Vol. VIII No. 27
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
Canadian Anglicans Google Groups Web Site:
"Quicklinks" are included with many items.
Otherwise, scroll down to find your selection
in the body of the blog.
As my teaching term ends at the university
and the church I am turning my energies to
final preparation for our 26-member tour
Marlene and I look forward to co-hosting
this tour with Brenda and John Bailey of
Coquitlam, BC. As in the past, Rostad Tours
of Calgary is serving as our travel company.
I hope you will enjoy, and perhaps benefit,
from the following two reflections. They
represent considerable work, stretching
back more than a year:
"Turkey and the Early Christian Church"
Anticipating Our Tour of an Ancient Land
April 23rd - May 9th, 2013 (and)
"Personal Goals for the Turkey Tour"
Five Principles to Help Guide our Experience
Colleague Contributions this week are from:
Martin Marty (Chicago)- who contributes his
perspectives on "Seminaries and the Future"
(see also the Alban Institute article below
in Net Notes.) http://tinyurl.com/c8kcnx4
Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio) - who writes on a
big theme of his "Struggling With Secularity"
"Exit the Tigress" - Margaret Thatcher died
this week and I include two perspectives
from the UK (The Tablet and The Guardian)
"Does Jesus Really Love Me?" - here is an
interesting book, just coming out, and
written by a gay man who traveled the US
to interview people from a wide range of
churches on their views of GBLT today
(New York Times Review of Books)
"A Look Inside the Seminary" - a second
article this week (after Marty above) on
what is happening in seminaries today.
This is a US perspective (Alban Weekly)
"When God is Your Therapist" - some months
ago I introduced the book "When God Talks
Back" - a study of conservative Christianity
by T.M. Luhrmann. The focus of this article
is on seeing the Divine as a relationship,
not an explanation which I find most helpful
(New York Times) http://tinyurl.com/cfz85d8
"Seventh Day Adventists at 150" - this
modern denomination emerged out of American
apocalypic experience and I am grateful for
colleagues from this tradition. A Happy
Anniversary to you! (Religious News Service)
"Community Building on an Urban Scale" -
L'Arche Canada and colleague Beth Porter
of Richmond Hill, ON interviews Calgary
mayor Naheed Nenshi (A Human Future)
"Ingram Reflects on Storms of His Career" -
Michael Ingham steps down as Anglican
bishop of New Westminster BC this summer.
I include his comments and my review of
a book that featured him and three others
(Anglican Journal and AJ Archives)
"Mormon Leader Warns of Liberal Legislation"
- as the US moves toward normalizing gay
marriage, an LDS church leader speaks out
(Huffington Post Canada)
"Bishop Views Korean Threats as Desperation"
- a South Korean Catholic Bishop expresses
concern over the rantings and threats of the
North Korean leader (Catholic News Service)
Hard Questions Raised Re Francis in Argentina
- respected journalist, John L. Allen, traveled
to Argentina and Chile in search of the history
of the current pope, Francis I
(National Catholic Reporter)
Wisdom of the Week:
This week, thanks to Sojourners online,
we hear from -
Julian of Norwich, Henri J.M. Nouwen,
Clarence Jordan, Walter Brueggemann and
On this Day:
Provided from the archives of the
New York Times:
Pablo Picasso Dies in France at 91
Dodgers Secure Jackie Robinson from Montreal
Closing Thought: Karen Armstrong
I quote from her book -
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life"
I used her book this winter as a study
for the Faith and Spirituality Centre
at the University of Calgary
We've had a return of winter snow in
Calgary. I hope it won't last too long!
It makes the songbirds happy and adds
needed moisture to the soil.
Our New Fall Programs will be posted here
shortly, as they develop over the next months.
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (or) email@example.com
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.
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Anticipating Our Tour of an Ancient Land
The key themes of our tour are:
Ancient and Classic
Islamic and Interfaith Culture
ANCIENT AND CLASSIC
We are visiting a land that has known human
settlement for more than six thousand years
and we will encounter evidence of many layers
of this amazing fact.
Museums will display the story of ancient Hittite
peoples. Ruined cities like Troy and Canakkale
will offer reminders of Homer's "Iliad" and the
Temple of Artemis (known less precisely as
the Temple of Diana.)
