Friday, February 25, 2011

Colleagues List, February 26th, 2011

Vol. VI. No. 24


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:


In this Issue

Special Items This Week -

Book Notice:

"If the Church Were Christian"
 by Philip Gulley


Canadian Hero:

"Remembering Tommy Douglas"
 He Died Twenty-Five Years Ago
 February 24th, 1986


Colleague Comments:

Reginald Bibby
Fr. Ned Carolan

Colleague Contributions:

Lorna Dueck
Ron Rolheier
Jim Taylor


Net Notes:

The Wrong War
Irish Liturgy of Lament
Copts Hope for Arab Democracy
Married German Ordained Priest
Woman Renounces Catholic Women Priests
Mubarak May Have Planned Christian Attack
NZ Earthquake Leaves Christchurch in Ruins
Earthquake Aftermath - Prayers, Reflections
UK Aid -- Redirected from India to "Needy?"
Increase in Number of RC Priests Questioned


Global Faith Potpourri:

Fifteen ENI Stories This Week


Quotes of the Week:

Samuel Ruiz Garcia
Flannery O'Connor
Dag Hammarskjold
Marilynne Robinson
Albert Luthuli


On This Day: (Feb 20th - Feb 23rd)

Feb. 20, 1962 - Glenn 1st American to orbit Earth
Feb. 21, 1965 - Malcolm X shot, killed in NYC
Feb. 23, 1954 - Salk vaccine issued in Pittsburgh 

Closing Thought - Something to Ponder



Dear Friends:

This week, I introduce for you a
book I have just finished reading
and enjoying. It is entitled:

"If the Church Were Christian"
 by Philip Gulley

I hope you find the notice I offer
on the book to be helpful to you.


Twenty-five years ago this week - on
February 24th, 1986 - one of Canada's
most celebrated citizens died. He
had a string of political achievements
to his credit, but is probably most
remembered as the one who brought
socialized medicine - our Canadian
Health Care System - into being.

"Remembering Tommy Douglas"  -
uses a Wikipedia article I have
found helpful and want to share.


Colleague Comments:

Reginald Bibby - writes to thank me for
my efforts to promote his new book
that comes out this weekend, entitled: 

"Beyond the Gods and Back" 

- my notice of that title appeared 
  on Colleagues List last week.


Fr. Ned Carolan - who serves in Dublin
is a regular Colleagues List reader and
he writes to tell me so! Marlene and I
first met him several years ago in Aix-
en-Provence, France, and we hope to see
him again this May in Ireland.


Colleague Contributions:

Lorna Dueck - speaks well on the matter
of the government's abuse of information
regarding the Kairos (CIDA) project.

Ron Rolheier - writes creatively on the
theme "building an ark."

Jim Taylor - contributes, with a special
reflection on his recent brush with death.


Net Notes:

"The Wrong War" - this weekend, the New York
Times publishes the review of a book that
challenges 'the religion of counterinsurgency'
that has long guided US policy for Afghanistan -
"Our mistake in Afghanistan was to do the work
of others for 10 years, expecting reciprocity
across a cultural and religious divide."
(New York Times Review of Books)

"Irish Liturgy of Lament" - the Catholic Church
in Ireland is going through serious soul-searching
over the evil priest sexual abuse scandal there -
(Zenit News from Rome, National Catholic Reporter)

"Copts Hope for Arab Democracy" - this is a time
of great hope for religious minorities in Egypt -
especially Christians - who suffered under the
Mubarak regime (see other article on Egypt below)
(Catholic News Service)

"Married German Ordained Priest" - a former
Lutheran has converted to the Catholic
priesthood and brings his wife with him -
(Fox News)

"Woman Renounces Catholic Women Priests" - in an
interesting about-face, a Catholic woman priest in
the US has decided to renounce her 'uncanonical' 
ordination into the priesthood (Lifesite News)

"Mubarak May Have Planned Christian Attack" -
in the wake of Mubarak's demise, stories of his
efforts to persecute Christians are beginning
to emerge (National Catholic Reporter)

"NZ Earthquake Leaves Christchurch in Ruins" -
the natural global tragedy most in the news this
week was certainly the South Island of New Zealand
and I provide a variety of news and video items
(ENI, Guardian UK, Uccan/Australia news services)

"Earthquake Aftermath - Prayers, Reflections" -
Response from sister and related churches around
the world has been swift. Former Canadian bishop
Victoria Matthews is at the centre of concern -
(Anglican Journal, ELCIC News, Globe and Mail)

"UK Aid -- Redirected from India to 'Needy?'" -
as India becomes an economically prosperous 
nation, former supporters of aid to India are now
having second thoughts (The Tablet, UK)

