Friday, April 23, 2010

Colleagues List, April 24th, 2010

Vol. V.  No. 35


Edited by Wayne A. Holst




In This Issue - Special Item -

The Emerging Church - Part Two

Book Notice:

The Emerging Church:
A Model for Change
and a Map for Renewal,
by Bruce Sanguin


Gandhi Weekend at St. David's
Join Us For Three Special Events


Colleague Contributions:

Michael Higgins
Reginald Bibby
Joe Sinasac
Elfrieda Schroeder


Net Notes:

Heaven - A Fool's Paradise
Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott
White Supremacy Killed Lincoln
Thai Leaders in Crisis Call for Prayer
Gang Violence Ruining Peace in East Timor
The Continuing Crisis in the Catholic Church
How the Boston Globe Exposed US Abuse Scandal
Women to Blame for Earthquakes Says Iranian Cleric
Taize Prayers at 1,100th Anniversary of Cluny Founding


Global Faith Potpourri:

Twenty Stories from
Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Willie Barrow
Wm. Sloan Coffin


On This Day (April 17th - April 23rd)

April 17, 1961 - Cuban exiles attempt overthrow of Castro
April 18, 1906 - Major earthquake strikes San Francisco
April 19, 1995 - Bomb explodes in Oklahoma City, killing 168
April 21, 1910 - Samuel Clemens, known as Mark Twain, dies
April 23, 1969 - Sirhan death sentence for assassinating RFK


Closing Reflection - Joseph Campbell


Dear Friends:

This week I donated 1,000 more of my books to the University
of Calgary Library. Added to what I contributed three years ago,
I have now given the school  a 5,000 boost to their collection.

While not every book is a gem, many are a worthy addition.
I am now down to my home office library in terms of books and
related resources - perhaps 1,500 remaining items - which is all
I really need at this stage of my life.

It is a real relief to know that the major part of my lifelong book
collection is in good hands and I will no doubt have better access
to those books than I ever had previously!

Special Item - Book Notice

This week I offer you a notice of a title many of you may have
already heard about or read.  This is my second of a two-part focus
on the emerging church phenomenon and is Bruce Sanguin's:
"The Emerging Church: A Model for Change and a Map for Renewal"
 - a Copperhouse imprint published in 2008 by old friends at
Woodlake Books in Kelowna, BC.

The book is valuable for a number of reasons and I try to explain
what I mean by that, below. In addition, the fact that it was written
from within a Canadian context  and contains Canadian examples
should be important to many of you. The American context provides
valuable insight too, but - as we always say in this country -
"the Canadian context is different."


We are celebrating a special series of events at St. David's
next weekend. Thanks in large part to colleague Larry Fisk,
we welcome Shall and Pramila Sinha for three events which
focus on the life and teachings of Mohandas K. Gandhi, father
of the modern movement featuring peaceful non-violent
resistance. His disciples are many. These include Martin
Luther King Jr,  Nelson Mandela,  Daniel Berrigan and
William Sloane Coffin, among other notable influences for
good in our modern world.

We welcome those who can to join us.

Colleague Contributions:

Michael Higgins - offers some excellent ideas to help the
Catholic Church move forward from its current challenges.

Reginald Bibby - provides a helpful clarification on how the
modern media skews its poll results - in this case, Canadian
polls regarding the church, sexual abuse and hyperbole.

Joe Sinasac - former editor of the Catholic Register in
Toronto and longtime friend, comments as a Catholic layman.
"The Church is still our spiritual family," he writes. "It is the
place where we go to for strength, forgiveness and healing."

Elfrieda Schroeder - reintroduces CL readers to Rhoda Janzen -
whom she describes as "America's Miriam Toews." I introduced
you my readers to Ms Jensen last November 14th when I shared
with you a New York Times review of her latest best-seller:
"Mennonite in a Little Black Dress" - the story of a woman who
was able to go home again, when she needed to do so.


