Vol. VIII No. 26
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.
I have a special book to introduce to you
this week. It is a colleague's autobiography
that is written in a creative way
"Making Anew My Home" is by Mathew Zachariah,
professor emeritus in the faculty of Education
at the University of Calgary. We have known
each other for twenty years and I remember
when we first met on campus.
Mathew and Soro Zachariah hail from Kerala
State, India but they have lived more of
their lives as Canadians than they lived
in their home country.
I hope you will enjoy my notice of this
unique study in cross-cultural identity.
This week I received a surprise email from
a person I had not communicated with in
more than forty years. Harold Sitahal is
a minister of the Presbyterian Church of
Trinidad and Grenada and a mutual friend
was responsible for connecting us. That
was a special treat I want to share with
Doug Shantz - wrote to graciously correct
me on how I interpreted the place of German
Pietism in German church history in last's
week's notice of his book. Thanks Doug.
This week we hear from Martin Marty,
"April Fools," Jim Taylor, "How You Can't
Get to Heaven," and Ron Rolheiser "Lucky
Sevens." These are three of our regular
columnists and our thanks to you.
"Americans Love the Bible" - while most
American homes contain an average of about
five Bibles each, few of them seem to be used
(Religious News Service)
"What's Happening in North Korea?" - what
is behind all the fearful bluster that
leaves even the Chinese frustrated?
(New York Times video report)
"Being Gay at Falwell's University" -
here is a school where sexual issues
are rather clear cut, and the resulting
affect on one student is shared below
"Sex Attacks Affect Indian Tourism" -
we have followed this story for many
months and it still causes headlines
(Uca News) http://tinyurl.com/bur6f6o
"Our Solar System - Stephen Hawking" -
here is an excellent, colorful video
that describes the birth of the universe
"Two Colour Photos from the Guardian" -
some excellent pictures are offered
for you post-Easter enjoyment
(The Guardian, UK)
"Carey Claims UK Christians Persecuted" -
the former conservative Archbishop of
Canterbury "Lord" Carey, issues his views,
along with others in Great Britain,
on the religious situation he observes
(The Tablet, UK)
"Montreal Church Takes a Novel Approach" -
an evangelical congregation in downtown
Montreal takes an interesting approach
to the inter-faith community around it
"Irish Skeptical About Prospects for Change"
- after a long stretch of difficult relations
with the Vatican, the Irish people seem to
be taking a jaundiced approach to current
papal developments (National Catholic Reporter)
"Five Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose from Dead"
- a professor from Liberty University in
Virginia wrote this article for readers of
the Washington Post last weekend.
"Bangladesh - Crackdown on Atheists Intensifies"
- it would appear that some countries take
as negative a view of atheists as they do of
Christians (Uca News)
Wisdom of the Week:
Provided by Sojourners online, we learn from -
Jürgen Moltmann, Flannery O'Connor, Maya Angelou,
Emmanuel Katongole and Garrison Keillor.
On this Day:
From the archives of the New York Times
and covering March 31st to April 6th:
Martin Luther King Slain in Memphis
US Approves Marshall Plan for Europe
Peary and Hensen Reach the North Pole
Closing Thought: Isabel Gibson
Our colleague completes a series of
twelve short reflections that were first
published on her blog site immediately
after Christmas. Thanks for your very
stimulating reflections, Isabel!
"The Gift of Doubt" - is her theme.
Post Easter is usually a slower time
for those who were heavily involved in
church activity over the last 6-7 weeks.
I wish you a good rest!
Our group of 26 spiritual travelers
departs for 17 days in Turkey within
about two weeks!
Marlene and I are happy to be part of
the co-host team with the Baileys of
Coquitlam, BC on this exciting venture!