"Increase in Number of RC Priests Questioned" -
the global priestly totals reported here last week
were quite positive, but what stories lie behind 
these facts? (ENI, Uccan News)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Fifteen ENI stories appear this week


Quotes of the Week:

Samuel Ruiz Garcia, Flannery O'Connor,
Dag Hammarskjold, Marilynne Robinson
and Albert Luthuli offer their thoughts
courtesy of


On This Day: (Feb 20th - Feb 23rd)

These first-hand stories come to us
via the archives of the New York Times:

Glenn first American to orbit earth (1962)
Malcolm X was shot, killed in NYC (1965)
Salk vaccine issued in Pittsburgh (1954)

Closing Thought - Something to Ponder

The "small worlds" we construct for ourselves
and to define others...


I write this as I begin to think about
the up-coming season of Lent and of how
I will observe Lent this year.

Perhaps you are doing the same.





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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish



Books Considered:

"An Altar in the World"
 by Barbara Brown Taylor


"I Shall Not Hate -
 A Gaza Doctor's Journey"
 by Izzeldin Abuelaish

More study and website particulars will
be posted as they become available.

Classes are well underway!

Here is the link to the sessions:




We continue our investigation of the
New Atheists and consider the question:
"Can we be good without God?"

Text for the course will be Sam Harris'
new book:

"The Moral Landscape:
 How Science Can Determine Human Values"
 (Free Press, October, 2010)

Supplementary text:

"Godless Morality" by Richard Holloway
 (Canongate (new edition) 2009)

Course description and registration

Classes going well. A great group
representing a gamut of believers
through atheists. I hope to learn
much from them and will post insights
as they emerge.


A Joint Project of the Multi-Faith
Chaplains and St. David's ACTS Ministry

This Year's Subject:

"Community and Growth" by Jean Vanier.

The book first appeared in 1989 and
continues to be widely read.

Learn from Vanier's years of experience
in L'Arche communities around the world.

This book will be of interest to those
who seek insights for living and
working together in a pluralistic
society such as our own.

This study is for university faculty,
staff and interested students. It runs
runs for six weeks, beginning March 3rd.

Vanier Book Study Link:

Time: Thursdays, 12 noon to 1:00PM
      March 3rd through April 7th, 2011

Cost: Free. Copies of the book available
      for purchase, courtesy of the
      Christian Reformed Chaplaincy
      and thanks to Paul Verhoef

Location: Small Board Room, Native Centre,
          McEwan Student Centre.




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. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
and at Evening Prayers on Saturday, May 7th!

We have 25 choristers signed up as part of
the tour group. This special choir began
rehearsals in late January - led by our
congregation's music director, Brent Tucker.

Details have been finalized with St. David's 
Cathedral dean, Fr. Jonathan Lean. We are
being warmly welcomed! 

We are also planning to sing while visiting
other locations on our tour. More details
to follow.


January 26th was the deadline for all
trip payments - 90 days before departure.

We have started an interest list for other,
future tours!

Let me know if you are interested in knowing
more about exciting, spiritual tourism! This
is a cutting edge ministry at St. David's.
We hope to do many more of these tours in future!



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.



Book Notice:

Rediscovering the Values of Jesus,
by Philip Gulley. HarperOne paper.
2011. 197 pages. $17.00 CAD.
ISBN #978-0-06-169877-4.

Publisher's Promo:

The largest group in American religious life 
may be the disillusioned — people who have 
been involved in the church, respect Jesus, 
but question what Christianity has become. 

In "If the Church Were Christian" Philip Gulley 
provides a profound picture of what the church 
could look like if it refocused on the priorities 
of Jesus.


“[Gulley’s] effortless and uncomplicated style 
allows for easy reading over some heavy material.” 
(Library Journal)

“Gulley has done a fine job pinpointing the flaws 
of the Christian churches and suggesting 
transformative paths to follow.”
(Spirituality and Practice)

“Philip Gulley separates wheat from chaff, 
experience from explanation and purpose from f
unction in this book. He calls the Jesus message 
into a new vision - one that has both power and 
integrity.”(John Shelby Spong)

“Filled with memorable, insightful and revealing 
stories. I recommend it.”(Marcus Borg)


Author's Words:

In my adult years (having worshiped in many 
churches that claimed to be part of the one 
true church) I began to wonder if the language 
of ecclesiastical purity was based on a faulty 
assumption - that we can actually know what 
Jesus intended the church to be.

(... reading the New Testament) there is little 
by way of evidence that Jesus even gave the 
church much thought...