To recognize the early cultural foundations
of biblical material with which we are familiar
and a lot of the history since that time helps
us to recognize there is much more to the
area we are visiting that what we may have
Jewish devotees from many parts of Asia
Minor (modern Turkey) were present on the
day of Pentecost (recorded in the book of
Acts.) They took their experiences home
Paul made three missionary journeys through
territory we are visiting. He would usually
begin at the local synagogue where people had
probably heard of Jesus before he arrived.
The Book of Revelation, written by John of
Patmos, was written to the "Seven Churches
of Asia" - Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum,
Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicia.
We will be visiting most of these locations,
even though we will mainly encounter ruins.
Of special interest is Ephesus, which is
important because both Paul and John of
Patmos were related to this city.
If we want to better understand the Jewish
roots of Christianity and the movement to
make Christian faith appealing to Gentiles,
foundational stories are to be found here.
ISLAMIC AND INTERFAITH CULTURE
We will be exposed to Muslim religion from
the day we arrive in Istanbul. Visits to
Hagia Sophia and the Blus Mosque in that
city will expose us to both the cultural
and interfaith traditions of Islamic Turkey.
When we visit the region of Cappadocia we
will discover ancient Jewish and Christian
communities, now largely replaced by those
who follow Mohammad as their major prophet.
In Koyna, we encounter the life and work of
the great Sufi master Rumi - probably the
most famous advocate of Islamic mysticism.
Rumi is a teacher for all faiths and the
Dervish orders we encounter in Koyna will
help us probe more deeply into why Rumi
is so important in the history of religion.
The glories of the natural world will be
The "Cotton Castle" of Pamukkale will expose
us to white travertine terraces (calcium
carbonate shelves,) pools and stalactites
which hug the ridge above town like a white
scar - created by the area's rich mineral
water which cools as it cascades over cliff
edges and deposits its calcium.
The Mediterranean Coast around Anatalya
is renowned for its beauty and we will
spend time enjoying the beaches there.
We complete our time in this lovely land
with a sobering visit to the Gallipoli
Memorial, a sad reminder of a place where
thousands of soldiers died during World
War I - "the war to end all wars."
Turkey has human, natural and historical
beauty. We hope to enjoy and make the most
of all three!
PERSONAL GOALS FOR THE TURKEY TOUR
Five Principles to Help Guide Our Experience
As part of our preparation for this trip, I have
developed five personal goals which may help to
guide our experience. These goals are open-ended.
Fellow-travelers may wish to build on them..
To do everything possible to make this a most
memorable experience for all participants.
Those on tour have already invested much of
themselves in preparation. We want to do all
that is humanly possible to assure everyone an
unforgettable travel experience which can be
looked back upon with much satisfaction.
To make the best use of the time, spiritual/
physical energy and financial outlay that
we will be investing in this pilgrimage.
Participants have known from the beginning
that this will be a 'busy' adventure and we
will be visiting many special sites and also
covering significant territory. That said,
we want people to feel that they have been
able to concentrate on good things. We hope
people will be inspired to 'go deeper' and to
'experience more' on this, and future travels.
To help everyone connect with the universal,
spiritual meanings of the places visited.
Some will find direct connections because of
classical. Christian and interfaith associations.
Others may find a lot of this totally new. All
can come into contact with meanings they
might not have otherwise thought possible.
We are visiting particular settings, but these
places hold timeless and universal value -
no matter what one's experience might be.
To encourage and enable everyone to have fun!
While there are serious aspects to this trip
there is also an opportunity for those involved
to get to know and enjoy each other's company
in special and unusual ways. Some on this trip
know each other personally, but there is also an
opportunity to make new and possibly lifelong
friends. Travel on a bus can be disconcerting.
It can also be very satisfying. Much benefit
can be derived from individual contributions
to our "Turkey Tour" - before, during and
following the trip itself.
To invest in the idea that ongoing spiritual
travel can be a most meaningful and satisfying
growth experience for everyone.
Building on what we learn this time, it should
be possible to offer other tours to other regions
- and to many other 'spiritual locations' –
around the world. Christians need to learn about
their history because it can enrich their faith.
They can also learn from people of other or no
faith. The world is full of places where we
can gain a rich exposure to ever-expanding
cultural experiences. In our rapidly changing
globe, to become more aware of human diversity
and similarity is no longer a luxury. It is
becoming a necessity.