Wayne's Study Programs:
ST. DAVID'S AND UNIVERSITY ACTIVITIES
As the Season Draws to a Close:
St. David's and ACTS Ministry -
Our Spiritual Travelers Tour for 2013
TURKEY AND THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH
THIS TOUR HAS 26 MEMBERS AND WILL
DEPART APRIL 23rd, 2013 (17 days)
Our major tour themes are: Classic Greek and Roman,
Early Christian, Muslim-Christian and the beautiful
scenery of the Mediterranean 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
The tour book will include reflection pages
with the itinerary as well as answers to many
Your tour hosts:
Marlene and Wayne Holst
OUR REMAINING SPRING 2013 STUDY PROGRAMS
AT ST.DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
"Wisdom in the Books of Song of Solomon
Thursday, January 17th - April 11th, 2013
THIS SERIES HAS TWO MORE SESSIONS!!.
All welcome. No cost.
THIS COURSE IS CONCLUDING!!
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 12th
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: 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.
Book Notice -
MAKING ANEW MY HOME
A Memoir, by Mathew Zachariah
Friesen Press, Victoria, BC
226 pages. March, 2013.
Hardcover, Softcover, E-Book
$23.CAD, $14.CAD, Kindle $2.94CAD
Mathew Zachariah (BA, BEd, MS in Educ, Ph.D)
was in the first wave of highly qualified
professionals (doctors, engineers, professors,
teachers) who came to Canada in the 1960s and
became Canadian citizens. This book — in part
family memoir, autobiography, poetry, reflections
on national and cultural history as well as
religious faiths and traditions — asks three
questions: How did Calgary in Canada become
his place in the universe? How has Canadian
attitudes and behaviors helped him become a
global citizen? What has he done in his life
as a teacher and professor in his adopted
In Mathew’s life, there were arduous hills to
climb, soothing valleys to rest in, stretches
of plains to walk warily and wearily in. Yet,
he also had many achievements. He describes
them with anecdotes, humorous incidents, recall
of sad events and separations, literary allusions,
reasoned opinions, descriptions of colorful
characters and places. Readers should find in
the pages of this book resonances of the
struggles and triumphs in their own lives —
whether they are native-born or immigrants —
while reconstituting their identities subtly
or obviously in the face of multifarious
The book should be of specific interest
to scholars and students in multicultural,
intercultural and identity studies. The
thematic organization of the book is evident
in a few of the chapter titles: Names, Naming
and Me, Arranged and Personal Choice Marriages,
My Christian Faith, The British Empire’s
Influence, Branching Out in America, Flowering
in Canada. This work reveals a unique and
original approach to writing an autobiography
that readers will relish.
Dr. Mathew Zachariah was born in India in 1935.
He spent part of his childhood in Miri, Borneo
where his father was an accountant with an oil
company. He returned to India with his mother
and younger brother in 1941 when a Japanese
invasion of Borneo was imminent. In Borneo, his
father suffered much during the war years and
died in 1946 after his return to India. In 1942,
Mathew was informally adopted by his maternal
relatives and raised as their son. In the early
1960s he came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar
for advanced post-secondary studies, and in 1966
accepted a position as assistant professor with
the Faculty of Education at the University of
Calgary (U of C). He became an associate professor
in 1969 and full professor in 1973. Dr. Zachariah
was the first Canadian to receive the Honorary
Fellow designation from the Comparative and
International Education Society (CIES) based in
the US. This honor recognizes his contribution
to the development of comparative and international
education, as well as the impact he has had on various
academic and professional organizations. He is also
the author or co-author of many academic works.
I am like my father and mother and millions of people
who were born and moved to several other places in the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The two most important themes that run through my
narrative are: What is my core identity after so many
changes? What is my national and cultural identity?
That is, where do I truly belong?
This book articulates and addresses such questions
for one individual who was born in India and grew
up in Miri, Borneo the first six years of his life;
and moved around a number of times, principally in
three countries: India, the United States and Canada.
This book has been long in the writing... a letter
from my father while still in Borneo... taught me
the value of leaving behind a documentary testament
to one's life... my story is presented in terms of
certain large themes. The overarching theme is how,
like millions of people who move from country to
country, I have had to adapt and reinvent myself
in significant ways several times.
