Friday, April 2, 2010

Colleagues List, April 3rd, 2010

Vol V. No. 32


Edited by Wayne A. Holst



Join Me as We Follow the Passion Cycle of Jesus



In this issue -

Personal Reflection:

"Claiming the Passion and Hope of
 Holy Week and Easter in My Own Life"


Colleague Contributions:

John Stackhouse
Martin Marty
Robert Ellsberg
Michael Higgins
Jock McTavish/Laurie Bennie


Net Notes:

Calvinism Making a Comeback
Lent and the Sexual Abuse Scandal
Digital Artists Recreate Face of Jesus
World Religion Summit Coming to Winnipeg
Nepalese Christians Seek Secular Constitution
Can Faith Bring Back the 'Prodigal' Brother?
Cardinal Kasper Calls for Church 'Housecleaning'
Templeton Prizewinner Opponent of Intelligent Design
Senior UK Bishops Want End to Persecution of Christians
Canadian Faith Trends Revealed at Evangelical Conference
Vietnam Church-Run Clinic Attracts Multi-faith Volunteers


Global Faith Potpourri:

Eleven Stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Joan Chittister
Melissa Raphael
Sarah Miles


On This Day (March 27th - April 2nd)

March 27, 1958 - Khrushchev Soviet Premier and First Secretary
March 29, 1973 - Last United States Troops Leave South Vietnam
April 2, 1917 - Woodrow Wilson Seeks US War vs. Germany


Closing Meditation for Holy Week and Easter:
Frederick Buechner


Dear Friends:

I have something special to share with you in this issue
so I hope you will take some time to consider:

"Claiming the Passion and Hope of Holy Week and Easter
 in My Own Life"

It serves as my own unique contribution to this issue.

Colleague Contributions:

John Stackhouse - offers a "Palm Sunday Thought"

Martin Marty - provides two articles this week -
"Abuse in the News" takes a non-Catholic perspective
on the sex scandal news of these times; also a story
from colleague Jon Bonk's "International Bulletin of
Missionary Research." This story takes us back 170
years to England and missionary thinking of the time.

Robert Ellsberg - writes on a favourite subject -
Dorothy Day as "Unapologetic Radical but no Marxist"
(Sojourners Online)

Michael Higgins - we catch up with a colleague who
moved at year end from the presidency of St. Thomas
University, Fredericton, NB and is now Visiting Senior
Executive in Residence at Sacred Heart University,
Fairfield, CT.

Jock McTavish/Laurie Bennie - two longtime friends
and colleagues conclude this section with an Irish
story about Lent that you won't want to miss.


Net Notes:

"Calvinism Making a Comeback" - long a staple of Christian
theology in America, Calvinism is returning to curriculae
in many seminaries as a response to a perceived spiritual
decline in society (Christian Science Monitor)

"Lent and the Sexual Abuse Scandal" - another perspective
on the current Catholic scandals. This time, an argument
on how church law must recognize the reality of civil
law and no longer exist as a law unto itself (Sightings)

"Digital Artists Recreate Face of Jesus" - the controversial
Shroud of Turin has became a source of study by those who see
the face of Jesus imprinted on it (Sydney Morning Herald)

"World Religion Summit Coming to Winnipeg" - Winnipeg will
host a religion summit on poverty, care of the earth and
peace this summer (Christian Week)

"Nepalese Christians Seek Secular Constitution" - Minority
Christian populations in many countries are taking a similar
position to those in Nepal (CathNews Asia)

"Can Faith Bring Back the 'Prodigal' Brother?" - Few people
know that famed new atheist Christopher Hitchens has a
brother Peter who is a Christian and who wants peace with him.
(The Telegraph UK)

"Cardinal Kasper Calls for Church 'Housecleaning'" - a series
of articles to reflect much continuing media attention on an
issue that builds as THE major challenge to Rome since the
Reformation (BBC, NYT,, The Atlantic, The Tablet)

"Templeton Prizewinner Opponent of Intelligent Design" - the
latest Templeton laureate is a Catholic scientist who is feted
for making an exceptional contribution to affirming life's
spiritual dimension (Christian Science Monitor)

"Senior UK Bishops Want End to Persecution of Christians" -
Christian leaders in the UK are growingly concerned about
the rights of Christians amid fears that their government is
more attentive to non-Christian religions (The Telegraph UK)

"Canadian Faith Trends Revealed at Evangelical Conference" -
Some of the most significant sociological studies on religion
in Canada today are coming from the evangelical community
(My Steinbach News Blog)

"Vietnam Church-Run Clinic Attracts Multi-faith Volunteers" -
Religious groups in Vietnam are cooperating in a growing
number of social ministries (Cathnews Asia)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Eleven Stories from Ecumenical News International


Quotes of the Week:

Joan Chittister, Melissa Raphael and Sarah Miles
provide us with current food for thought.