Indeed, there is Matthew 16:18 and 18:17, but many
scholars suspect these verses were not original to
Jesus, but were written back into the text by 
persons hoping to bolster their theological 
positions by placing them in the mouth of Jesus.

From these two verses, we have built some vast 
institutions based on but "hints" Jesus gave us.
We should never delude ourselves into thinking
that today's church sprang directly from the mind
and witness of Jesus...

Jesus did none of the things essential to forming
a viable institution... a fair reading of the 
earliest gospels offers scant evidence that Jesus
even intended to start a new religion...

But if the church claims Jesus as its founder, it
should at least share his values. The question
for Christians is whether the church reflects the
priorities of Jesus...

The era of uncritical acceptance of Jesus stories
is past and with it the claim to be a divinely
ordained status...

Nevertheless, the story of Jesus is a compelling
one and still has the power to shape, form and
transform our lives... we must continue to think
creatively about what it means to be Christian.

... this book is an invitation to appraise our
current priorities and whether they honor the
Christian values we claim to cherish... So I
offer my thoughts on what the church might look
like if it were Christian.


My Thoughts:

The modern "Jesus Theologians" like John Spong
and Marcus Borg have been writing and informing
us of new insights into the meaning of Jesus
for several decades.

With this book, we have a "pastoral voice" (of
one directly involved in congregational ministry)
to add to the message and put flesh on the bones 
of what earlier teachers have been telling us.

This book is grounded in actual relations with
people in real life situations. In doing this,
Gulley directs a clear eye both to theology and 
the people he serves in the local church.

For many years a pastor in the Quaker community
(Society of Friends) the author shares the joys
and sorrows, the triumphs and failings, of the 
congregations he has pastored. In doing this,
he adds to previous work and reflects a new
model of being church today.

Gulley is quick to admit to previous mistakes 
or limitations in his understanding of Jesus as 
well as to creatively articulate his current
awareness of who he believes Jesus to be.

For him personal growth and church renewal is 
more important than being right.

The central task of the church, he says in his
conclusion, is not to believe the doctrines
about Jesus, but to live out the priorities of
Jesus in our daily walk.

He poses ten "What if" questions about the
possible meanings of Jesus' life and witness, 
to counter what he has observed to be the actual 
thought and behaviour of many in the church today.

What if? --

Jesus became a model for living, rather than
an object of worship?

Affirming our potential was considered more
important than condemning our brokenness?

Reconciliation was valued over judgement?

Gracious behaviour was considered more
worthy than believing the right things?

Inviting questions was thought to be more
the practice than providing answers?

Encouraging personal exploration would be
more worthwhile than communal uniformity?

Meeting needs were better than maintaining

Peace were more important than power?

We would care more about love than sex?

(and finally)

This life would be considered more 
important than the afterlife?


Gulley responds to each of these "hopes"
by suggesting the differences between what
his experience of Jesus has taught him in
comparison to his experience in the church.

If you are a person of faith, who has some
mixed feelings about the church (and that 
seems to include most of us) this book can
help to clarify for you what you may not 
always be able to put into words. 

It will also give you hope and encouragement 
to follow Jesus (within the church) and in
a more meaningful way.


Buy the Book from



Wikipedia Bio:



Lethbridge, AB

Feb. 19th, 2011

Hi Wayne!
I want to thank you so very much for the 
extensive exposure that you gave to my new 
book via this week's "Colleague's List..."
Your reflections were gratifying, your 
generous final lines uplifting. Your 
reflections were particularly gratifying 
because they revealed that you grasped 
what I was trying to convey; not every 
reader is able to do that - casting an 
author's doubt not only on others' eyes 
but also on one's pen. Your generosity 
was uplifting because you resonated with 
the enthusiasm that I, in my most euphoric 
moments ... thought might be possible.
Very best to you in your own ongoing work, 
and with life more generally.


Dublin, Ireland

Feb. 21st, 2011

Dear Wayne,

Greetings from Dublin and indeed a long 
overdue "thank-you" for the regular issues 
of your blogsite which I study every week 
and find most enlightening and interesting.

                         - Ned Carolan omi


Burlington, ON

Feb. 22nd, 2011

Canada's Christians Want Integrity


San Antonio, TX

"Building an Ark"

February 20th, 2011

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..."

You will recognize these words as the opening 
lines of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem, "If" 
and they, as much as any scriptural commentary, 
provide the key to understand the story of 
Noah and the Ark...


Okanagan, BC

"Someone to Watch Over Me"

Wednesday February 23, 2011

I am glad to be alive.

