Saturday, May 25, 2013

Colleagues List, May 26th, 2013

Vol VIII No. 31


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.


Dear Colleagues:

I am happy to note that my article
in last week's Colleagues List on
the highlights of our Turkey Tour
had received more than 600 internet
hits as of my writing this today.

It's great that people seem interested.

Special Item:

This week I am pleased to share notes
taken at the Calgary Wisdom Centre from
a lecture entitled:

"Fashion Me a Church " (Presentation One)
 by Colleague Herbert O'Driscoll

Thanks to colleagues Anna and Don at
St. Laurence Anglican, Calgary for
bringing Herb from Victoria to a city
where he has had a significant impact.
Hopefully, these colleagues will add
notes from subsequent talks given this
weekend to future Colleagues List issues.
I continue to find Herb very
stimulating, after 30 years of listening
to his presentations and sermons!


Colleague Contributions this week are from:

Harry Winter, Martin Marty, Ron Rolheiser
Lorna Dueck and Jim Taylor

My thanks to all of you!


Net Notes:

"Sticky Faith" - here are current
insights into congregational youth
ministry by an alert practitioner
(The Christian Century)

"My Bright Abyss" - this weekend
a new book is reviewed about 'faith
healing' that will reach a large
secular audience around the world
(New York Times Review of Books)

"Background Check" - as the new pope,
Francis I, settles into his new office -
two early books on his previous life
and influence appear (America Magazine)

"The Rule of Taize" - traditionally,
Christian communities would develop
'rules' to guide their live together.
Here is a look at a modern community
through its guidelines
(Englewood Review of Books)

"Heaven for Atheists?" - this
week I offer two articles on
a changing view of atheists
from a religious perspective
(Huffington Post Canada)

"'Til Faith Do Us Part'" - another
review that will be widely read
this week is on the impact of
interfaith marriage in America
(New York Times Review of Books)

"Saying "I Do" Without God" - many
June weddings are in the works and
still on the marriage theme, this
article deals with the creation of
new wedding liturgies for humanists
(Religious News Service)

"College to Operate Another Year" -
an Anglican  school of theology in
Saskatoon is facing survival difficulties.
A few months ago, the Lutheran School
of Theology there entered emergency mode
(Anglican Journal)

"Woolwich Provokes Anti-Muslim Feelings"
- in the wake of a gruesome UK killing
the general public is greatly upset by
the circumstances (The Telegraph, UK)


Wisdom of the Week - is offered by
the following:

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Bill Quigley
and Derrick Bell


On This Day:

Provided from the archives of the
New York Times:

Truman Doctrine Aids Greece and Turkey

First Trans-Atlantic Flight by Lindbergh

Scopes Indicted for Teaching Evolution


Closing Thought - Pope Francis I



Our New Fall Programs will be posted here
shortly, as they develop over the next months.


Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

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.



FASHION ME A CHURCH (Presentation One)
by Colleague Herbert O'Driscoll

Wisdom Centre,
St. Laurence Anglican Church, Calgary
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Octogenarian O'Driscoll is still a very
sharp and insightful presenter, in spite
of the fact he declared himself "in
the springtime of my senility."

Thanks to our colleagues at the Wisdom
Centre for bringing Herb to Calgary
this weekend.

This is the first of several presentations
he gave. We hope to publish notes from these
additional talks as they become available.

Each presentation included the congregational
singing of hymns or the musical contribution
of a backup group that contributed modern
songs from such artists as Lennon/McCartney
and Leonard Cohen. This helped to create
what O'Driscoll does best - integrating
the traditional with the contemporary.


In 1250 in Paris, Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
began to reintroduce Aristotelian philosophy
to the western world, helping to infuse
medieval Catholicism with the support
of classic thought via Arabic scholars who
had preserved Greek thinking during a low,
barbaric period in the history of Europe.

In 1687 at Cambridge, Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
published "Principles of Mathematics," - an
early signal of the advancing scientific age
that came into full flower during the European
enlightenment period that followed.
'Reason' was a strong theme in hymns that
were written during this time.

In 1738, after a profound spiritual experience
at Aldersgate, London, John Wesley (1707-1788)
initiated an evangelical revolution out of a
moribund Church of England - later known as
Methodism. His work emphasized the power of
personal, evangelical, experiential religion
and the opening of doors to new life for people.

All this leads us to ask in terms of our day:
"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?"
"Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"


We live in a time when we are forced to expand
our minds constantly. We live in a confusing moment
of being "pushed" forward by our culture.

Neuroscience is causing us to better come to
understand the wiring of our brains, but we
have a lot to learn about this.

We find ourselves at the juncture of both
dead ends and great possibilities. Which of
these will win out over the long term?

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote presciently:
"Our times are more powerful than our brains."