On This Day (March 27th - April 2nd)

News Items from History -

Khrushchev becomes Soviet premier and First Secretary (1958),
the last US troops leave South Vietnam (1973) and US President

Wilson wants his country to enter WWI against Germany - a step
he describes is needed to make "The world... safe for democracy."


My closing meditation for Holy Week and Easter is provided by
Frederick Buechner, whose reflections are widely appreciated.
May your spiritual exercises and experience be meaningful
and blessed at this sacred time in the Christian year.




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.




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.





Monday, April 5th, 2010 (7-9PM)
Ola Mohajer, Science Faculty Rep.
2010-2011 U. of C. Student Council
Biology and Religious Studies Major
"Q and A on the Meaning of Islam"



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.



Personal Reflection

by Wayne Holst

Holy Week and Easter have special meaning for me
this year because I was diagnosed with colon cancer
just after New Year's Day and I have been living with
this reality for almost three months.

Normally I tend to explain my life using theological
and spiritual models and my current thoughts will be
no different. I will focus these brief reflections on
the Holy Week and Easter themes of "passion" and
"hope" - which I consider to be totally appropriate.


The Reality of Cancer

The reality of having cancer began to dawn on me as I
was undertaking various medical tests in January.

Colonoscopy, CT scan, endoscopic ultrasound, a physical
examination by the cancer surgeon. I was fortunate to
have these procedures very early in my rectal tumour
development so that when various specialists confirmed
a cancer diagnosis I cannot say I was surprised.

I was informed that, to that point, the cancer was
confined to the tumour and a related muscle wall but
was slow-growing and had not spread to other parts
of my body.

From the beginning, I started believing that this
was a cancer that could be beaten.

A treatment regimen was carefully and efficiently
designed by my cancer specialists who proposed
immediate radiation and chemotherapy followed by
surgical intervention.

I was informed that this integrated procedure would
take place before any surgery to reduce the tumour
in my colon and kill all cancer cells of the infected
area (as well as any that may have escaped throughout
my body.)

I take one radiation treatment each weekday (total of
28) and one bottle of chemo treatment a week (totaling
six - carried on my person; constantly entering my body)

If this is deemed effective at the end of a six week
treatment period and after a month to let my body
recover, surgery would remove the tumour and repair
any damage to neighbouring cells and muscles in the
upper rectum.

All this could conceivably occur within six months of
detection. Then, hopefully, all cancer cells would
be destroyed. I would be cured and back to normal.

Regular checkups would determine assurance of a cure.

I live with that kind of expectation for my situation.

It is natural to want quick and effective treatment
for so deadly a problem. Who would not like that?

I must remind myself and you my readers that I have
just presented the best case scenario.


Fortunate Detection and Quick Medical Response

Now - at less than three months after the cancer was
first detected - I am about two-thirds of my way through
treatment with surgical removal of the tumour possibly
taking place some time in May.

I am grateful for early detection (always a big plus)
good testing facilities and effective treatments
(readily available to me at the Tom Baker Centre at
Foothills Hospital, Calgary - a mere ten minutes from
my workplace on the main University of Calgary campus.)

All costs (one estimate I heard was $100,000) are
covered by my Alberta Health Care Plan. I am so
grateful not to have to worry about financial concerns
in addition to health matters.

I have not been overly anxious and feel that this
unwelcome difficulty is being handled in the best
possible way.

I do not feel self-absorbed at present. Part of that,
I am sure, is because of the strong sense of love and
support I have received from Marlene my wife, my immediate
family, and friends at St. David's Church and the University
of Calgary. I have joked that I prefer others to do the
worrying for me.

Also, I am very respectful of the quality and professional
medical care I am receiving at Foothills and the Tom Baker.
All professionals I have encountered are also very caring.

The fact that this centre is the teaching hospital of the
U of C's School of Medicine links me to world-class teachers,
researchers, studies and treatments. I hope to allow my
experience to contribute to new studies as well.