Sunday morning when I got up, the valley 
still slumbered in shadow, but the rising 
sun lit the hills across the lake in soft 
rose. Three small cottonballs of cloud 
drifted below a vast blue dome of sky.

A week ago, I wondered if I would see such 
things again...



by Bing West

New York Times Books
February 27th, 2011

Reviewed by Dexter Filkins

This crushing critique of the Afghanistan war 
goes a long way toward explaining why America's 
embrace of counterinsurgency strategy has not 
delivered its promised success.



Zenit News from Rome
February 21st, 2011


Archbishop Addresses Sexually Abused

National Catholic Reporter
February 21st, 2011



Catholic News Service
America Magazine,

Feb. 25th, 2011


Catholic Church Welcomes Lutheran

Fox News
February 22nd, 2011



Lifesite News
Feb. 24th, 2011



National Catholic Reporter
February 23rd, 2011



ENI News Service, Geneva
February 22nd, 2011 

Rescuers search for quake survivors 
in Christchurch, New Zealand

New York (ENI news) - Rescue teams in 
Christchurch, New Zealand were digging 
through rubble on 23 February, searching 
for survivors of the 6.3-magnitude 
earthquake that killed at least 75 people 
and destroyed and damaged many buildings 
in the city on 21 February, among them a 
number of historic churches.


Several Reports:

The Guardian, UK
Feb. 22nd, 2011


Uccan News
February 22nd, 2011


Video of Cathedral Collapse
Provided by Australian News Service



ENI News Service, Geneva

February 25th, 2011

In Christchurch, New Zealand: 
shattered churches, grieving parishioners

Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - In a 
city named after a place of faith, churches 
shattered by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake were 
yielding up their dead on 25 February as 
clergy and parishioners grieved and searched 
for places to worship on Sunday. 


New Zealand Bishops Ask for Prayers

Anglican Journal
February 22nd, 2011


ELCIC Members Asked to Pray for the People of 
New Zealand Following Severe Earthquake

ELCIC News Service,
Winnipeg, MB. 

Feb. 24th, 2011

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) 
National Bishop Susan C. Johnson called for 
prayers following a severe earthquake that 
hit Christchurch, New Zealand on Feb. 22, 2011. 

A deadly 6.3 magnitude tremor wrecked a trail of 
destruction in the city, killing close to 100 
people with over 200 persons still reported 
missing earlier today.

In a release from Lutheran World Information 
(LWI), Rev. David Lipsys, pastor of St Paul's 
Lutheran Church in Christchurch, reported that 
there were no known casualties among the 
congregation, though he emphasized the 
difficulty in reaching members. Loss of power
and telephones, combined with transport 
restrictions, is making contact with our 
church members and friends very difficult,
he said. Lipsys planned to motorcycle to areas 
that are still not accessible by automobile 
to find out how parishioners were faring. 

New Zealand's second major earthquake in five 
months had compromised the structural integrity 
of the church worship center, he noted, and 
seriously damaged the house in which he and 
his wife live. We hope to be able to remain 
in our home, but I am afraid that we may have 
to tear it down, he commented.

Many people are spending the nights in tents, 
without water or food, Lipsys said. Meanwhile, 
fear is running high because of the risk of

Lutheran Church of New Zealand (LCNZ) President 
Robert Erickson has declared this coming Sunday 
a Sunday of Prayer for the people of Christchurch 
and surrounding areas.� 

LCNZ is a district of the Lutheran Church of 
Australia (LCA), which joined the LWF as an 
associate member church in 1994 and has 
70,000 members.


Globe and Mail
Feb. 25th, 2011

Battered Church Now 'Broken Heart of the City' -
Conversation with Bishop Victoria Matthews



The Tablet, UK
Feb. 25th, 2011



ENI News Service, Geneva
February 21st, 2011

Number of Catholics worldwide edged up, 
Vatican says

Vatican City (ENI news/RNS) - The number of 
Catholics in the world edged up by one percent 
in 2009, the Vatican said, bringing to 1.18 
billion the number of adherents of the world's 
largest church. 

What Do the Stats Really Say?

Uccan News
Feb. 22nd, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
21 February 2011

WCC pressed to develop new policy statement 
on gender justice

Geneva (ENI news) - Members of the World Council 
of Churches (WCC) Central Committee, at their 
meeting here, took a fresh look at the ecumenical 
movement's progress on gender justice issues and 
many members didn't like what they saw. 

Churches in India challenged 
to support indigenous people

New Delhi (ENI news) - Churches in India have been 
urged to stand up for indigenous peoples who have 
been affected by such development projects as dams 
and mines. 