Net Notes:

"Heaven - A Fool's Paradise" - histories of how humans have
viewed heaven and all it represents are not new. Here, then,
is an article with a British perspective by the writer, Johann Hari
(The Guardian, UK)

"Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott" - is Anne Lamott's latest book
about the corrosive consequences of deception within families
(New York Times)

"White Supremacy Killed Lincoln" - sometimes when I attend to
the harsh political rhetoric I bravely undure  from the USA these
days - I shudder. That is because I know a little about American
history and of Abraham Lincoln -  a great man but a nonetheless
assassinated president (1865.)  It is totally appropriate to make
associations with modern America and its current president.
(The Atlantic)

 "Thai Leaders in Crisis Call for Prayer" -  the political upheaval
in Thailand is not abating and inter-faith leaders there are
worried (United Catholic News Asia)

"Gang Violence Ruining Peace in East Timor" - another SE Asia
trouble spot is East Timor where we had hoped things had
settled. Observers see more danger ahead (The Australian)
"The Continuing Crisis in the Catholic Church" - for a month
now I have been sending you a variety of reports on this issue
and these troubles have not ended - even though it is possible
to detect a shift taking place in Rome, hopefully for the better.
(National Catholic Reporter, Cathnews Asia, The Telegraph UK,
Deutsche Welle - Germany,  BBC, The Guardian UK)

"How the Boston Globe Exposed US Abuse Scandal" - it now is
almost ten years since the Catholic crisis began in America.
This article helps us to recall what happened then and how the
media served a very important purpose - which I believe it
continues (on the whole) to do today (The Guardian, UK)

"Women to Blame for Earthquakes Says Iranian Cleric" - this
article is an example of some of the thinking still prevalent
in Islam, unfortunately (The Guardian, UK)

"Taize Prayers at 1,100th Anniversary of Cluny Founding" -
Travelers to the Taize community in Burgundy, France should
not fail to visit Cluny, that ancient monastic centre and one
of the major places of Christian hope during the Dark Ages.
Taize Prayers are scheduled for Cluny, May 2nd (Taize News)

Global Faith Potpourri:

Twenty stories this week from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Willie Barrow and William Sloan Coffin provide us with wisdom
courtesy of Sojourners Online.

On This Day -

Cuban exiles attempt overthrow of Castro (1961); a major earthquake
struck San Francisco (1906); a bomb exploded in Oklahoma City and
168 people were killed by an American terrorist (1995); Samuel
Clemens, American humourist and writer, better known as Mark
Twain, dies (1910); Sirhan Sirhan, RFK's assassin, is sentenced
to death (sentence later commuted to life in prison, 1969)


Closing Reflection -

Joseph Campbell, a special mentor of mine, concludes our sometimes
dismal thoughts this week, but on a brighter note.

Blessings to all,



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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish




We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.

Tour reservations - $300. Sale opens May 2nd.
Call church office for details: 403-284-2276




Monday Night Study, January 18th - March 29th, 2010

An insightful description of where Christian faith
is moving in the twenty-first century.

Follow our class videos, power point presentations,
other notes and study resources. Bookmark this link:




A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can
quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents 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.



Appearing This Week:


Book Notice:

A Model for Change and
a Map for Renewal,
by Bruce Sanguin.
Copperhouse/Woodlake, 2008
205 pages. $24.95 CAD.
ISBN #978-1-55145-566-2.

Publisher's Promo:

Realizing the importance of creating a practical guide
for both ministers and congregations seeking to shift their
congregational culture towards a progressive form of
Christianity, Bruce Sanguin grounds "The Emerging Church"
in the experience of his own congregation, Canadian Memorial
United Church and Centre for Peace in Vancouver BC. He does
this to provide context and share real-life examples.

At the same time, he peppers this book with insights from
leading edge science, including the science of emergence,
chaos theory, quantum physics, field theory, spiral
dynamics, and evolutionary science.

This book is written in language ordinary people understand.
It provides no-nonsense, realistic advice on the pitfalls and
possibilties of following the vision of the emerging Christian way.


Author's Words:

"I want our churches to be fully alive. I want our congregations
to be centres of authenticity, vitality and creativity. I want
to be with others who drink deeply from the well of living
waters and then make a Christ-shaped offering of all the
nourishment they have received. In other words, I want to be
with those who want to make a difference in the world.

There is so much untapped potential in our congregations.

Yet, many congregations are struggling to find the abundant
life that Christ offers. Over the years we have formed some
bad habits that now get in the way of divine abundance.

We have become overly bureaucratic - too many meetings and
not enough ministry happening. We have substituted busyness
for the real business of the church - helping people to come
alive in Christ. Clergy have exhausted themselves being
personal chaplains for far too many families, rather than
being the exemplars of the abundant life.

