I have spent the first half of my career
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Vol. VI. No. 36 ***** Wayne A. Holst, Editor ***** Colleagues List Blog: http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com/ ***** In This Issue - Special Item This Week: Book Notice - "Our One Great Act of Fidelity" by Colleague Ron Rolheiser ___ Colleague Comment: June Maffin ___ Colleague Contributions: Monica Kilburn Smith Ron Rolheiser ___ Net Notes: Ben Smillie Dies French Ban on Veils Kung Advocates Peaceful Evolution New Westminster Property Settlement Detroit Reviews Reformed Roman Mass "Book of Mormon" Play Wins Tony Award Lutherwood Recognized as Ideal Employer Religious Tolerance Improves in Vietnam Canada's Reserve System Still a Disgrace Neither the Day nor the Hour: The Rapture ___ Global Faith Potpourri: Fourteen ENI Geneva stories appear this week. ___ Quotes of the Week: Henri J.M. Nouwen Thomas à Kempis Juanita W. Potter Meister Eckhart Mary Oliver ___ On This Day: June 12, 1987 - Reagan Says in Berlin "Tear down this wall." June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. ___ Closing Thoughts - Teilhard de Chardin (end) ***** Dear Friends, My Special Item this week is a notice of the immanent publication of a new book by Ron Rolheiser whose columns appear regularly on Colleagues List. "Our One Great Act of Fidelity" - is a book on a particular subject for a general reading audience. ___ Colleague Comment: June Maffin - (Vancouver Island) writes to thank me for the appearance of a notice of her recent book in last week's Colleagues List. If you missed it, why not take a look? ___ Colleague Contributions: Monica Kilburn Smith - (Calgary) sends a notice about developments in the Womenpriest movement. I include a column by Richard O'Brien on the theology of women's ordination. Ron Rolheiser - (San Antonio, TX) appears again this week with a column on life's meaning and personal happiness. ___ Net Notes: "Ben Smillie Dies" - long known in Canada for his social activism - a prairie United Church minister and teacher has passed away (Globe and Mail) "French Ban on Veils" - while debate on the banning of religious covering remains timely, here is a view in support of veiling (Sightings) "Kung Advocates Peaceful Evolution" - The veteran theologian presents his views on how Catholics should deal with the pope (National Catholic Reporter) "New Westminster Property Settlement" - The Supreme Court of Canada rules in favour of the Anglican diocese - not the dissenters - and hopefully this brings some closure (Anglican Journal, New Westminster Website) "Detroit Reviews Reformed Roman Mass" - a reformist group of Catholics held a unique mass in Cobo Hall, Detroit a week ago, and the archdiocese now comments (Detroit Times) ""Book of Mormon" Play Wins Tony Award" - Broadway is currently featuring a musical that some Latter Day Saints may or may not appreciate (New York Times) "Lutherwood Recognized as Ideal Employer" - a Lutheran home near Waterloo, ON which was established to support young people with mental illnesses has been rated one of Canada's best employers (Christianweek.org) "Religious Tolerance Improves in Vietnam" - a report on the current religious climate in Vietnam tells of some improvement there (Ucan News) "Canada's Reserve System Still a Disgrace" - while there are now more Native university graduates than ever, the situation back on the 'rez' does not seem to improve much (Toronto Sun) "Neither the Day nor the Hour: The Rapture" - intriguing comment in the popular press on a strange religious phenomenon to many modern secular folk (New York Times) ___ Global Faith Potpourri: Fourteen international religious news stories appear this week courtesy of Ecumenical News Service, Geneva. ___ Quotes of the Week: Henri J.M. Nouwen, Thomas à Kempis, Juanita W. Potter, Meister Eckhart and Mary Oliver offer pithy comments ___ On This Day: As it happened articles from the archives of the New York Times: Reagan Says to Gorbachev while visiting Berlin "Tear down this wall." (1987) Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. (1928) ___ Closing Thoughts - this week come to us from the paleontologist/theologian Teilhard de Chardin Blessings on your summer weeks! Wayne ************************ SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (or)email@example.com St. David's Web Address -http://sduc.ca/ Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services - http://sduc.ca/services.htm ___ ST DAVID'S ACTS WEB PAGE Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish http://stdavidscalgary.net/ NOTE: This page is being reconstructed. ***** STUDY ARCHIVES A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can quickly be found at: http://bookstudies.stdavidscalgary.net/ 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. ****************************************** SPECIAL ITEM Book Notice: OUR ONE GREAT ACT OF FIDELITY by Ronald Rolheiser omi Doubleday, 2011. 