Never in my life have I felt such caring attention from
so many good people, and that is very important to any
successful treatment and recovery program.

For years I have worked to raise money for cancer
treatment and now I am seeing those dollars at work,

I feel truly blessed in spite of my cancer problem.

Passion and Resurrection

It is natural for me to make personal connections with
pivotal moments in the history of Christ's passion and
resurrection. I associate my story with the narrative
Christians remember in a special way this week.

Think, for example, of when Jesus agonized in the Garden
of Gethsemane, praying earnestly that  - "this cup might
pass from me." (Mt. 26:36-42)

Think also, of the story of the empty tomb and the
hopeful message of the angel - "He is not here, he is risen
as he said..." (Mt. 28: 1-8)

What is happening to me, I firmly believe, is just
happening. It is not part of some great plan God has
for my life. It is not some test that will make me into
a better person. I have seen too many good people
dying of cancer, and I daily observe many who are
undergoing much more severe treatment than I.

That makes me wonder if the cure is sometimes not
worse than the disease.

I cannot accept these things as a plan or a testing by
a loving God. Cancer is real. Death is real. A cure is
also real. Who survives? who does not? and why? -
are not things I think much about.

Rather, cancer is part of my life journey at this stage.
I seek daily to accept and come to terms with it.

I truly sense God's profound participation with me
as I sojourn through this time of passion leading to
something better. I have hope that whatever happens
to me will have a good result - that life will continue
in some way, and that new and better things lie ahead
for me and those I love.

Perhaps, too, the fact that there were previous times
when I felt only God and God's love was there for me -
when I looked into the abyss and things seemed hopeless -
that I learned I could survive in spite of seeming despair.

Experience teaches me to live this time with equanimity.

Jesus faced his death and resurrection in a way that I want
to follow now. He went through difficult days during Holy
Week and knew some difficult times lay ahead. Still, he was
able to 'let go' of the influences that would distract him
from his purposes. I like that.

He did not rely on a quick and easy solution.

Jesus helps me to be in this situation with an eye to survival
and a definite resurrection.

Scripture reminds us that faith is not faith if we know
how everything is going to work out and if we just
discover and  "follow the plan."

Faith is venture and risk in situations where there are
no guarantees but always anticipated good outcomes.

A blessed Holy Week and Easter to you too!



Vancouver, BC

March 29th, 2010

A Palm Sunday Thought:

Lo, your King comes to you, mighty and imposing, if also
in need of protection, in an armoured limousine surrounded
by bodyguards, police motorcycles, helicopters, and SWAT
teams. Armies and brass bands march before and after.

Resplendent banners hang from the buildings and street
lights. Here comes the Saviour.


Lo, your King comes to you, humble, and mounted on a...
bicycle­in a casual shirt, comfortable pants, and sandals...
... and he stops, having seen you, to come over to ask how
you¹re doing and chat a while ...

Two versions of power, two visions of the world.

Even so come, Lord Jesus.


Chicago, IL

March 29th, 2010

Abuse in the News:
Why Protestants Tend to be Respectfully Silent


April 2010,

Don't throw them to the lions

Putting the "fun" into fundraising, ca. 1844, courtesy of
Brian Stanley, professor of world Christianity at the
University of Edinburgh: "Imagine that you are a child in
England in 1844. You belong to a middle-class and pious
evangelical family. You worship at the local Congregational
chapel and you save your spare pennies to place in a
missionary box supplied by the London Missionary Society.

On this particular evening, your bedtime story is read to
you by your mother from the November issue of the Juvenile
Missionary magazine, the newly launched children's
periodical of the LMS. Are you sitting comfortably?

Then I shall begin:

" 'My dear children, I have just been reading [a book about]
travels in Africa, where the black people live. The author
says, 'The lions sometimes come to devour them; and when the
people cannot get away themselves nor frighten the hungry
lion away, the parents will throw one of their children to
the lion, that he may take it and head back to his den.

" 'O how cruel this is to the poor little children! Your
parents would not throw you to the lions. No, indeed; they
are not so hard-hearted as those African fathers and mothers.

But then, you know the poor blacks had not heard the gospel,
nor known anything about the love of Jesus, who took little
children into his arms and blessed them. . . . If the black
people had heard of Jesus Christ, they would not have given
their children to the lions. O send Missionaries to tell them
all about Jesus, the children's friend! And when you give your
money to send the Missionaries, say, 'I am going to save the
little black children from the lions.'