In the mainline church, we have lost the practice of prayer
and have replaced it with programs that are not necessarily
related to clear mission and vision. We have made being warm
and friendly with newcomers our primary purpose, when in fact
they are looking for the Holy Spirit. We have associated the
Christian life with "being good" forgetting that it is about
"being in God." We have developed cultures of superficiality.

We have learned to be civil and courteous with the person
sitting next to us in church, but we do not take the
opportunity to hold them in their brokenness and dance with
them in their joy.

The good news is that bad habits are possible to break! As
liberator, Christ has set us free!

(Sanguin explains why modern science is so important to know
and understand as part of the renewal he describes.)

The church itself is part of an on-going evolutionary story.
We are meant to evolve, in a Christ-formed way, along with
the rest of the universe, and according to fundamental
principles of nature.

One of the scientific principles that is central to this
work (and the way of nature) is called "creative emergence."
An emerging congregation evolves within a creation-centred,
evolutionary paradigm...

I wrote this book for church leaders, both lay and clergy, who
are ready to act as guides on this journey of congregational
renewal... I believe in the power of these Christ-centred
souls to make a difference in a hurting world.

- from the author's Prologue


My Comment

I like two key things about this book.

The first is that the author is not afraid to remind his
readers in mainline churches that there is much in their
spiritual heritage needing to be revisited and returned to
prominence in congregational life. Personal transformation
(we used to say 'conversion') is one. The power of prayer
is another. In our desire to be relevant we have lost touch
with the spiritual wellsprings that made our congregations
meaningful to many in the past.

At the heart of renewal is the basic Christian truth that
people and their communities can change. Our ancestors
understood this and we need to rediscover it too.

The second thing I like is that the author is conversant
in the thought and paradigm understandings of modern
science. This too is something we have been lacking.

Many of us have been educated and live in a world that
is shaped by science, and yet our spiritual awareness is
too-much dependent on outmoded ways of understanding
modern reality. I believe that much of the confusion and
struggle of modern Christians stems from the fact that
there seem to be few guides to help us be scientific and
spiritual at the same time.

Sanguin helps us to be both. He demonstrates, for example,
that it is natural to believe in God and evolution. He does
this authoritatively and refuses to get us lost in technicalities.

In other words, he blends scientific and spiritual profundities
in ways we can understand.

Traditional Christians try to call people back to old paradigms.
This creates significant confusion, even dishonesty, in the
hearts of many who wish to be  faithful yet open to
contemporary groundings and soundings of the Spirit.

Sanguin builds on the theological ground-work of teachers
like Marcus Borg and Matthew Fox as well as Brian Swimme
and Thomas Berry. He offers us helpful consolidation and
integration of thought.


We at St. David's, Calgary are currently blessed to have
ministers who are well-grounded in what this book is
all about. I tip my hat to Rev. Peggy McDonagh and
Rev. Janice Aiken who live the spirit of this book as
theological and pastoral exemplars through their
preaching and teaching.  They are indeed a blessing
to us.

Hopefully, I have convinced you that this is an important
volume, even though it's now been out there for two years.

Buy it from Woodlake:



Gandhi - the Movie, Saturday at 6:30 PM

Join us and watch the Oscar-winning film
of a generation ago, followed by a Q and A
with Dr. Shall Sinha, Gandhi specialist.

Gandhi - at Worship, Sunday at 10:00 PM

Dr. Sinha comes from the area of India where
Gandhi first practiced Satyagraha - peaceful
non-violent resistence. Taking on Gandhi's
persona, Shall proclaims the Mahatma's timeless
message at our regular morning service.

Living Gandhi's Way - Monday at 7:00 PM

Pramila Sinha tells stories of her life and
work as a motivational speaker, family person,
Rotarian and member of the Nonviolent Peace
Force in Sri Lanka. She has been awarded,
along with husband Shall for "the advancement
of world understanding, goodwill and peace."

You are welcome to all events, or any that
are of particular interest to you.