139 pages. Cost: $20.00 CAD. ISBN #978-0-307-88703-0. Release date: June 21st. Publisher's Promo: More so than anything else, the Eucharist is what anchors many peoples' life, prayer, and ultimately the way they live their lives. In this deeply personal book, Father Ronald Rolheiser delves into the history and meaning of this sacred tradition, drawing upon the insights of various scripture scholars, theologians, and church teachings. With personal warmth and great insight, he reflects on his own particular Roman Catholic upbringing and the centrality the Eucharist has within that tradition. At the same time, he looks at other denominations’ traditions around the Eucharist. "Our One Great Act of Fidelity" is an investigation into the ways people secure their faith and belief and discover true intimacy with God and each other. Ultimately, however, it is a spiritual and a personal statement of how Ronald Rolheiser understands the Eucharist and why he celebrates it every day. --- Author's Words: I celebrate Eucharist every day. More so than anything else, the Eucharist is what anchors my life, my prayer, my discipleship. ... Particularly through my contact with other churches, my understanding of Eucharist has widened... as more and more Protestants and Evangelicals became friends and faith companions, I was introduced to different understandings and practices of the Eucharist and other ways within which to think of the Word and the Eucharist as interrelating. One of my godchildren, a niece of whom I am immensely proud, is a Lutheran. I share deeply my faith journey as well with various Protestant clergy, and some of them share their struggles and journeys with me. As I age, my sympathies and my loyalties become more stretched. I'll always be a Roman Catholic, but my faith journey and my heaven now include Protestants, Evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, and sincere searchers and struggling persons of every sort... To deny this is to massively reduce both the scope of Christ's embrace and the meaning of Christian baptism. This book will reflect my own particular Roman Catholic background, but I hope it will also reflect an understanding and a respect for other traditions around the Eucharist and other ways of anchoring faith and searching for intimacy with God and each other. - from the Preface --- My Thoughts: This book is a clear reflection of the spirituality of Ron Rolheiser, a friend of twenty-five years and one of the people that helped me to come to better understand Roman Catholicism in general, and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (omi - of which he is a member) in particular. While I do not normally partake of the elements in a Roman Catholic Eucharist (at least without an invitation from those who host it) I was - many years ago - pleased to join an RC Eucharist with Ron, who assured me I would be welcome. Since my inclinations are toward 'open' eucharists rather than 'closed' ones, I considered it a respectful honour to have been invited by my friend. Indeed, I see it as one of the tragedies of Christianity - and of our religion in general - that we tend to keep people out of our most sacred meal as Christians. But if we are going to err, I opt for inclusivity, rather than exclusion. I say that, having been extensively educated in eucharistic theology and the doctrines that various Christians hold regarding the Eucharist. I don't believe that right teaching of the meaning of Eucharist is as important as the right experiencing of it. I would rather participate with a group of fellow Christians who desire earnestly to be there and to include me with them - than to be among those who believe that their particular understanding of Eucharist is the correct one. Saying that, I must affirm that I try to respect the views of my eucharistic hosts (no pun) and will refrain from partaking where I sense inclusivity is not practiced. The ritual of 'feet-washing' in the humble spirit modeled by Jesus at the Last Supper is practiced in some ecumenical settings as a way to experience community when formal Eucharistic practice may not be possible. --- Several weeks ago, I participated in a Eucharist at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. I was part of an amazing cross-section of humanity. Perhaps 200 attended that quiet evening service in a massive church. It seemed like the whole world was joining me with God and all people of faith at that special moment. So I can identify with Ron when he says that as we grow older, our sense of the meaning of Eucharist can 'stretch' and 'widen.' --- But the author of "Our One Great Act of Fidelity" is concerned with the personal as well as the ecumenical meaning of this sacred practice. I know of others who, like the author, attempt to follow the discipline of daily Eucharist. I quite understand how this can balance and help to mold one's spirituality. My spiritual tradition did not form me into the mindset of Eucharist as a particular, daily discipline but I can very much appreciate the value and meaning of engaging in regular eucharistic observance. It is quite apparent that the author is trying to inform his readers about what this practice means to him; not to force everyone into a similar discipline. Yet, in the process, he helps his readers to enhance their awareness and perhaps their practice as well. --- Rolheiser offers background to both theological and spiritual meanings of Eucharist. 