Saturday, August 30, 2014

Colleagues List, August 31st, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 5




Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog. 

Note that not all items here have links.


Dear Friends:

I now begin my fall schedule of weekly
Colleagues List mailings and hope you
will enjoy them.

My Special Item this week is a book notice
for the two volumes we will be using for
our Monday Night Study Series at St. David's
Calgary this fall.

Our focus will be on Native Spirituality -

"A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul (and)

"Medicine Walk" by Richard Wagamese

Scroll down to read my thoughts on these books


Colleague Contributions - this week are from:

Lorna Dueck (Toronto ON)
"Christianity and the Good Death"

Jim Taylor (Okanagan BC)
"Old Prejudices Die Hard"

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio TX)
"Fearing Our Own Maturity"


Net Notes -

"Evangelical Essentials" - what does
an evangelical Christian believe?
Here are the basics (Evangelical
Fellowship of Canada website)

"Seamus Heaney Reads Poetry" -
a year ago this week, the famous
Irish poet died, and we missed noting
that then - now we compensate
(Englewood Review of Books)

"Dominicans Want Local Justice" -
the papal ambassador (nuncio) to
the Dominican Republic has been
charged with sexual abuse, but will
the Vatican move go protect him?
(New York Times, Global Catholic News)

"Photos of the Week August 24-29" -
an interesting potpourri of global news
and human interest events this week
(The Atlantic Online)

"Where Do the World Religions Live?" -
a helpful comparison of where each of 
the great faiths have their centres
(Pew Research Center)

"Seen on the Ground in Israel and Gaza" -
a helpful exposure to what is actually
happening now in the Holy Land
(New York Times text and photos)

"Seattle Megachurch Pastor Steps Aside" -
another story in the continuing saga
of the hubris and demise of big box
church leaders (Religion News Service)

"Anti-Gay Law is Struck Down in Uganda" -
perhaps second thoughts on the gay issue
are indeed possible on the African continent
(America Magazine)

"Jordan's Christians, Muslims Stand Together"
- a good news story of interfaith solidarity
in the Middle East (The Tablet, UK)

"China Broadens Crackdown on Missionaries"
- an extensive and well-documented story
on the current persecution of Christians in
China from the secular press perspective
(The Globe and Mail)


Wisdom of the Week - comes to us courtesy
of Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:

Oscar Arias Sánchez, Jane Addams,
Anne Lamott, Mairead Corrigan,
Oscar Romero and Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Scroll down to read these quotes.


On This Day -

from the archives of the
New York Times -

"Allies Liberate Paris from Nazis"

"MLK Gives "I Have a Dream" Speech"

"Communist Party Suspended in Russia"


Closing Thought - Eleanor Roosevelt

To read this, please scroll down.


If you celebrate Labour Day in your part
of the world, I hope you will reflect on
the spiritual value and meaning of human
labour as I will here in Canada.



Fall 2014 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
Church with university studies to come.


Book Notices

by John Ralston Saul
Penguin Canada, 2009
Paper. 342 pages. $20. CAD
ISBN #978-0-14-316842-3

Publisher's Promo:

In this startlingly original vision of Canada,
renowned thinker John Ralston Saul argues
that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily

influenced and shaped by Aboriginal ideas:
Egalitarianism, proper balance between
individual and group, and a penchant for
negotiation over violence are all Aboriginal
values that Canada absorbed. An obstacle
to our progress, Saul argues, is that Canada
has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial
non-intellectual business elite that doesn't
believe in Canada. It is critical that we
recognize these aspects of the country
in order to rethink it's future.


Review Comment:

In the first of three sections of this book,
"A Metis Civilization" Saul makes a strong,
if counterintuitive case that Canadian culture
owes more to its native roots than to the
European settlers and their Judeo-Christian
belief system. He even says that the idea of
multi-culturalism was alive and well centuries
ago among the First Nations, where communities
with different languages and traditions
co-operated with one another and lived

- Quill and Quire Literary Journal
   Dan Rowe

The goal of this book is to show that we are
not just different from the Americans, but
different in a way that matters, that makes
Canada distinct, coherent, necessary and
good... He claims we are far more aboriginal
than European, and our failure to recognize
this is what prevents us from becoming the
strong, confident and progressive country
that is our birthright... the First Nations
(are indeed) the founding pillar of our

We may disagree fundamentally with a lot
of what Saul is saying, but we have to admit
that he is saying it better than anyone else
in the country.

- Literary Review of Canada
   Andrew Potter


My Thoughts:

After several centuries of interpretation 
of our history and identity through both
Euro-Canadian and American lenses we
have something unique here - a book
that tells our story from the perspective
of our First Nations. Of course, we still
have a Euro-Canadian telling it, but the
time when native Canadians start writing
their perspectives for all to discover is
not far off. In fact, that time has come.

This is an important book to help
create for us (what we used to call) a
paradigm shift, or way of seeing things.

Saul is a public intellectual, and not one
with a mass following in Canada. Still,
he has gained a lot of respect for his
writing and more needs to be done to
translate his creative ideas into a
language that more of us understand.

Buy the book from


by Richard Wagamese
McClelland & Stewart, 2014.
Hardcover. 246 pages. $29.95 CAD
ISBN #978-0-7710-8918-3

Publisher's Promo:

A stunning new novel that has all the

timeless qualities of a classic, as it tells
the universal story of a father/son struggle
in a fresh, utterly memorable way, set in
dramatic landscape of the BC Interior.
For male and female readers equally, for
readers of Joseph Boyden, Cormac McCarthy,
Thomas King, Russell Banks and the general

Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father,
Eldon. He's sixteen years old and has had
the most fleeting of relationships with the
man. The rare moments they've shared
haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers
the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds
Eldon decimated after years of drinking,
dying of liver failure in a small town
flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him
into the mountains, so he may be buried
in the traditional Ojibway manner.

