GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
"Quicklinks" are included with many items.
Otherwise, scroll down to find your selection
in the body of the blog.
Summer in Calgary can be a wonderful
experience with many festivals and
other events in town or within short driving
distances. In spite of our disastrous
flood in June, we have much for which
to be grateful in this part of Canada.
On the subject of the flood, I am happy
to inform you that Michael Trew, a
colleague and fellow-member of
St. David's Church was recently named
Chief Mental Health Officer Responsible
for Flood Victims. A professional
psychiatrist, Mike has been given a
very important task - supporting the
return to mental health for many of
those who were affected by the
disaster. That includes people from
many parts of Southern Alberta,
not just Calgary.
We congratulate you, Mike!
Read these announcements:
My special item this week follows on the
idea of good local festivals to attend.
Marlene and I visited the opening performance
of "The Canadian Badlands Passion Play"
and this issue of Colleagues List contains
a reflection on that experience.
There is still time to go to Drumheller!
(at least for some of you.)
This week, longtime colleague and friend
Don Snazrude,of Canmore, Alberta (at
the gates of Banff National Park, which is
one of our frequent year-round destinations)
shares his thoughts with us.
This week we hear from -
Philip Jenkins, who talks of Armenian Christians
Beth Porter, interviews Ruth Paterson of Ulster
Jim Taylor, reflects on flooding in Canada
Ron Rolheiser, discusses our comfort obsession
Erich Weingartner, closes a chapter of his life
(read part of his Cankor farewell letter, below)
Thanks to all of you.
"Photos of Ramadan 2013" - a special collection
of Islamic events from around the world
(The Atlantic Online)
"Egypt Today on Knife Edge" - good material
on happenings there (The Tablet, UK)
"A Concise History of the Arabs" - a book on
people we in the West need to come to know
a lot better than we have (The Tablet, UK)
"Ireland Approves an Abortion Bill" - this
development is predictable and the Irish
seem to be approaching the issue carefully
(USA Today, The Guardian, UK)
"The Calgary Stampede this Year" - here
is a visual telling of how Calgary is finding
its way back, after a serious disaster
(CBC National News, Calgary Herald)
"Pakistani Police Acquit Themselves" -
this troubled land continues to hide its
flaws, a sure sign of on-going troubles
(UCA News) http://tinyurl.com/kfldfuu
"Joint Church Assembly a Milestone" -
last weekend, Canadian Lutherans and
Anglicans completed a historic joint
assembly of their churches, in Ottawa
(Ottawa Citizen, Anglican Journal)
"Primate Offers Prayers to Lac-Megantic" -
Canada's Anglican leader extends the
concern of his church to the victims of
of a serious rail disaster in the Eastern
Townships of Quebec (Anglican Journal)
"Vatican Bank Director, V-Director, Resign" -
more woes for Pope Francis, but he seems
to be taking the right approach to a mess
(Catholic News Agency)
"Francis Enacts Sweeping Justice Reforms" -
here is more on this and other bad press
with hope from Rome this past week
(Vatican Insider) http://tinyurl.com/lznmahy
Wisdom of the Week:
Provided by Sojourners Online -
Soren Kierkegaard, St. Augustine,
William Faulkner, Irenaeus of Lyon,
John Howard Yoder, Dag Hammarskjold,
Wendell Berry, Elie Wiesel, Dorothy Day
and Paul Tillich share insights with us.
On This Day:
From the archives of the New York Times
Hong Kong Reverts to Chinese Rule
The Battle of Britain Begins
Closing Thought: On dying and living
is offered from an anonymous source
Blessings to you.
I'll be back in two weeks,
MY AUTUMN PROGRAMS AT
THE CHURCH AND UNIVERSITY
FALL MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
ST. DAVID'S UNITED CHURCH
"Immortal Diamond - The Search
for the True Self" by Richard Rohr
Description of the Book:
Mondays, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
September 16th - November 5th, 2013
Team Taught With Jock McTavish
Books on sale at the church Sunday, August 26th
Registration, Hospitality and Book - $50.00
Book only - $20.
FALL TUESDAY NIGHT UNIVERSITY COURSE
"Heresies and Heretics" -
Discovering Early Church Controversies
by Bart Ehrmann
Tuesday, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
September 24th - December 3rd, 2013
(no class, October 7th)
Description and Registration Info:
Jock McTavish offers two video sessions
to complement the series
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.