'Incarnation,' 'physical,' and 'central' - are found in his chapter headings. In his helpful way, he describes how 'ritual' can be transformed into meaningful 'personal' experience. His chapters also include words like 'God's physical embrace,' 'unity within the Body of Christ,''A celebration of our health and joy, as well as our pain and sorrow...' Other important themes considered include 'sacrifice,' 'memorial of the paschal mystery,' 'reconciliation' 'an ultimate invitation to mature discipleship - to wash each other's feet,' 'vigil' and the 'priestly prayer of Christ.' All of these images are introduced and discussed with a spiritual, rather than a theoretical emphasis. In doing this I believe the author communicates in a language moderns are more likely to understand and appreciate. --- After the appearance of this book, I would like to learn that many non-Catholics as well as Catholics have discovered and read it. Even though the author wants to deepen his own faith and the faith of fellow RC's through this writing, I am sure he would like to be an agent of a general renewal of this central act of the Christian community. --- Buy the book from Amazon.ca: http://tinyurl.com/5stnj9d ***** COLLEAGUE COMMENT JUNE MAFFIN Vancouver Island June 11th, 2011 Dear Wayne, Thank you for your gracious review of the Soulistry book and kind posting in your most recent blog. As a book reviewer for two groups/companies, I do my utmost to "get" the book I'm reading, "get" the intent of the author who wrote the book and convey that to those who read my reviews. It takes time, as you know only too well, to read and review with authenticity, depth and sincerity rather than a quick read and superficial review. So, from the perspective of a book review colleague, I respect the time you took and professional manner in which you reviewed "Soulistry"". From the perspective of author, I am deeply humbled - you "got" the book and its intent and on top of that, you were not hesitant in recommending it to your readers. Thank you seems such an easy thing to write, but it doesn't get to the depth of my appreciation. However, I'll leave it at that, remembering Meister Eckhardt's "If the only prayer you utter is thank you, that would be sufficient." :-) ***** COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS MONICA KILBURN SMITH Calgary, AB Personal Correspondence June 12th, 2011 FIRST CANADIAN WOMAN BISHOP OF CATHOLIC WOMENPRIEST MOVEMENT TO BE ORDAINED THIS AUTUMN Pentecost Sunday seems a perfect day to share the news that the nine of us who are ordained in RCWP Canada have elected our first Canadian woman bishop! Our bishop-elect is Marie Bouclin of Sudbury, ON, who was ordained a womanpriest in Toronto in 2007. Her episcopal ordination will take place in the fall in Europe. There are more ordinations of Canadians coming soon, so we needed our own bishop. There are a number of women bishops in the States and in Europe, so it was time for us to follow suit. We are very excited. Voting for a bishop is an aspect of the renewed, non-hierarchical model of ministry that RCWP practices. Here is a link to a story about Marie in the newspaper in Sudbury: http://tinyurl.com/6zkqvoy Monica --- "Infallibility and Women's Ordination Question" Richard O'Brien National Catholic Reporter June 13th, 2011 (Use Mozilla Firefox search engine to open)
--- RON ROLHEISER San Antonio, TX Personal Blog "Meaning and Happiness" http://tinyurl.com/3rx4bhx ***** NET NOTES BEN SMILIE - UCC MINISTER AND PRAIRIE POPULIST, DIES Globe and Mail June 15th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3hvwknx ***** FRENCH BAN ON FULL FACE VEILS Assessment from a Muslim Perspective Sightings June 16th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/428tdy5 ***** KUNG URGES PEACEFUL EVOLUTION AWAY FROM PAPAL ABSOLUTISM National Catholic Reporter June 11th, 2011 (use Mozilla Firefox to open) http://tinyurl.com/3cxatkk ***** NEW WESTMINSTER ISSUE SETTLED Supreme Court Supports NW Diocese Dissidents Lose Their Buildings Anglican Journal June 16th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3f8ausx --- Statement by Bishop Michael Ingham June 16th, 2011
http://tinyurl.com/3ze6cjm ***** DETROIT ARCHDIOCESE REVIEWS MASS OF CATHOLIC REFORMERS Threats of Defrocking Made Detroit News June 12th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3c4fx9j ***** 'BOOK OF MORMON' PLAY WINS TONY AWARD Musical on Mormonism Charms Broadway New York Times June 13th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/5sfqzq8 ***** LUTHERWOOD MAKES GRADE AS GREAT EMPLOYER Waterloo Institution Helps Mentally Ill Christianweek.org June 14th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3gpdarx ***** 'RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE' GROWS IN VIETNAM Christians Experience More Freedoms Ucan News June 14th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3txhjxq ***** CANADA'S RESERVE SYSTEM STILL A DISGRACE Many Reports Fail to Reverse a Tragedy Toronto Sun June 13th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3wxpwu4 ***** NEITHER THE DAY NOR THE HOUR: The Meaning of the Rapture New York Times June 16th, 2011 http://tinyurl.com/3dxyrxz ***** GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI Ecumenical News International News Highlights 10 June 2011 Archbishop of Canterbury's comments provoke response from British government London (ENI news) - In a strongly-worded opinion piece in the 9 June issue of The New Statesman, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, took a stand against recent economic, criminal justice, and healthcare reforms proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Williams, launching his broadside as guest editor of the weekly journal, said Britain's coalition government is forcing through "radical policies for which no one voted." He questioned whether democratic legitimacy existed for flagship policies on welfare, health and education, which we he said were causing "anxiety and anger." He also dismissed Cameron's "Big Society" initiative for the voluntary sector to play a greater role in providing services as "painfully stale" and