Tribute by Charles Curran
National Catholic Reporter
November 26th, 2012
LAST ANGLICAN BISHOP DEAD AT 97
Chinese Churchman a Visionary
November 26th, 2012
WOMEN VOTED AGAINST WOMEN BISHOPS
Half of C. of E. Lay Women Vote No
The Guardian, UK
November 26th, 2012
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online -
What we give the poor,
we lend to the Lord.
- Sojourner Truth
"The dominant culture of civilization
is killing the planet, and it is long
past time for those of us who care about
life on earth to begin taking the actions
necessary to stop this culture from
destroying every living thing.
- Derrick Jensen from "Deep Green Resistance:
Strategy to Save the Planet"
It is as impossible for us to demonstrate the
existence of God as it would be for even
Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence
of Arthur Conan Doyle. All-wise. All-powerful.
God cannot be expressed but only experienced.
In the last analysis, you cannot pontificate but
can only point. A Christian is one who points at
Christ and says, "I can't prove a thing, but there's
something about his eyes and his voice. There's
something about the way he carries his head, his
hands. The way he carries his cross. The way he
- Frederick Buechner
In "Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC"
Nonviolent action on behalf of justice is
no automatic formula with promise of success:
but neither is war. After all, at least half
of the people who go to war for some cause
deemed worthy of it are defeated.
- John Howard Yoder
from "When War is
Sabbath observance invites us to stop.
It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice
that while we rest, the world continues
without our help. It invites us to delight
in the world's beauty and abundance.
- Wendell Berry
ON THIS DAY
From the archives of
The New York Times
IRAN CONTRA AFFAIR EXPOSED
Under President Reagan's Watch
PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITS N. IRELAND
First US Chief Executive to do so
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE PARTITIONED
U.N. General Assembly passed a
resolution calling for Palestine to be
partitioned between Arabs and Jews.
Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Thursday, November 29, 2012
General Assembly Grants Palestine
Upgraded Status in U.N.
More than 130 countries voted on Thursday
to grant Palestine the upgraded status of
nonmember observer state in the United
Nations, a stinging defeat for Israel and
the United States and a boost for President
Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority,
who was weakened by the recent eight days
of fighting in Gaza.
The new ranking could make it easier for the
Palestinians to pursue Israel in international
legal forums, but it remained unclear what
effect it would have on attaining what both
sides say they want a two-state solution.
Still, the vote offered a showcase for an
extraordinary international lineup of support
for the Palestinians and constituted a deeply
symbolic achievement for their cause, made
even weightier by arriving on the 65th
anniversary of the General Assembly vote
that divided the former British Mandate of
Palestine into two states, one Jewish and
the other Arab a vote that Israel considers
the international seal of approval for its birth.
CLOSING COMMENT -
Hildegard of Bingen
"I the fiery life of divine wisdom, I ignite
the beauty of the plains, I sparkle the waters,
I burn in the sun, the moon, and the stars.
With wisdom I order all rightly. Above all,
I determine truth."
Matthew Fox comments:
Hildegard identifies wisdom with the "fiery
life" that dwells in all things - not in a
passive way, but in a luminous way that infuses
all things with numinousness and beauty.
Have you experienced what Hildegard names?
In moments of natural beauty, do you see the
fiery life of wisdom at work? ordering things
rightly? How can you deepen that teaching,
that all things are ignited with wisdom?
Wisdom also brings order; wisdom honors the
whole and not just the part.