Globe and Mail
April 19th, 2010

Benedict's papacy is in danger of being defined
by the clerical sex abuse crisis in the church



The Edmonton Journal
April 21st, 2010

Flawed Poll Distorts Scope of Sexual Abuse


Toronto, ON

Christian Week
April 20th, 2010

Joe Sinasac says renewal can emerge from crisis


Winnipeg, MB

Dear Wayne,

Are you aware of or have you read a book by Rhoda Janzen
called Mennonite in a Little Black Dress? It was published
in 2009 (Henry Holt). People have compared it to Miriam
Toews' "A Complicated Kindness." It is a memoir (the byline
says "A Memoir of Going Home"). I haven't finished reading
it yet, but Hardy and I keep reading bits and pieces of it
to each other because it is so funny, and her family is so
us. There was something very familiar in the book, but it
wasn't until we went on Youtube and saw a picture of her
parents that we realized they are former college mates of
Hardy's and her father (Edmund Janzen) is a well known
former Mennonite Brethren conference leader and seminary

We asked ourselves how we would feel if one of our
daughters would write a memoir about our family, revealing
all the warts and wrinkles that only family members know so
intimately, to the whole world!

If you are interested, check out the following links:
Of special interest is probably the Youtube link where
the author speaks about her book.

All the best to you Wayne.

Elfrieda (and Hardy)


See following links:

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress
by Rhoda Janzen

New York Times Review
November 8th, 2009
by Kate Christensen

A wonderfully intelligent and frank memoir about the
Mennonite upbringing Rhoda Janzen returned to following
an emotional and physical crisis.

Read the review:


Review by Shirley Hershey Showalter
(plus many comments)


Youtube Comments by the Author


Elfrieda has more links and additional info
on this book and the author.

Contact her at:




Independent (UK)
April 21st, 2010

A History of Heaven -



Anne Lamott

New York Times Review
April 18th, 2010

A powerful and painfully honest novel about the corrosive
deceptions of a girl's drug addiction.



The Atlantic
April 22nd, 2010



The Australian
April 21st, 2010



The Telegraph (UK)
April 17th, 2010

'Safer' not to defrock pedophile priests,
says Catholic Church official

A senior Catholic Church official has threatened
controversy by saying that it would be safer not
to 'defrock' priests who had been convicted of
sexually abusing children.


Cathnews Asia
April 19th, 2010

Tearful pope meets Maltese abuse victims

On a visit to Malta, Pope Benedict shed tears in a
meeting with abuse as he expressed his "shame and sorrow"
over the Catholic church's sex abuse scandal.


Catholic Church Will Confront Abuse Says Pope

The Telegraph (UK)
April 21st, 2010


Ecumenical News International
April 22nd, 2010

German bishop resigns after allegations he hit children

Trier, Germany (ENI). A German Roman Catholic bishop has
resigned after accusations that he hit children in an
orphanage as a young priest, while another has described
the sexual abuse scandal rocking the church as a "stinking
volcano" and has criticised the Vatican and his fellow
bishops. Bishop Walter Mixa of the Bavarian city of
Augsburg wrote to Pope Benedict XVI on 21 April offering
to resign after weeks of newspaper reports linking him to
child beatings in the 1970s and 1980s in a church-run
children's home when he was still a priest. "I am and was
aware of my own weaknesses," Mixa said in the letter
offering his resignation made public on 22 April. Media
reports said Mixa's offer to step down is likely to be
accepted by the Pope.


German Bishop Resigns in disgrace

Deutsche Welle
April 22nd, 2010,,5491508,00.html



The Guardian
April 21st, 2010



Senior Buddhist, Christian and Muslim leaders have jointly
expressed their concern over the political crisis gripping
Thailand and called for prayers by both individuals and
religious organizations.



The Guardian
April 19th, 2010



Taize News
April 22nd, 2010



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
16 April 2010

Christianity is 'still relevant' for most Europeans,
survey finds

Warsaw (ENI). Almost two-thirds of Europeans think
Christian values are still relevant to contemporary
life and are ready to acknowledge the Church's efforts
to promote them, a recent survey carried out for La
Croix daily newspaper has found. "Whether rooted in
Christianity or not, Europeans recognise a privileged
place for this religion in its Catholic, Protestant
or Orthodox forms," France's Roman Catholic-linked
newspaper commented on 1April. "Yet while two-thirds
think Christianity's message is still up-to-date, this
isn't the case for the other third. So, Christianity
remains an element marking the religious culture of
the Old Continent, but no longer claims exclusivity,"
the newspaper noted.