" 'Your parents have got houses, and we have no lions in England;
because the gospel of Jesus Christ has made us happier than the
Africans. But if you will send the Missionary to them, they will
soon have houses, and they will not lie down in the fields at
night, and will not be frightened so as to give their children
to the lions.' "

-- International Bulletin of Missionary Research
    (, January 2010


Maryknoll, NY

March 29th, 2010


Fairfield, CT

Notice of his appointment as Shu's Visiting Senior
Executive in Residence at Sacred Heart Univeristy


Calgary, AB

St. David's Adult Ed Forum
March 29th, 2010

What Did You Give Up for Lent?

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry, walks
into the pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender
raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he
drinks quietly at a table, alone.

An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders
three more.

This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders
and drinks three beers at a time, several times. Soon the
entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers.

Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on
behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around
here are wondering why you always order three beers?"

"Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies. "You see, I have two
brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia.

We promised each other that we would always order an extra two
beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond."

The bartender and the whole town were pleased with this answer,
and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity
and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-
of-towners would come to watch him drink.

Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The
bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the
rest of the evening. He orders only two beers. The word flies
around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the

The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here,
me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death
of your brother. You know-the two beers and all."
The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be
happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well.

It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking
for Lent.




Christian Science Monitor
March 30th, 2010



April 1st, 2010
by William Schweiker


Is This the True Face of Jesus?

Sydney Morning Herald
March 30th, 2010

Digital artists believe they have recreated the face
of Jesus, an image in 3D based on the Shroud of Turin.




Christian Week
March 26th, 2010



Cathnews Asia
March 30th, 2010

Christians in Nepal are praying that the country's new
constitution will be secularist in nature and be completed
ahead of a May 28 deadline.




Christopher Hitchens has a Brother Paul

The Telegraph (UK)
March 30th, 2010



March 28th, 2010

Catholic Order Admits Founder
Abused Children for Decades

New York Times
March 26th, 2010


An Open Letter to the Church
March 30th, 2010
Vanessa Seijo Blog
Puerto Rico


Vatican Official Defends Pope's Handling of Case

New York Times
April 1st, 2010
by Rachel Donadio

Cardinal William J. Levada praised Pope Benedict XVI and
criticized a report in The Times about a priest who was
accused of abuse but was not defrocked.

Read the article:


The Pope's Nixon Problem

The Atlantic
April 1st, 2010

Read the article:


The Church in Need of Scrutiny

The Tablet
April 3rd, 2010




Christian Science Monitor
March 29th, 2010



The Telegraph
March 28th, 2010

Christians in Britain are being persecuted and "treated
with disrespect," senior bishops have said...

Read the article:


March 30th, 2010



Cathnews Asia
March 29th, 2010

At a Church-run clinic in southern Vietnam, Catholics and
Buddhists work together to treat patients, Cao Dai followers
produce herbal medicines for them, while Protestants visit
and give gifts to the sick. (UCA News)



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
29 March 2010

Swedish, S. African clerics say arms deal
weakens new democracy

Cape Town (ENI). South African and Swedish church leaders
have reiterated grave concerns that a 10-year-old arms deal
that involved Sweden with South Africa threatens the
fledgling African democracy. The deal to sell armaments to
South Africa also involved other European and Western nations
such as Britain, France and Germany. It was signed a decade
ago, estimated at around US$4.8 billion. "As predicted, the
arms deal unleashed a culture of corruption that has severely
undermined the transition in South Africa from apartheid to
democracy," said Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and
the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba along
with the Swedish church leaders...


Christians call for protest against Israeli
travel permits for Easter

Jerusalem (ENI). Holy Land Christians are calling on their
religious leaders to protest against the travel permit system
imposed by Israel during Easter celebrations. The situation
is complicated in 2010 by the overlapping of Easter with the
Jewish feast of the Passover. "Any system which assigns entry
permits to Easter celebrations necessarily denies the rest of
the faithful their rights of participation in these religious
events," they wrote in a letter that has been circulated during
the month of March. Some 103 Christian lay leaders and 21
Christian organizations of all denominations, including the
Near East Council of Churches, Gaza and Department of Service
to Palestinian Refugees, Sabeel, the YMCA-Jerusalem, Bethlehem
Bible College, Norwegian Church Aid and Arab Orthodox Society,
signed the document. Like all West Bank Palestinians, Christians
must have permits to travel to Jerusalem.