condemned what he described as punitive action against alleged abuses of the benefit system. _____ Member contributions an issue of concern at Lutheran World Federation meeting Geneva (ENI news) - Members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) today expressed concern about budget problems at the LWF Council meeting in Geneva. Factors such as the global financial crisis, the weakness of the euro and the dollar against the Swiss franc, and a decline in membership fees have combined to create concern about the organization's financial situation. The reduction in contributions from members in the southern hemisphere was another topic of discussion. Some southern churches are not paying their dues, creating tension with members in the north. Member contributions have decreased about nine percent over the past two years, to three million dollars, though this is partly due to the weakness of some currencies. The fees are based on a formula indicating the relative wealth of a given church compared with those in other countries. _____ Renewed Sudan fighting leading to humanitarian crisis Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - Escalating violence against civilians in Sudan's disputed South Kordofan State is leading to a major humanitarian catastrophe with an estimated 300,000 people besieged, cut off from relief aid, and unable to escape fighting, according to a number of aid agencies and witnesses in the region. Up to 40,000 people have fled recent fighting between Sudanese government troops and members of the former southern rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), in Kadugli, the capital of Sudan's oil-producing state of South Kordofan, according to a U.N. report quoted by the World Council of Churches (WCC). ***** 13 June 2011 Religious leaders assess UN AIDS declaration New York (ENI news) - Religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations are giving generally high marks to a United Nations AIDS meeting that set new targets to combat the continued spread of HIV/AIDS. At the 8-10 June meeting at the U.N. in New York, marked by frequent references to the three decades in which acquired immune deficiency syndrome has claimed more than 30 million lives, U.N. member states agreed on a final document which called for strengthening measurable targets to fight HIV/AIDS. _____ Christian council will return torture documents to Brazil Geneva (ENI news) - On 14 June, three boxes containing records of brutal torture and repression suffered under two decades of Brazilian military rule will be returned to the South American country from peaceful Switzerland, where the material has resided at the World Council of Churches (WCC) archives. Religious and political leaders, including WCC general secretary the Rev. Olav Fyske Tveit and Brazilian Senator Pedro Taques, will hand over the documents in a ceremony in Sao Paulo at the Public Prosecution Office. The information was collected by dissident lawyers and church leaders from 1979 to 1985, surreptitiously copied and sent to the WCC. Brazil was under a military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. _____ June 14th, 2011 New Zealand city again rocked by earthquakes Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - New Zealand's second biggest city was again plunged into a chaos of dust clouds, rock slides, traffic jams and collapsingbuildings, after being rocked by a 5.7-magnitude and a 6.3-magnitude earthquake within 90 minutes in mid-afternoon on 13 June. Many buildings, including churches, were damaged or have collapsed. One elderly rest home resident died in a fall, according to police. The quakes are the latest in a series of dozens of aftershocks following the devastating magnitude -6.3 earthquake on 22 February, when 182 people died, and a damaging magnitude 7.1 earthquake last September. _____ Christian leaders condemn terror in Sudan's Kordofan Nairobi (ENI news) - Christian leaders from around the world are calling on the international community to intervene in the violence in Sudan's Southern Kordofan border state, where an air bombing campaign is causing "huge suffering" to civilian populations and endangering humanitarian assistance. Church and aid officials say more than 300,000 people are trapped, cut off from relief and unable to flee the region where the Sudan Armed Forces has been fighting the Sudan People's Liberation Army, the former rebels aligned groups in the oil state. The fighting, which has been going on for a week, is raising fears of an increased death toll, after clashes escalated to include artillery and aircraft. _____ Lutheran council addresses plight of refugees Geneva (ENI news) - On the closing day of the Lutheran World Federation's (LWF) governing Council meeting here, members addressed conflicts in the Middle East and Sudan and urged developed nations to increase efforts to welcome refugees. Giving displaced persons asylum "can be a matter of life and death, as is now seen with migrants drowning in the Mediterranean. In the current circumstances in North Africa and the Middle East, the Council calls especially on countries in Europe to offer protection," the Council, which met from 9 to 14 June, said in a statement. People attempting to flee unrest in Libya and other countries have died in recent months when overcrowded boats sank attempting to reach Italy and Greece. ***** 15 June 2011 Christchurch's Anglican landmark suffers further damage Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - This city's most