GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site:
Enhancing your reading experience is very
important to me. I am currently involved in
up-grading the layout and presentation of
Colleagues List, so please bear with me.
I am attempting to reduce the length, but
not the content and quality, of each issue.
Please let me know how I'm doing.
This is the first of bi-weekly Colleagues
List appearances through August.
This issue begins with an article colleague
Doug Koop wrote on medical aid in dying
from a spiritual perspective - which is
now very much part of his ministry in
Winnipeg. His article appeared recently
in the Free Press. Thanks, Doug.
My special item this week is a book notice
entitled: "A Light to the Nations - The
Indian Perspective on the Ecumenical
Movement in the Twentieth Century"
and was suggested to me some months
ago by colleague Mathew Zachariah.
Jim Taylor and Ron Rolhesier share
their recent web-columns with us.
Net Notes - contains eleven links to
stories that got my attention these
past two weeks.
Seven wise sayings form my current
Wisdom of the Week selections.
Seven history-making news items
come to us via the New York Times.
Closing Thought - is by Langston Hughes.
Much of this week's issue was created
while Marlene and I visited family in
Northern Alberta. Soon, a piece I wrote
on birds we encountered there in all their
glory, should appear on these pages.
Have a good week!
May 30th, 2016
The Winnipeg Free Press published an
article of mine last Thursday, discussing
medical aid in dying from a spiritual care
perspective and it's now available on my
friend John Longhurst's blog site.
Feel free to use in your Colleague's List
if it meets your criteria.
"Time to Face the Facts of Death"
Winnipeg Free Press
May 28th, 2016
Book Notice -
A LIGHT TO THE NATIONS
The Indian Presence in the
Ecumenical Movement in the
Edited by Jesudas M. Athyal
World Council of Churches, 2016
Paperback. 244 pages. $32.00 CAD
Long needed, this volume discusses some
of the most important people, movements
and institutions of Indian origin that were
trend-setters and even decisive in the
Profiles of the lives and especially the work
of key leaders from the Indian subcontinent,
from V. S. Azariah at the 1910 Edinburgh
gathering to Ninan Koshy's leadership of
the Commission on International Affairs,
offer insight not just to the Indian contexts
that informed them but also the new
dynamics at work in the global movement.
As the ecumenical movement enters its
second century, it is plain that the role of
Indian thinkers and church persons has
been instrumental in decentering and
decolonizing ecumenism, enabling the
movement to confront and address its
Western and colonialist roots.
As Athyal observes in his substantive and
truly informative introductory essay, it is a
story that touches all aspects of the rapidly
changing shape of world Christianity.
Jesudas M. Athyal is Visiting Researcher at
Boston University School of Theology, Boston,
USA. He was earlier Associate Professor of
Social Analysis and Dalit Theology at Gurukul
Lutheran Theological College, Chennai. India
It would be a great mistake to think that this
book, which is about leaders in the church in
India, is only for Indian Christians. Anyone
who cares about the mission and unity of the
church will find much to reflect on in these
In many respects, the ten individuals profiled
in this book are very different. Some are
Protestant, others Orthodox; some have written
prolifically, others very little... and yet readers
will likely be struck by the commonalities that
emerge from these very individual lives.
(They were all engaged locally, but they also
had a global vision. They were all committed
to the reformation of the Indian church as
well as to Indian society.)
Readers will see an integration of themes -
unity and mission, social justice and evangelism,
spirituality and social action, education and
worship... Interfaith relations is not, for them,
an alternative to a passionate commitment to
Christ, bur an authentic expression of it...
Ecumenism in South Asia was a protest,
initiated by Indian Christians, against
the imported pattern of denominational
fragmentation and missionary paternalism...
The ecumenical movement was, and is,
extensively shaped by Indians from the
Indian sub-continent... I was continually
inspired by what God has done in the lives
of leaders from another part of the church,
even as I was helped in new ways about
my commitment to unity and mission in
my own setting.
- Michael Kinnamon
My first encounter with South-Asian
Christians from India and Sri Lanka
occurred fifty years ago when I was
a fellow student with a number of them
at the Graduate School of Ecumenical
Studies, University of Geneva, Bossey,
Half a century ago I began to realize
some of the unique characteristics
of these Christians who came from
social, political and spiritual contexts
that differed considerably from my own.
I had been programed to think of such
people as some of the brightest and best
from our "missions" in foreign lands.
Frequently, however, their responses
to issues reflected a maturity and depth
- borne of innate experience much older
and nuanced than we in the "First World" -
had ever imagined.
A book like this one confirms in many
ways what my initial impressions told me.
The first chapter outlines in a very
comprehensive way the Indian presence
in the ecumenical movement during the
twentieth century. The subsequent chapters
focus on the lives of ten Indian Christians
who contributed significantly to the
ecumenical process. Some are better
known beyond India than others.
A select bibliography and notes makes it
possible to read more deeply in areas of
An over-riding experience to be gained
from this study is that new models and
ways of thinking about mission and unity
are available to us from insightful and
devoted Christians who have much good
to share about their faith from real life
experience. These testimonials help to
convince me of the principle that the
better we come to terms with our own
particular circumstances - wherever that
may be - the more universally applicable
our vision can become.
I am grateful that this book was
recommended to me by a friend
who is a Canadian of Indian heritage.
The more I come to know him, the
better I feel I can understand many
of those who contributed to this book.
Perhaps you might discover the same.