Churches in Scotland concerned about human egg 'auctions'
Edinburgh (ENI). A senior member of the (Presbyterian) Church
of Scotland, backed by a Roman Catholic counterpart, has raised
strong concerns around the practice of "auctioning" and selling
human eggs for in vitro fertilisation treatment. "The sale of
human eggs favours the commoditisation of human parts – human
eggs should not be in a shopping basket on the same level as a
grocery item," the Rev. Ian Galloway, convenor of the church's
Church and Society Council, told Ecumenical News International.
The sale of human eggs is not allowed in Britain, where donors
are only compensated "reasonable" expenses and loss of earnings
up to a maximum of 250 British pounds (US$375). Galloway said,
"The Church of Scotland has a clear policy against the sale of
human eggs because it considers the practice exploitative of the
poor, who may feel compelled to become donors for a fee,
undergoing invasive, potentially dangerous and often painful


Renewed call made for a common Christian Easter calendar

New York (ENI). The U.S National Council of Churches has
renewed its call to set a common date for the celebration
of Easter, when Christians mark the raising of Jesus from
the dead. This year marks a rare occurrence as Christians
from both Orthodox and non-Orthodox traditions will mark
Easter on 4 April. A similar call for a common date for
Easter was made more than 10 years ago, when Orthodox and
non-Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on the same date.
The renewed call came in a joint letter to member churches
by the Rev. Michael Kinnamon, the NCC's general secretary,
and Antonios Kireopoulos, the NCC's director for faith and
order and interfaith relations. They said that "almost every
year the Christian community is divided over which day to
proclaim this good news. Our split, based on a dispute having
to do with ancient calendars, visibly betrays the message of
reconciliation. It is a scandal that surely grieves our God."

30 March 2010

German Catholics launch helpline for abuse victims

Trier, Germany (ENI). The Roman Catholic Church in Germany
has launched an official telephone hotline for victims of
sexual abuse in its institutions. At a press conference in
Trier, Bishop Stephan Ackermann of the German Bishops'
Conference said on 30 March the helpline will be staffed
by psychologists and social workers from the diocese of
Trier. Ackermann was appointed in February by the German
bishops to handle mounting allegations of abuse in Germany's
Catholic Church. The crisis began when a school in Berlin
run by the Jesuit order announced in January that there had
been systematic abuse of pupils by three priests in the
1970s and 1980s.


Rwanda cleric says approval
of second gay US bishop is divisive

Kigali (ENI). Anglican Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda
has warned that the approval of a second openly homosexual
bishop in the U.S. Episcopal Church will further tear apart
the 77-million-member worldwide Anglican Communion. In an
interview with Ecumenical News International in Kigali,
Kolini said the ratification will make it harder for the
grouping to heal the rift created by the debate on
homosexuality over the years. "It is clear that those on
both sides of the issue are not of the same mind and are
not going to work together," he told ENI in an interview
on 24 March during which he accused Western churches of
imposing homosexuality onto the South...


As world remembers Romero, Salvadoran president apologises

New York (ENI). For several decades Christians throughout
the world have commemorated the assassination of Salvadoran
Archbishop Oscar Romero as he celebrated Mass during a time
of bloody civil conflict that caused some 75 000 deaths in
his country. This year, however, marked a major milestone
as the president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes formally
apologised for the assassination, of Romero, saying the
cleric was a "victim of illegal violence".


31 March 2010

China's new religious head downplays
role of 'house churches'

Hong Kong (ENI). The Chinese government's new head
of religious affairs has downplayed the role of house
churches during his first official visit to Hong Kong,
but a dissenting Chinese Christian has disputed his
comments. Wang Zuo'an, the head of China's State
Administration for Religious Affairs, met Hong Kong
Protestant leaders at a Lutheran church. He said that
church communities must be registered in China for their
own protection. House churches do not register because
some people want to take the church's money to earn a
living under the name of a church. Others set up house
churches after they leave an original church community
with conflicts. In other cases, he said, a house church
can spring up due to a theological disagreement. Wang
said sometimes people are influenced by groups overseas
and believe that house churches are the true Church,
Hong Kong's Christian Times online news reported.