famous building, its historic Anglican cathedral, may be damaged beyond repair after 5.7-magnitude and 6.3-magnitude earthquakes shook New Zealand's second biggest city on 13 June. The cathedral, the centrepiece of the business district for 150 years, was initially seriously damaged in February's 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which killed 181 people. The central city is in ruins, and many businesses have moved to the western suburbs. _____ Conference to address issues faced by Christians in the Middle East Geneva (ENI news) - The volatile situation facing Christians in the Middle East is a key topic of concern for members of the central committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and will be highlighted at an upcoming conference on Christians in the Middle East to be held in Volos, Greece from 20 to 22 June, according to a news release. With the diminishing presence of Christians in the region, the central committee said in a statement in February, the "conviviality among peoples from different faiths, cultures, civilizations, which is a sign of God's love for all humanity, will be endangered." The conference in Greece will explore the issue from a theological, ecumenical, cultural, and political perspective. ***** June 16th, 2011 Japanese churches must become more active, warns theologian Tokyo (ENI news) - Japanese Christianity has "spinelessly gone along with the government, "mostly shunning social activism and becoming "excessively theoretical," according to a leading theologian. "What Christianity needs here is orthopraxy [right practice]," said Yasuo Furuya, professor of modern Christian systematic theology at Seigakuin University, north of Tokyo. The 85-year-old theologian made his comments in a new book, "Is Christianity Real in Japan?" released on 1 June by Kyo Bun Kwan, a Tokyo-based Christian publishing company. --- U.N. environment agency sees work with faith groups, African cleric says Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) is looking forward to working with the faith communities in Africa on environmental issues, retired South African Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Davies said. The cleric's comments follow faith groups' interaction with the agency from 7-8 June at its headquarters here during preparatory meeting for the 17th Conference of Parties COP-17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to be held in Durban, South Africa in November. --- Vatican tries to revive Eucharistic adoration Vatican City (ENI news) - For seven centuries, Eucharistic adoration -- praying before an exposed consecrated Communion host -- was one of the most popular forms of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, the focus of beloved prayers and hymns and a distinctive symbol of Catholic identity. Following the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the practice fell from favor, especially in Europe and the U.S., reports Religion News Service. But over the last decade, under popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the church has strongly encouraged a revival of the practice. --- Christchurch's Anglican landmark suffers further damage Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI news) - This city's most famous building, its historic Anglican cathedral, may be damaged beyond repair after 5.7-magnitude and 6.3-magnitude earthquakes shook New Zealand's second biggest city on 13 June. The cathedral, the centrepiece of the business district for 150 years, was initially seriously damaged in February's 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which killed 181 people. ***** QUOTES OF THE WEEK From the services of Sojourners.online: June 13th, 2011 "Dear Lord, I will remain restless, tense, and dissatisfied until I can be totally at peace in your house. There is no certainty that my life will be any easier in the years ahead, or that my heart will be any calmer. But there is certainty that you are waiting for me and will welcome me home when I have persevered in my long journey to your house." - Henri J.M. Nouwen --- June 14th, 2011 "We should have much peace if we would not busy ourselves with the sayings and doings of others." - Thomas à Kempis --- June 15th, 2011 "I dream and work for the day/when saying that I'm a Christian/will say it all. /But until then, /I am a Christian feminist." - Juanita W. Potter, "Why Am I a Feminist?" --- July 16th, 2011 "I much prefer a person who can love God enough to take a handout of bread, to a person who can give a hundred dollars for God's sake. ... The poor [one], by taking the handout, gets closer to God than [the one] who gave the one hundred dollars for God's sake." - Meister Eckhart --- June 17th, 2011 "To live in this world/ you must be able/ to do three things/ to love what is mortal;/ to hold it/against your bones knowing/ your own life depends/on it;/and, when the time comes to let it go,/to let it go." - Mary Oliver, from her poem "In Black Water Woods" ***** ON THIS DAY June 12, 1987 - during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." http://tinyurl.com/3hpr5a7 _____ June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart embarked on the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman. She flew from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours. http://tinyurl.com/44fhptw ***** CLOSING THOUGHT "Creatures can come into being like shoots from a stem, only as part of an endlessly renewed process of evolution." - Teilhard de Chardin (end)