Buddhists, Christians work together
to help China quake victims

Katmandu (ENI). Buddhist monks and Christian organizations
are working with thousands of official rescue workers in
China's north-western Qinghai province to rescue people
missing still after a series of earthquakes that had killed
almost 800 people. Rescuers searched for survivors buried
undercollapsed buildings and nearly 20 Tibetan monks, dressed
in their maroon robes, had joined them next to a razed
marketplace, the State-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Many people remained trapped under rubble as rescuers sought
to provide relief to thousands left homeless following the
magnitude 7.1 earthquake on 14 April. They were lauded by
China's Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu, who is heading disaster
relief, epidemic prevention, seismic monitoring and public
security, as authorities predicted the death toll could
climb to 1000.


US National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, judge rules

Washington (ENI/RNS). A federal district judge in the U.S.
state of Wisconsin has ruled that the 1988 law creating the
annual observance of the National Day of Prayer is

"It goes beyond mere `acknowledgement' of religion because its
sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer,
an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function
in this context," U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on 15
April, Religion News Service reports. "In this instance, the
government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to
individual conscience." The Freedom from Religion Foundation,
based in Madison Wisconsin, which filed suit in 2008 to stop
the prayer day, hailed the decision as a "sweet victory".


19 April 2010

S. African Catholic report hails government
on new AIDS efforts

Cape Town (ENI). South Africa's Roman Catholic bishops have
commended the country's government in its new efforts to stop
the spread of HIV and AIDS and to diminish the effects of the
pandemic after previous policies had faced criticism from
church leaders. "The [health] minister's policy indications
are largely in line with the points raised over a long period
in advocacy by civil society. It is good to see that they are
finally finding resonance in this new effort to tackle the
pandemic responsibly," the Southern African Catholic Bishops'
Conference said in a 15 April briefing for parliamentarians.
South Africa's health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, in presenting
his budget to the parliament on 13 April reaffirmed statements
by President Jacob Zuma on combating HIV and AIDS. [425 words,


Ukrainian Catholics want president to
upheld equal religious rights

Warsaw (ENI). Bishops from Ukraine's Greek Catholic church
have urged the country's newly elected president, Viktor
Yanukovych, to ensure all believers are treated equally
under the constitution, while pledging to respect his
Orthodox beliefs. "Ukrainian legislation envisages that
all churches and religious communities duly registered by
State bodies are provided with equal rights," said the Greek
Catholics. Their church combines eastern rites with loyalty
to Rome, and is larger than Ukraine's Latin-rite Roman
Catholic Church which also has adherents in the country.
"Unlike certain countries of the world, where one religious
organization enjoys privileged status, Ukraine is a multi-
confessional State," the Synod of Bishops of the church's
Kiev-Halych archbishopric said in a message after a meeting
in Lviv in late March.


Asian Christian leaders seek revamp of ecumenical bodies

Kuala Lumpur (ENI). Various Asian Christian leaders have
urged changes in global and regional ecumenical bodies to
help them become less bureaucratic and more effective in
responding to the concerns of the times. "Sometimes I
dream how the World Council of Churches can become a
movement rather than an institutionalised structure," an
Indian Orthodox bishop, Yakob Mar Irenaios, said during
the 14-21 April general assembly of the Christian
Conference of Asia. "So the challenge is how to revamp
the WCC so it becomes a stronger prophetic voice of the
various churches worldwide," noted Irenaios, who belongs
to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India.


20 April 2010

Protestant bishop urges reflection on
'primacy of honour' for Pope

Trier, Germany (ENI). A German bishop, speaking at an event
to mark the 450th anniversary of the death of a close
collaborator of Martin Luther, has re-opened debate on the
papacy, an issue that has divided Roman Catholics and
Protestants for five centuries. Bishop Ulrich Fischer, who
heads the regional Protestant church of Baden in southwest
Germany, was addressing an 18 April service to celebrate the
life of Philipp Melanchthon, in Wittenberg where he and
Luther lived and worked in the 16th century. Melanchthon
"had been ready to acknowledge the papal primacy over the
bishops according to human law if this would serve the
unity of the Church", recalled Fischer at the service
at the Wittenberg Stadtkirche (town church) where Luther
once preached. Fischer described the Melanchthon as the
chief negotiator between the followers of Luther and the
papacy in the 16th century.