What ensues is a journey through the rugged
and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into
the past, as the two men push forward to
Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken
childhood, to the Korean War, and later the
derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates
both the desolate moments of his life and
a time of redemption and love and in doing
so offers Frank a history he has never known,
the father he has never had, and a connection
to himself he never expected.

 A novel about love, friendship, courage,
and the idea that the land has within it
powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals
the ultimate goodness of its characters
and offers a deeply moving and redemptive

Wagamese's writing soars and his insight and
compassion are matched by his special gift of
communicating these to the reader.


Review Comment:

In a recent conversation with Shelagh Rogers
and Joseph Boyden about storytelling as
redemption, Richard Wagamese spoke about
the role of stories in his life. Throughout his
writing career, first as a journalist and then
as a novelist, he said he’d sought clarity and
connection between native people and settlers.

"The story of Canada is the story of her

relationship with native people,” he said.
“If we lean over the back fence and share
part of that story with the person on the
other side of the fence, we bring each other

- Globe and Mail
   Christine Fischer Guy

Wagamese artfully blends North American
indigenous and Judeo-Christian religious
imagery to enrich a moving story about a
dying man's confession to his teenage son...

Wagamese transforms the dying father
into a kind of spiritual pilgrim, awakening to
his personal failures before death claims him...

The son plays the role of reluctant, skeptical
witness to this final act of conscience, and in
turn is forced to face his own bitterness at
his father's betrayal of him and (the others
who were forced to raise him when he
abandoned them.)

- Toronto Star
  James Grainger


My Thoughts:

Wagamese is an emerging Canadian writer
who speaks to all Canadians, and not only
those who have a particular interest in
native culture and spirituality.

He stands on the shoulders of several
First Nations and other Canadian writers
who have been part of a movement during 
the last half century to bring a sense
of universality to the field of Canadian

Wagamese's books reflect a high-
water mark in our nation's literary
accomplishments and he certainly
deserves an important place in any
future edition of such respected
resources as The Oxford Companion
to Canadian Literature.

But even more importantly, he deserves
an honoured place on the bookshelves
of many ordinary Canadians who are
just struggling to find their way in
an age of moral and spiritual confusion.

Here is native spirituality that connects
to all of us.

Buy the book from



Toronto, ON

Globe and Mail
August 28th, 2014

"Christianity and the Good Death"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
August 24th, 2014

"Old Prejudices Die Hard"


San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
August 25th, 2014

"Fearing Our Own Maturity"



Basic Themes Reposted

Evangelical Fellowship
of Canada Website
August, 2014


We Note One Year Since His Death

Englewood Review of Books
August 29th, 2014


West Indian Island Nation Claims
Rome Protecting Vatican Ambassador

New York Times
August 23rd 2014

"Vatican Declares Nuncio Not Immune"

EWTN Global Catholic News Network
August 24th, 2014


PHOTOS OF THE WEEK 08/24-08/29
Unique Pix from Around the World

The Atlantic Online
August 29th, 2014


Majorities of Each Exist in a Few Countries

Pew Research Center
August 27th, 2014


As Yet Another Ceasefire is Called

New York Times
August 29th, 2014
(Text and Photos)


Claims He Has Character,

Not Sexual, Problems

Religion News Service
August 24th, 2014


Nation Takes Steps to
Guarantee Human Rights

America Magazine
September 1st, 2014


Public Demonstration

of Mutual Support

The Tablet, UK
August 28th, 2014


Growing Efforts to Locate and

Remove Foreign Religious Influence

Globe and Mail
August 24th, 2014



"Peace is a never ending process...
It cannot ignore our differences or

overlook our common interests.

It requires us to work and live together."

- Oscar Arias Sánchez


"Social advance depends as much upon
the process through which it is secured
as upon the result itself."

- Jane Addams


It’s funny: I always imagined when I was
a kid that adults had some kind of inner
toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of
discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the
sandpaper of patience. But then when I
grew up I found that life handed you these
rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer,
conscience, honesty – and said “do the best
you can with these, they will have to do”.

And mostly, against all odds, they do.

- Anne Lamott


"Every day there are people in our world
that do absolutely amazing things. People
of all ages are very capable of doing
tremendous, courageous things in spite
of their fear."

- Mairead Corrigan


I don’t want to be an anti, against anybody.
I simply want to be the builder of a great
affirmation: the affirmation of God, who
loves us and who wants to save us.

- Oscar Romero


It is really so simple! The main thing is to
love your neighbor as yourself. Once you
do that, you will discover at once how
everything shall fall into place.

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky



From the archives of
the New York Times

August 24th-31st

Allies Liberate Paris from Nazis

MLK Gives "I Have a Dream" Speech

Communist Party Suspended in Russia



"The future belongs to those who
  believe in the beauty of their dreams."




Fall 2014 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's:

September 15th - November 24th
7-00-9:00PM TM Room
(Thanksgiving Day exempted)

"A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul

"Medicine Walk" by  Richard Wagamese

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

Registration, Books, Hospitality - $60.00
Books Only - $40.00

(now on sale in church lobby)


September 8th and December 1st
7:00-9:15PM TM Room
Sponsored by the Bible Study Group

"From Jesus to Christ" -
  How Jesus Became God
  A PBS Video Series
  (total of four hours in length)

  Hospitality and discussion

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

All welcome. Hospitality donation only


(Twelve Weeks)

September 18th - December 4th
10:00-11:00AM TM Room

"From Jesus to Christ II -
  A Study of the Book of Acts"

Led by Wayne Holst
No charge.


(Fall university studies to be announced)



No comments:

Post a Comment