O'Driscoll then suggested a number of hunches
and meanings he has drawn from the following
modern developments, among others:

- the exponential growth of knowledge
- the recognition of new sub-atomic worlds
- the relational transformation of the sexes
- the increasing human ability to manipulate
  reality within and beyond itself.

One byproduct of all this is the loss of wonder
and awe in the lives of many people. Traditional
religion has been deeply affected, as has the
way it tends to work for many.

Why has this happened? The Enlightenment Project
has extracted the sacred from our culture and
relegated it to institutions. This has had
both positive and negative affects.

The institutionalization of life has led to
the growth of the sciences and the arts. But
the end result for religion is that, in the
minds of many moderns - "it doesn't matter much."

Still, surprisingly, the culture itself has
been developing a spirituality (spiritualities)
and new ways of seeing the world with awe, wonder
and mystery. We live in a time of instant
information, but also of new kinds of hymns.

Secularization is searching for new forms
of spirituality today. Margaret Sommerville
has said that environmentalism, for example,
is becoming a religion in our time.

The maddening contradiction of our era
is that while western culture has seen
religion as inadequate, it has begun to
develop new forms of religion for itself.


At the same time, another major global
phenomenon has been emerging.

Western culture is facing a great migration
today. This has not occurred to such an
extent since the 5th century barbarian
invasions of Italy.

Old religious traditions have revived
in the global South and East. This is
true for both Christianity and other
faiths. Modern secular assumptions are
being profoundly challenged by these

We live in a multicultural, multifaith era
supported by world-wide communications
and travel.

The West tends to view these emergenses
as "old, outdated cultures" but to those
who believe in them, it means much. In
the West, religion is private and personal.
In other parts of the world, it is very
openly expressive and public.

The great religions challenge secular
Christianity as they still do in places
like Turkey.

How will these revivals shape our global


Christian faith has resources to respond
to these challenges. Let's not isolate
ourselves in defensive postures. For
many in our world, Christian faith means
a great deal and will continue to do so.
Here are examples of this:

- the revival of Russian Orthodoxy
- the emergence of Christianity in China
- the massive growth of the church in Korea

Remember that all of the above places of
modern Christian emergence are scientific
cultures much like our own.

The question we need to ask now is this:
"Does modernism inevitably result in
secularization as we in the West view it?"


Here are signals of spiritual power in
the midst of our modern secular societies:

- Taize and Iona
- Pilgrimages
- Hospice movement
- Christian thinking linked to modern psychiatry
- Classical music
- Cosmology (pre and post-Hubble)

Where does Herb go for spiritual experiences today?

- an art galley
- a hospice
- a cathedral
- a planetariumm
- a park
- the theater, symphony and opera

These are places a Christian can find much
meaning and spiritual revitalization in
our time, O'Driscoll concluded.

(end of presentation one, more to follow)



St. Paul, MN

"Catholics Welcome Anglicans and Lutherans
 in the Spirit of Cardinal John Henry Newman


Chicago, Il.

May 20th, 2013

"Evangelicals Bring Christ to the Ivy League"


San Antonio TX

Personal Website
May 26th, 2013

"Our Fundamental Option"


Toronto, ON

Globe and Mail Panel
May 19th, 2013

"Faith as Cure for Terrorism?"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
May 22nd, 2013




What Keeps Kids Connected to Church?

The Christian Century
May 17th, 2013


Modern Faith Healing Story

New York Times Book Review
May 26th, 2014


Two Early Francis Books
America Magazine
June 3, 2013


Life in Community

Englewood Review of Books
May 24th, 2013


Pope Sparks Debate

Huffington Post Canada
May 22nd, 2013


Interfaith Marriage is Changing America

New York Times Book Review
May 26th, 2013


Humanist Weddings Increase

Religious News Service
May 17th, 2013


Emmanuel-St. Chad Find More Life

Anglican Journal
May 24th, 2013


Murder of Brit Stirs Deep UK Resentment

The Telegraph, UK
May 25th, 2013


Provided by Sojourners Online

I cannot say whether things will get better
if we change; what I can say is that they
must change if they are to get better.

- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg


Every good law or case you study was once a dream.
Every good law or case you study was dismissed as
impossible or impractical for decades before it
was enacted. Give your creative thoughts free reign,
for it is only in the hearts and dreams of people
seeking a better world that true social justice
has a chance.

- Bill Quigley


We live in a system that espouses merit,
equality, and a level playing field, but
exalts those with wealth, power, and
celebrity, however gained.

- Derrick Bell


Provided from the archives
of the New York Times
May 20th - 25th







Today, and it breaks my heart to say it,
finding a homeless person who has died of...
is not news. Today, the news is scandals,
that is news, but the many children who
don't have food — that's not news. This
is grave. We can't rest easy while things
are this way.


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