THE CANADIAN BADLANDS PASSION PLAY
Reflections on a Unique Presentation
This week Marlene and I attended the Canadian
Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller, Alberta.
In 2013, the drama runs nine times from July 10th
through July 21st and we saw it on the first night.
This was the play's twentieth season on this
site. I attended once previously during the mid-
nineties, and it is good to report that this
passion play keeps improving with age and
experience. On-line preparation and follow-up
documentation is thorough and professionally done.
The production keeps benefiting from the support of
professional groups and thousands of volunteers in
Alberta and beyond.
Special mention should be made of Laverne Erickson,
the founder of the nearby Rosebud Theatre and
the Rosebud Theatre of the Arts. In 1990, he drew
together a group of serious planners and has
continued to do so with growing success. Erickson
was recognized on opening night and his
accomplishments are many.
The Canadian Badlands Passion Play has now passed
its one hundredth performance and still appears to
be going strong with people of all ages involved.
http://canadianpassionplay.com/(cut and paste this link to your browser)
To gain a broader understanding of the passion play
as a historical phenomenon, I found this wikipedia
article to be helpful:
I also found it interesting that passion plays have
been popular n Europe for centuries and are today
global in expression.
The story of the suffering and death of Jesus is
very popular, and not confined to Christian
Early in the twentieth century the play came to North
America and it's most popular expression took place
in the Black Hills Badlands of South Dakota:
After a run of many decades, the passion play of
the Black Hills had its final season in 2008.
Millions of people attended the plays there over
The classic passion play is, of course, located
in Oberammergau, Bavaria, South Germany:
This event runs every decade and has taken place
for well over three centuries. It is worthwhile to
visit Oberammergau - even during the off-season
years as Marlene and I have - because much can
be learned about the context within which this play
has emerged. It is indeed a major global cultural
and spiritual event and many tour groups visit
here -especially during the first year of every
decade.The next theater season will be in 2020.
Our Experience at the Canadian Badlands Play
(excerpted from my journal)
The text used for the performance was established
several years ago and has proven to be popular.
It is essentially the Gospel of John with some
embellishment for the sake of clarity and nuance.
John, an actor, served as narrator for the story
and his lines were quite true to the original.
In most cases, the music was sung by the actors
themselves as they performed their parts and a
separate choir was not needed.
A most beautiful Alberta summer evening. It was
bright and warm, and when the sun began to hide
behind the natural amphitheater it was pleasantly
cool for the second half of the total three hour
The anti-Jewish bias, heavily influencing the
Johannine narrative, was toned down - and while
"The Jews" were personified mainly by "The Jewish
Leaders" who stirred up the people against Jesus -
much was done to "include" the audience among the
Actors appeared throughout the stands and this
demonstrated profoundly that humanity in all
time was included in the calls for Jesus' death;
not only the Jewish people of the time.
This was well-choreographed and the hundreds of
volunteer members of "the crowd" among us were
dressed in authentic styles reflecting Jewish
culture back then.
Both of us were quite emotional at the dramatic
end when a multitude of angels appeared on the
theater's encircling hills with sunlight still
reflected behind them.
This was a beautiful theatrical ending in a
natural environment to a gripping story that
encompassed a lot and moved quickly.
The event is well worth attending, in spite
of the long drives for many who came. Our trip
home to Calgary took 90 minutes but many drove
For us, that evening in the Badlands was a
world away and a special spiritual experience.
Still find your blog interesting and it so
refreshes my soul. May this email find
you in good health and say hello to Marlene
University Park, PA
The Christian Century
June 6th, 2013
Richmond Hill, ON.
A Human Future
"Interview With Rev. Ruth Patterson"
Personal Web Log
June 30th, 2013
Don't Call Them Acts of God
San Antonio TX
Personal Web Site
July 7th, 2013
"An Addiction to Comfort"
July 9th, 2013
"The End is at Hand"
All good things must come to an end. But it
seems that bad things tend to stick around
a lot longer. Sixty years after the signing
of the Korean Armistice Agreement,the Korean
War still claims victims to this very day.
Divided families, escalating militarism,
regional insecurities and violence in word
and deed have become a generational legacy,
perpetuating human suffering and casting a
dark shadow on the future of Korea, the
region and the wider world community...
But even good things have only a limited
shelf life. In advance of my 70th birthday
last December, I announced to the CanKor
Brain Trust my intentionto retire as Editor-
in-Chief. We considered a number of options.