H. Kong Christian group berates pastor advising 'blank vote'

Hong Kong (ENI). Christian and social activists in Hong Kong
have protested outside an evangelical church accusing its
pastor of seeking to placate Chinese authorities by asking
his parishioners to cast "blank votes" in an upcoming
election, viewed as a referendum on political reform in
the territory. A group of about 50 theological students
and professors, as well as some young Christians, worshipped
near the Kong Fok Church of the Evangelical Free Church of
China, before they marched to the church and handed in a
letter of complaint about the pastor's actions. The group
accused the Rev. Daniel Ng Chung Man, the Kong Fok Church
pastor, of siding with Chinese authorities to suppress
those supporting greater democracy. They also complained
the pastor was campaigning for voters in an upcoming
special election in May "to cast blank votes".


US church groups agree law on gays'
hospital visits a 'human right'

New York (ENI). The U.S. National Council of Churches and
a Roman Catholic health association both agree that a recent
directive by President Barack Obama granting same-sex
partners the legal right to visit their loved ones in
hospital is an affirmation of people's human rights.
Obama's 15 April directive to Health And Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sibelius, requires hospitals receiving
public funds in the form of Medicaid or Medicare health
insurance payments not to deny patient visits "on the
basis of race, colour, national origin, religion, sex,
sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability". This
is a move that will be "affirmed by most Americans", said
the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, the president of the National
Council of Churches, the largest ecumenical agency in
the United States. "Health care facilities are a
significant part of community life."


Survey finds Africa is most religious part of world

Washington DC (ENI/RNS). Researchers say they've found the
most religious place on Earth - between the southern border
of the Sahara Desert and the tip of South Africa. Religion
is "very important" to more than three-quarters of the
population in 17 of 19 sub-Saharan nations, according to
a new survey, Religion News Service reports. In contrast,
in the United States, the world's most religious
industrialised nation, 57 percent of people say religion
is very important. "On a continent-wide basis, sub-Saharan
Africa comes out as the most religious place on Earth,"
said Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum on Religion and
Public Life, which released the study on 15 April.


21 April 2010

Scotland's 'high' suicide rate to face scrutiny
at church assembly

Edinburgh (ENI). The (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland says
that a growing problem of suicide among young people is to
be discussed at the yearly general assembly of the church
in May. Officials say that suicide is one of the principal
causes of death for young people in industrialised countries,
especially among young men. Statistics that show Scotland is
the part of Britain with the highest incidence of people
taking their own lives has led to the issue being on the
agenda for 20-26 May church assembly. Churches are being
asked to give their support to the Scottish government's
"Choose Life" programme which is a 10-year plan aimed at
reducing suicides in Scotland by 20 percent by 2013.
Television adverts are screened regularly. They tell the
public that they can reach out and help those contemplating
suicide by listening, learning, understanding and talking.


Former Kenyan archbishop says new constitution
is 'lesser evil'

Nairobi (ENI). Retired Kenyan Anglican archbishop David
Gitari has advised church leaders in the country to back
a draft constitution that has provoked controversy and
division among church leaders, describing his suggested
course of action as a "lesser evil". Gitari spoke as
debate on the new measure was seen as developing into a
confrontation between churches, most of which are opposed
to the draft constitution, and Muslim groups that back it
because it supports having Islamic courts in the country's
legal system. "Voting 'yes' is an evil; voting 'no' also
an evil," the former leader of Kenya's Anglican church
told worshippers at All Saints Anglican Cathedral in
Nairobi. The former archbishop's stance contradicts that
of the Roman Catholic Church, the National Council of
Churches of Kenya, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya
and the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa.


Tackling climate change is one way to
'love thy neighbour'

Toronto (ENI). Climate change is a moral issue, and
Christians are bound by their faith to help those who
are most affected by catastrophic changes in the
environment, said speakers at a recent conference in
Toronto. "Knowing that climate change will hit the
poor in poor countries the hardest and not doing what
we can to help overcome that plight is like passing on
the other side. It's another version of the Good
Samaritan not acted out," said Dave Toycen, president
of World Vision, Canada, a Christian relief,
development and advocacy organization. He was
speaking during a conference titled "Climate change
and environmental decline as moral issues" that was
attended by both evangelical and more traditional


22 April 2010

Climate-change denial 'can't be option' for any Christians

Toronto (ENI). Churches have become a force for change in
the environmental movement, but to be more effective they
must bridge a "tragic divide" between evangelical Christians
and thetraditional "mainline" denominations, a conference
in Toronto has heard. "There's kind of a caricature, which
is not entirely inaccurate, that the evangelicals are
concerned with getting 'right' with God, and the mainline
churches are concerned with taking care of the world, and
[addressing] social and environmental issues," said Loren
Wilkinson, a philosophy professor at Regent College, an
evangelical institution in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Both stereotypes narrow the Christian Gospel, he stated.