Written to begin a reflection process -
Wayne Holst, April 5th, 2013
"Seminaries and the Future"
San Antonio, TX
"Struggling With Secularity"
EXIT THE TIGRESS
Margaret Thatcher Remembered
The Tablet (UK)
April 13th, 2013
"Influential But Divisive"
The Guardian, UK
April 8th, 2013
DOES JESUS REALLY LOVE ME?
A Study of Gayness and Religion
New York Times Book Review
April 14th, 2013
A LOOK INSIDE THE SEMINARY
An American Perspective --
Alban Weekly from the Alban Institute
April 14th, 2013
WHEN GOD IS YOUR THERAPIST
The Divine as Relationship,
The New York Times
April 14th, 2013
By the Author of
"When God Talks Back"
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS AT 150
Still Praying for Apocalypse
Religious News Service
April 10th, 2013
COMMUNITY BUILDING ON AN URBAN SCALE
Interview with Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi
"A Human Feature" - L'Arche Canada
Written by Colleague Beth Porter.
INGHAM REFLECTS ON STORMS OF HIS CAREER
Bishop of New Westminster to Retire
April 11th, 2013
"Sing A New Song"
Book on Four BC Bishops
A Review by Wayne Holst
in Anglican Journal (2006)
MORMON LEADER WARNS RE LIBERAL LEGISLATION
Expresses Concern Over Same Sex Marriage
Huffington Post Canada
April 9th, 2013
BISHOP VIEWS KOREAN THREATS AS DESPERATION
Korean Catholic Leader Concerned
Catholic News Service
April 11th, 2013
HARD QUESTIONS RAISED RE FRANCIS IN ARGENTINA
Record of the Current Pope is Clearer Now
National Catholic Reporter
April 12th, 2013
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online -
I have often wondered why, through the
great prescient wisdom of God, the beginning
of sin was not prevented. For then it seemed
to me that would have been well. ... But
Jesus answered me with these words and said:
Sin is necessary, but all will be well,
and all will be well, and every kind of
thing will be well.
- Julian of Norwich
Our faithfulness will depend on our
willingness to go where there is brokenness,
loneliness, and human need. If the church
has a future it is a future with the poor
in whatever form.
- Henri J.M. Nouwen
The resurrection of Jesus was simply God's
unwillingness to take our 'no' for an answer.
He raised Jesus, not as an invitation to us to
come to heaven when we die, but as a declaration
that he himself has now established permanent,
eternal residence here on earth. He is standing
beside us, strengthening us in this life. 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 with him.
- Clarence Jordan
Clearly, if 'no other god' has any real power and,
therefore, any real, substantive existence, it is
grossly inappropriate that Israel should invest
such an object with ultimacy. The [Hebrew] word...
however, need not be rendered 'idol.' It is more
properly rendered 'image,' a visible representation
of Yahweh. The temptation, then, is not the creation
of a rival that detracts from Yahweh, but an attempt
to locate and thereby domesticate Yahweh in a visible,
controlled object. This latter reading, which is the
more probable, is also more subtle. It does not fear
a rival but a distortion of Yahweh's free character
by an attempt to locate Yahweh and so diminish
something of Yahweh's terrible freedom.
- Walter Brueggemann
I do not tire of telling everyone, especially young
people who long for their people's liberation, that
I admire their social and political sensitivity,
but it saddens me when they waste it by going on
ways that are false. Let us, too, all take notice
that the great leader of our liberation is the Lord's
Anointed One, who comes to announce good news to the
poor, to give freedom to the captives, to give news
of the missing, to give joy to so many homes in
mourning, so that society may be renewed as in the
sabbatical years of Israel.
- Archbishop Oscar Romero
ON THIS DAY
From the Archivss
of the New York Times
For Period April 7th - 13th:
PABLO PICASSO DIES IN FRANCE AT 91
Painter Famous for Groundbreaking Art
DODGERS SECURE JACKIE ROBINSON FROM MONTREAL
First Black Major League Player
CLOSING THOUGHT - Karen Armstrong
"The attempt to become a compassionate
human being is a lifelong project. It
is not achieved in an hour or a day -
or even in twelve steps. It will last
until our dying hour. Nearly every day
we will fail (but) we must pick ourselves
up and start again...
Compassion is possible, and... even in
our conflicted world some people have
achieved heroic levels of empathy,
forgiveness, and "concern for everybody."
... if we persevere, we can be a force
for good in the world.
- from "The Last Word" of the book
"Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life"