This book is addressed to readers primarily outside
India although I hope readers of Kerala and India
origin will find resonances here... much of what
follows is based on my memory and records in my
files that have jogged my memory...
Despite my failings, I hope this memoir is
instructive and entertaining.
- from the Preface
- Zen Proverb (stone carving found
in the Arboretum of the University
of Guelph, 07 June 2007)
Of all the books for which I have
provided notices or reviews over the
years, (and there are at least eight
hundred of them) this book is the one
I have known the best.
The reason for this is that I was
given the opportunity by its author
to edit it, and I read every word
and phrase, every sentence and
paragraph, as well as every chapter
to view it in terms of specific
ideas and ideas set within the
larger whole of the presentation.
I identified with many experiences
the author presented, even though
he was born and raised on the other
side of the globe. The reason I
frequently identified, I suspect,
is that we share many traits of
character and we were both raised in
places where British colonialism was
still quite influential.
The author was Indian and I, Canadian,
but we shared the experiences of
moving around the world, especially
in our earlier years. We gained much
from this international experience
that we have been able to put to good
use during the course of our most
productive years and our varying careers.
'Identity' is a big factor in the lives
of people. and it is particularly true
of those who have invested their lives
in various locales. Both of us regret
certain aspects of our earlier lives
and relationships, and both of us know
the value of a good marriage and family.
The promo on the back cover of the book
suggests that is should be of particular
interest to scholars and students in
multicultural, intercultural and identity
studies. I would suggest that this volume
should interest many others. For example -
we live in a world where Bollywood movies
have become about as popular as those
produced in Hollywood. Here is the story
of a person who began to forge links
between two very different parts of the
world before the era of current movies.
As I walk the campus of my university,
I cannot tell if the two young women
behind me, speaking with animation,
were born in India or Canada. They are
part of a global culture that might
see them ski in the Rockies one season,
and visit with family at the Taj Mahal
during the next season.
Mathew came to America, then permanently
to Canada, a half century ago. At that
time, the intercultural challenges were
much more significant. But it is because
of people like Mathew and his wife Soro
that what were once huge barriers have
become intriguing challenges.
The chapters of the book follow a kind
of personal development cycle, rather
than a chronological narrative. For
example the author begins with a chapter
on "Names, Naming and Me," and he builds
an interesting theme around the fact that
his name is spelled with one "t", not two.
A most interesting chapter compares
arranged and personal choice marriages,
and in a special way, the author can
speak with authority about both forms.
Mathew is very forthright about his
Christian faith. It is worth noting
that even though he was born in India,
the tradition of Christianity from
which he emerged is much more ancient
than the Protestantism I have inherited.
He writes of the British Empire's influence
and both of us can attest to a kind of
love/hate relationship with that. He
was Indian and I was of Irish and German
"Branching Out in America" and "Flowering
in Canada" reflect experiences both of us
share in our own particular ways.
Both of us are proud of our accomplishments
but both of us are only too aware of our
foibles and the fact that any good we
may offer the world has come as a result
of great friends and a family that just
seemed to be there for us when we needed
Perhaps from this 'overly personal'
kind of book notice, you the reader
might gather that I share a great
deal of respect for the author, and
you would be right.
I think this book will strike a chord
in your heart too, if you were to decide
to read it.
Buy the Book:
Friesen (hard and softcover editions):
Amazon Hard and softcover editions):
Amazon.ca Kindle Edition:
April 5th, 2013
It was good to receive news about you from
a mutual acquaintance, Mr.Sammy. I see you
are part of a Faith & Spirituality programme
(at the University of Calgary) How is that
doing? I recently obtained a Kindle copy
of Barbara Rossing's book *The Rapture Exposed.*
Very good reading. I intend to do a review for
our church magazine, *The Trinidad Presbyterian*.
You may remember Dr. Dale Bisnauth of Guyana.
He passed away yesterday.
All the best to you and family,
March 31st, 2013
Thanks for including the notice of my book on
German Pietism. There is a little confusion here,
Pietism is post-Reformation: 17th and 18th centuries.