US Federal court says church bells are constitutional

Washington DC (ENI/RNS). A U.S. federal court has ruled
an ordinance in Phoenix, Arizona, trying to limit the sound
of church bells is an unconstitutional impingement on
religious expression. In 2007, one day after Christ the
King Cathedral moved two miles from its former location
to a space near a fire station, neighbors complained the
church's electronic bells - rung every hour, from 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. - violated the city's noise ordinance, Religion
News Service reports. The ordinance, which prohibits "any
unusual or disturbing" sound, also allows ice cream trucks
to ring at 70 decibels. The church's bells rang at 67


23 April 2010

World churches' head says Israel
should lift new military order

Geneva (ENI). The head of the World Council of Churches has
called for the lifting of a recent Israeli military order
redefining the notion of "infiltrator" in occupied Palestinian
territories. WCC general secretary the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit
said in a statement that he is "worried the new measures will
be a severe obstacle toward the process for a just peace".
The Israeli military in 1969 defined an "infiltrator" as a
person who unlawfully entered an occupied area. The recent
amendment expands the definition of an infiltrator to mean,
"a person who entered the area unlawfully following the
effective date, or a person who is present in the area and
does not lawfully hold a permit".


LWF leader 'shocked' at death of
second Polish Lutheran bishop

Geneva (ENI). The general secretary of the Lutheran World
Federation has expressed "deep shock" at the sudden death
of another Polish Lutheran bishop, following the loss of
acting military bishop Adam Pilch, who died in a 10 April
plane crash with Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Bishop
Mieczyslaw Cieslar of the Warsaw diocese of the Evangelical
Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland died on 19 April
in a car accident, returning home from attending funeral
services for Kaczynski, the LWF news service, Lutheran
World Information, reported.


Norwegian government accused of overruling church democracy

Oslo (ENI). Leaders of the (Lutheran) Church of Norway have
accused the Norwegian government of flouting church democracy
by stipulating that the new post of permanent presiding bishop
be based in the country's old ecclesiastical capital. The
church's general synod agreed in November 2009 to establish
the new post of presiding bishop and for it to be based in
Oslo. Up to now the position of presiding bishop has been held
by one of the church's diocesan bishops, but the synod agreed
that it had become too onerous to combine the two roles.


Filipino pastors' family soap industry
helps uplift poor parishioners

La Trinidad (ENI). A Filipino couple who are both pastors have
become accidental entrepreneurs after their daughter's search
for body care products for her allergy-sensitive skin led to
the creation of a home-based industry, which the family sees
as its ministry. "With this evolving business, poor
parishioners can earn extra income, which can sustain their
local churches," Pastor Robinson Ayupan told Ecumenical News
International. "With more income, parishioners can give tithes,
support their pastor, and sustain their ministries."



April 20th, 2010

If you really want to be powerful, if you really
want to be influential, then just serve.

- Rev. Willie Barrow, civil rights activist who
  earned the nickname "Little Warrior"


April 23rd, 2010

While the heavens continue to tell the glory of God,
the firmament today also proclaims sonic nefarious
human handiwork -- smog, acid rain, an immense hole
in the ozone layer.

- William Sloane Coffin, from his sermon "A Passion
   for the Possible: A Message to U.S. Churches"



On April 17, 1961, about 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles
launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a
failed attempt to over throw the government of Fidel Castro.


On April 18, 1906, a major earthquake struck San Francisco
and set off raging fires. More than 3,000 people died.


On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred
P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168
people and injuring 500. (Timothy McVeigh was later convicted
of federal murder charges and executed.)


April 21st, 2010

On April 21, 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better
known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn.


April 23st, 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for
assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The sentence
was later reduced to life imprisonment.


Closing Reflection:

"Follow your bliss" - is a reminder that happiness results
when we listen to our deepest intuitions and persue our
most passionate interests.

- Joseph Campbell


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