Muslims in North America probe
growing Islamic financial sector

Toronto (ENI/RNS). Global leaders in Islamic finance have
met in Toronto to probe the growing but still under-explored
world of financial products and services that comply with
Shariah, or Islamic law. The Usury-Free Association of North
America conference on 30 and 31 March brings together more
than 150 experts from a dozen countries to explore a wide
range of services that abide by Islam's prohibition on
interest. Conference organizers say the potential of the
global Islamic financial market is an estimated US$500
billion, Religion News Service Reports. Islamic scholars,
lawyers and financial experts from the United States,
Canada, Britain and several Middle East countries are
looking atShariah-compliant stocks and investment products,
banking, equity funds, mortgages, and credit.


US exhibit shows complex Christian-Jewish ties
in medieval Spain

New York (ENI). An exhibit in New York illuminates the
complex relationship between Christians and Jews in medieval
Spain and shows that producing art was often a cooperative,
interfaith enterprise. The exhibit, "Uneasy Communion: Jews,
Christians, and the Altarpieces of Medieval Spain," at the
Museum of Biblical Art, does not downplay the tensions that
existed in Spain and ultimately led to the expulsion of the
Jews from Spain in 1492. At the end of the display of more
than two dozen paintings, tiles and other artefacts, visitors
are reminded, in large script, that after 1492, the spirit of
Jewish-Christian cooperation ended abruptly and tragically.
Some art critics have said the exhibition proves that Spain
was fertile ground for interfaith cooperation and even
dialogue, something they believe is worth recalling during
this period of the Jewish commemoration of Passover and the
Christian observance of Easter.


Jewish Passover gets little support in secular Nepal

Kathmandu (ENI). U.S. President Barack Obama's gesture to
join in celebrating Passover, the eight-day festival observed
by Jews worldwide marking their deliverance from biblical
bondage in Egypt, is not being copied in Nepal. Though the
former Hindu kingdom became secular in 2006 and while ther
religious events have become public holidays in what was
once the world's only Hindu kingdom, Nepal President Ram
Baran Yadav's government has not embraced Jewish observance.
The feast of the Passover began on the evening on 28 March
lasting for a week. Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, who has been
presiding over the Chabad House, the Jewish community
centre in Kathmandu that opened in 2000, has yet to get
permission from the Nepal government to open a synagogue.
"There are official worship places for Hindus and Buddhists,
but none for Jews," says the 36-year-old rabbi. "While Hindus
and Buddhists get [entry] visas for religious reasons, Jews



March 29th, 2010

Palm Sunday ... reminds us that at the moment
of what seems to be the height of Jesus' public
acceptance also begins the process of His public
betrayal, His public failure, His public
abandonment. Only in the mind of God is Jesus
any longer a success, it seems ... Here in the
Passion narrative we trace the struggle, one
scene at a time, between the Word of God and
the ways of the world.

- Joan Chittister, from "The Liturgical Year"


April 1st, 2010

Jesus models a new kind of authority, a servant-
leadership that ministers to the members rather
than waits to be served by them. He does what,
in that culture, slaves did: He, the Lord, washes
the feet of the community.
- Joan Chittister, from " The Liturgical Year"


March 31st, 2010

Relational care, rather than... the miraculous
suspension of the laws of cause and effect, is the
sign and medium of God's power within the world...
God's love and ours in its image, is unlimited and
omnipotent in that it is experienced as all-
conquering love by those who love and are loved
absolutely, even if its effect is not one of
victorious deliverance. God's power is invested
in the power of interpersonal and social relation
to mediate its blessing.

- Melissa Raphael, on finding God in the midst of
   suffering, from her book "The Female Face of God
   in Auschwitz"


April 2nd, 2010

The death of a beloved is an event that rings and rings
through a life: bearing it is not a problem to be solved,
but a long, slow piece of music to listen to. And mourning,
like music, is best listened to with others.

- Sarah Miles, from her book "Jesus Freak"

On March 27, 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier
in addition to First Secretary of the Communist Party.


On March 29, 1973, the last United States troops left South
Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the
Vietnam War.


April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to
declare war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made
safe for democracy."


Closing Meditation for Holy Week and Easter

Romantic love is blind to everything except what is lovable
and lovely, but Christ's love sees us with terrible clarity
and sees us whole. Christ's love so wishes our joy that it
is ruthless against everything in us that diminishes our joy.
The worst sentence Love can pass is that we behold the
suffering that Love has endured for our sake, and that is
also our acquittal.

The justice and mercy of the judge are ultimately one.

- Frederick Buechner, American theologian and writer


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