Given various factors (limited resources and
capacities, availability of other information
sources, disinterest on the part of government
and educational institutions) the prevailing—if
reluctant—conclusion was that CanKor should be
laid to rest in a dignified fashion.
My intended retirement date was postponed
because of a renewed crisis on the Korean
Peninsula early this year. A satellite launch,
nuclear test and the belligerent escalation
of threats and counter-threats led even sober
analysts to voice fears of an accidental war
that appeared more likely than it had been in
the previous two decades. CanKor was inundated
by calls from the media. Numerous members of
the CanKor Brain Trust were interviewed by
media across the globe. It seemed a most
inauspicious time to close the doors on CanKor.
So we continued to post articles on our website,
receiving more "hits" and accolades than ever
Perhaps it is fitting that we close CanKor at
the height of its popularity. Every project
should have a best-by date, and ours is the
60th anniversary of the Korean Armistice
Agreement: 27 July 2013...
With best wishes,
PHOTOS OF RAMADAN
The Atlantic Online
July 10th, 2013
EGYPT TODAY ON A KNIFE EDGE
A Review of What's Happening
The Tablet, UK
July 13th, 2013
A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE ARABS
Learning More About a Different People
The Tablet, UK
July 13th, 2013
IRELAND APPROVES ABORTION BILL
Historic Shift in National Politics
July 11th, 2013
The Guardian, UK
July 12th, 2013
THE CALGARY STAMPEDE THIS YEAR
Miracle of Sorts - Much Human Effort Too
CBC - The National (Visual)
July 5th, 2013
"Local Initiatives Raise Big Money"
July 9th, 2013
PAKISTANI POLICE ACQUIT THEMSELVES
Rationalize the Death of a Christian Youth
July 12th, 2013
JOINT CHURCH ASSEMBLY A MILESTONE
Anglicans, Lutherans Hold Joint Ottawa Conclave
July 2nd, 2013
"The Road to Waterloo"
July 2nd, 2013
PRIMATE OFFERS PRAYERS TO LAC-MEGANTIC
Anglican Leader Shares Concern Over Rail Tragedy
July 10th, 2013
VATICAN BANK DIRECTOR, V-DIRECTOR RESIGN
Corruption Surfaces at Highest Level
Catholic News Agency, Rome
July 1st, 2013
FRANCIS ENACTS SWEEPING JUSTICE REFORMS
Vatican Laws Will Protect Children, Penalize Graft
July 12th, 2013
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online -
The first form of rulers in the world were the tyrants,
the last will be the martyrs. Between a tyrant and a
martyr there is of course an enormous difference,
although they both have one thing in common: the
power to compel. The tyrant, himself ambitious to
dominate, compels people through his power; the
martyr, himself unconditionally obedient to God,
compels others through his suffering. The tyrant
dies and his rule is over; the martyr dies and his
- Soren Kierkegaard
The way to Christ is first through humility, second
through humility, third through humility. If humility
does not precede and accompany and follow every
good work we do, if it is not before us to focus on,
if it is not beside us to lean upon, if it is not behind
us to fence us in, pride will wrench from our hand
any good deed we do at the very moment we do it.
- St. Augustine
We must be free not because we claim freedom
but because we practice it.
- William Faulkner
The church has been planted as a paradise
in this world.
- Irenaeus of Lyon
The work of God is the calling of a people, whether in the
Old Covenant or the New. The church is then not simply
the bearer of the message of reconciliation, in the way a
newspaper or a telephone company can bear any message
with which it is entrusted. Nor is the church simply the result
of a message, as an alumni association is the product of a
school or the crowds in a theater are the product of the
reputation of the film. That men and women are called
together to a new social wholeness is itself the work of
God, which gives meaning to history.
- John Howard Yoder
In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes
through the world of action.
- Dag Hammarskjold
As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the
motion of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the
false trail, the way you didn't go. Be like the fox who makes
more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction.
- Wendell Berry
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
- Elie Wiesel
An individual can march for peace or vote for peace and
can have, perhaps, some small influence on global concerns.
But the same individual is a giant in the eyes of a child at
home. If peace is to be built, it must start with the individual.
It is built brick by brick.
- Dorothy Day
The first duty of love is to listen.
- Paul Tillich
ON THIS DAY
HONG KONG REVERTS TO CHINESE RULE
THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN BEGINS
You can always die. It's living that takes real courage.