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
Personal Web Log
June 1st, 2016
"The Internalized Ethics of Selfies"
A Collection of Books by Jim Taylor
Personal Web Site
June 6th, 2016
"Sensitivity and Suffering"
WHAT MADE ALI THE GREATEST?
A Sportsman and Humanitarian
The Washington Post
June 5th, 2016
JESUS AND THE END OF THE WORLD
Reading the Book of Revelation
as Redemption, not Destruction
June 2nd, 2016
ELIZABETH II - DEFENDER OF FAITH
At Ninety, The Queen Remains a Believer
June 9th, 2016
DR. MAYA ANGELOU ON WRITING AND LIFE
A Series of Video Reflections by the Author
Englewood Review of Books
May 27th, 2016
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS DOWN, ASSEMBLIES UP
American Church Statistical Update for 2015
Religion News Service
June 7th, 2016
PAPAL INFALLIBILITY -
WE NEED ANOTHER TERM
Views of Hans Kung
June 2nd, 2016
EVANGELICALS MUST NOT BEAR
THE MARK OF TRUMP
"Take a Stand for Justice"
The Washington Post
June 2nd, 2016
MENNONITES COMING APART
OVER SEXUALITY ISSUES
Traditional Churches of Peace
Religion News Service
June 9th, 2016
WHAT ONLY THE WHOLE CHURCH CAN DO
Reflections by Stanley Hauerwas (video)
Alban Leadership Archives
December 21st, 2009
NAMED CATHOLIC BISHOP IN CANADA
Arrived as a Boat Person
June 3rd, 2016
GERMANY RECOGNIZES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
AND TURKEY IS FURIOUS
June 2nd, 2016
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
From Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:
Whatever you're meant to do, do it now.
The conditions are always impossible.
- Doris Lessing
Whether something is old-fashioned or not doesn't
resolve the question of whether it's true or not. I can
see the temptation of simply thinking, 'Well, there's
a cultural mainstream which flows neatly in one
direction. You just align with it.'
And that really won't do.
- Archbishop Rowan Williams
Perhaps the moral ambiguity of money is most
plainly evidenced in the popular belief that money
itself has value and that the worth of other things
or of men is somehow measured in monetary terms,
rather than the other way around.
- William Stringfellow
Be gentle-minded, for those of a gentle
mind shall possess the earth. Be patient
and have a loving heart. Be guileless.
Be quiet and good, trembling in all things
at the words you have heard. You shall not
exalt yourself or allow your heart to be bold
Your heart shall not cling to the high and
mighty, but turn to the good and humble
folk. Accept as good whatever happens to
you or affects you, knowing that nothing
happens without God.
- The Didache
Faith is what you have in the absence of
knowledge…and that absence doesn’t
bother me because I have got, over the
years, a sense of the immense sweep of
creation, of the evolutionary process in
everything, of how incomprehensible God
must necessarily be to be the God of
heaven and earth.
You can’t fit the Almighty into your
intellectual categories. If you want
your faith, you have to work for it.
It is a gift, but for very few is it a gift
given without any demand for time
devoted to its cultivation.…
Even in the life of a Christian, faith rises
and falls like the tides of an invisible sea.
It’s there, even when he can’t see it or
feel it, if he wants it to be there.
- Flannery O’Connor
The church is never true to itself when it is
living for itself, for if it is chiefly concerned
with saving its own life, it will lose it.
The nature of the church is such that it
must always be engaged in finding new
ways by which to transcend itself.
Its main responsibility is always outside
its own walls in the redemption of common
life. That is why we call it a redemptive
society. There are many kinds of religion,
but redemptive religion, from the Christian
point of view, is always that in which we
are spent on those areas of existence that
are located beyond ourselves and our own
- Elton Trueblood
I was invited to visit a friend who was
very sick...When I came to him, he said
to me, “Henri, here I am lying in this bed,
and I don’t even know how to think about
being sick. My whole way of thinking about
myself is in terms of action, in terms of
doing things for people. My life is valuable
because I’ve been able to do many things
for many people.
And suddenly, here I am, passive, and I
can’t do anything anymore.” As we talked
I realized that he and many others were
constantly thinking, “How much can I still
do?” Somehow this man had learned to
think about himself as a man who was
worth only what he was doing. And so
when he got sick, his hope seemed to
rest on the idea that he might get better
and return to what he had been doing.
If the spirit of thisman was dependent
on how much he would still be able to do,
what did I have to say to him?
- Henri J. M. Nouwen
ON THIS DAY
From the archives of the New York Times"
"Vatican City Comes into Existence as a State"
"Allies Launch D-Day Invasion of Normandy"
"RFK Shot and Mortally Wounded in LA"
"Chinese Troops Crush Pro-Democracy
Demonstrators in Tiananmen Square"
"Helen Keller Dies in Westport CT"
"Elizabeth II Crowned Queen in Westminster"
"Six Day War Ends Between Israel and Syria"
CLOSING THOUGHT - Langston Hughes
Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
For Those Interested:
Beginning a New Program Year - 2016-17
Adult Spiritual Development/ACTS Ministry
at St. David's United Church, Calgary
NEW SPIRITUAL TRAVEL PROJECT
The Planning Cycle Begins With a Question:
"Where Would You Like to Travel Next?"
Beginning our process to find a destination
for a trip somewhere in the world in 2017.
Travel Destination to be determined in June
and promotion will begin in September.