There is no such thing as late-medieval German Pietism.
Pietism is early modern Protestantism, contemporary with
the early Enlightenment and early modern science.
Just to clarify. Thanks.
I guess I was confusing Pietism with late-medieval
mysticism which influenced reformers like Luther.
Thanks for the clarification.
April 1st, 2013
Personal Web Log
April 4th, 2013
"How You Can't Get to Heaven"
San Antonio TX
AMERICANS LOVE THE BIBLE
But They Don't Read It Much
Religious News Service
April 4th, 2013
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN NORTH KOREA?
Bluster or Something to Fear?
New York Times News Video
April 4th, 2013
BEING GAY AT FALWELL'S UNIVERSITY
This is Not Your Typical School
April 5th, 2013
SEX ATTACKS AFFECT INDIAN TOURISM
Twenty-Five Percent Drop
Thirty-Five Percent for Women
April 4th, 2013
OUR SOLAR SYSTEM - STEPHEN HAWKING
Youtube Video Tells Birth Story of
"The Place We Call Home"
TWO COLOR PHOTOS FROM THE GUARDIAN
Easter Sights Caught by the Camera
SUNRISE SERVICE IN US
People Silhouetted Against Dawn Sky
GRASSHOPPER LEAVES OLD SELF BEHIND
Walks Away from Old Skin
Pictures from The Guardian, UK
CAREY CLAIMS UK CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED
Once Dominant Faith Now a Minority
The Tablet, UK - An Editorial
April 4th, 2013
MONTREAL CHURCH TAKES NOVEL APPROACH
Unusual Downtown Evangelical Congregation
March 27th, 2013
IRISH SKEPTICAL ABOUT PROSPECTS FOR CHANGE
Reformers See Little Vatican Stance Change
National Catholic Reporter
April 4th, 2013
FIVE REASONS TO BELIEVE JESUS ROSE FROM DEAD
Conservative Christian Take on Resurrection
March 31st, 2013
BANGLADESH - CRACKDOWN ON ATHEISTS INTENSIFIES
March 27th, 2013
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online -
God weeps with us so that we
may one day laugh with [God].
- Jürgen Moltmann
A story is a way to say something that
can’t be said any other way, and it
takes every word in the story to say
what the meaning is.
- Flannery O'Connor
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps
hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls
to arrive at its destination full of hope.
- Maya Angelou
Mary represents the 'rebel consciousness'
that is essential to Jesus' gospel. Wherever
the gospel is preached, we must remember that
its good news will make you crazy. Jesus will
put you at odds with the economic and political
systems of our world. This gospel will force you
to act, interrupting the world as it is in ways
that make even pious people indignant.
- Emmanuel Katongole
Some people think it is difficult to be
a Christian and to laugh, but I think it's
the other way around. God writes a lot of
comedy, it's just that he has so many bad
- Garrison Keillor
ON THIS DAY
From the Archivss
of the New York Times
For Period April 1st-6th:
MARTIN LUTHER KING SLAIN IN MEMPHIS
US APPROVES MARSHALL PLAN FOR EUROPE
PEARY AND HENSEN REACH NORTH POLE
CLOSING THOUGHT - Isabel Gibson
The Gift of Doubt
"Doubt is not an agreeable condition,
but certainty is a deplorable one."
Balancing the gift of faith is the gift
of doubt. Questioning what we read, see,
and hear. Challenging authority.
Thinking for ourselves. Tiring for the
doubter, perhaps; tiresome for others,
almost certainly! Yet if we never doubt,
we bestow faith where it is not warranted:
in apocalyptic predictions, in figures with
only charisma to recommend them, in wacky
religions and diets, in sappy internet
stories. In this season, maybe Santa Claus
offers us a clue on how to hold faith and
doubt in creative tension: believing in the
principle of giving without measure, and yet
not believing that there is an archetype who
personifies the principle.
Check out Isabel's Blog "Traditional Iconoclast"