In Southern Sudan, ecumenical movement 
turns to nation-building

Geneva (ENI news) - Having successfully brokered 
a historic and peaceful referendum in southern 
Sudan -- on 9 July the Republic of South Sudan will 
be born -- ecumenical organizations in Africa and 
around the world are now focusing on the equally 
challenging task of helping to build the new nation.


22 February 2011

WCC's 2013 Assembly theme focuses 
on justice and peace

Geneva (ENI news)--After several hours of what 
Moderator Walter Altmann called "intense 
dialogue," the World Council of Churches Central 
Committee decided on 22 February on a theme for 
the WCC's 10th Assembly: "God of Life, Lead Us 
to Justice and Peace." 

Middle East churches need to work together 
for peace, archbishop says

Jerusalem (ENI news)--Churches in the Middle East 
must work together to overcome the problems facing
the region in order that "peace can prevail," 
Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus said in an 
address on 18 February at an extraordinary meeting 
in Cyprus of the Executive Committee of the Middle 
East Council of Churches. 


23 February 2011

Libyan Christian clergy vow to stay on 
amid violence

Nairobi (ENI news) - Christian clergy in Libya 
said they have no intention of leaving the 
country, where several days of protests and 
retaliation by government armed forces have 
left hundreds of people dead. 

WCC criticises U.S. veto of UN resolution on 
Israeli settlements

Geneva (ENI news) - With one U.S. delegate 
dissenting, the World Council of Churches 
(WCC) Central Committee on 21 February 
criticised the U.S. veto on 18 February of 
a UN Security Council resolution condemning 
continued settlement construction by Israel 
in the Palestinian Territories. 

Churches in India protest inquiry 
into church attacks

Bangalore, India (ENI news) - More than 15,000 
Christians took part in a rally here on 21 
February to protest what they said was a biased 
inquiry report into attacks on churches in the 
troubled Karnataka state. 


24 February 2011

WCC calls for more ecumenical 
peace-building in Colombia

Geneva (ENI news) - Colombia urgently needs 
an increase in ecumenical approaches to 
peace-building to counter the effects of 
a half-century of civil conflict fuelled 
by drug money and corporate influence, 
the Central Committee of the World Council 
of Churches (WCC) said. 

African bishops warn against rushed elections 
in Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe (ENI news) - Catholic bishops 
in Southern Africa have warned that conditions 
are not yet fit for elections in Zimbabwe after 
the bloody presidential run-off election which 
left scores of people dead. 

Philippine Protestant council hails 
plan to resume peace talks

Manila (ENI news) - An agreement between the 
Philippine government and the communist-led 
National Democratic Front to resume peace 
talks offers opportunities to end a 42-year 
armed conflict in this Southeast Asian nation, 
said a Protestant council.


25 February 2011

Russian Orthodox Church Expands Prison Ministry
Moscow (ENI news) - The Russian Orthodox Church 
has formalized its work in prisons across Russia 
by signing a formal agreement with the country’s 
Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) that 
emphasizes not only spiritual support to 
prisoners, but to prison staff as well. 



Provided by

February 21st, 2011

"Peace for humanity is not only the absence 
of war, or the end of violence... For us 
Christians, peace is based on a fundamental 
new relationship between [humankind] and God. 
That is why Christ said he brought peace, 
'not as the world gives.' He brought 
different peace."

- Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia


February 22nd, 2011

"The truth does not change according to 
 our ability to stomach it."

- Flannery O'Connor


February 23rd, 2011

"In our era, the road to holiness necessarily 
 passes through the world of action."

- Dag Hammarskjold


February 24th, 2011

"Spirituality sometimes becomes the invention 
of a life that makes us emotionally comfortable, 
and thus doesn't address the very real demands 
of a religion. Serious engagement with any 
religion requires the adherent to acknowledge 
its demands and difficulty."

- Marilynne Robinson


February 25th, 2011

"It is inevitable that in working for freedom 
some individuals and some families must take 
the lead and suffer: the road to freedom is 
via the cross."

- Albert Luthuli



Feb. 20, 1962, astronaut John Glenn became 
the first American to orbit Earth as he flew 
aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule.


Feb. 21, 1965, former Black Muslim leader 
Malcolm X was shot and killed by assassins 
identified as Black Muslims as he was about 
to address a rally in New York City; he was 39.


Feb. 23, 1954, the first mass inoculation 
of children against polio with the Salk 
vaccine began in Pittsburgh.



Something to Ponder -

Why do the differences between Synods,
Conferences, Denominations and Sects
seem to matter only to the people in
Synods, Conferences, Denominations and