Friday, September 2, 2011

Colleagues List, September 3rd, 2011

Vol. VII. No. 5


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:


In This Issue -

Special Item This Week:

Book Notice:

"A Public Faith:
 How Followers of Christ
 Can Serve the Common Good"
 by colleague Miroslav Volf

Colleague Contributions:

Tony Parel
Marjorie Gibson
Mark Noll
John Griffith

Net Notes:

Why Sermons Bore Us
Austria's Moment of Truth
Why People Reject Religion
Canada Remembers Jack Layton
A Muscular Brand of Christianity
Advice to American Catholic Bishops
S. Korean Church Crosses an "Eyesore"
Modern Culture and Old Order Anabaptism
Baroque Festival in the Bolivian Jungle
Earthquake Damages US National Cathedral
German Laity Deeply Weary of Abuse Issue


Global Faith Potpourri:
Fourteen ENI Geneva stories.

Quotes of the Week:

C.S. Lewis
Frederick Bueckner
Maya Angelou
Mother Teresa
Jon Sobrino
Eleanor Roosevelt
Meister Eckhart
Sara Miles
Teilhard de Chardin
Philip Noel-Baker

On This Day:

Aug. 19, 1934 - Germany invests
total executive power in Hitler.

Aug. 25, 1944 - Paris liberated by
Allies after four years of Nazi rule.

Aug. 28, 1963 - 200,000 people hear
Dr. MLK Jr. declare - "I Have a Dream."

Aug. 29, 1991 - Supreme Soviet suspends
all activities of the Communist Party.

Sept. 2, 1945 - Japan formally surrenders
in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri,
ending World War II.

Closing Thought: Martin Luther King Jr.



Dear Friends:

On this Labour Day weekend we experience
a transition from summer to autumn in this
part of the world.

Here are my contributions as we enter a
new season.

Welcome to all new Colleagues List members!


Colleague Michael Pryce, bishop of the
Eastern Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church
in Canada, received an honourary doctorate
from Wilfrid Laurier University earlier
this year. Congratulations, Michael!

Aloysius  Ambrozic, cardinal archbishop of
Toronto (1990-2006) died August 26th in
Toronto. Fellow-colleagues on this list
knew him well, and our sympathies extend
to you as well as to the late cardinal's


My special item for this issue is a notice
of a new book by colleague Miroslav Volf:
"A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ
Can Serve the Common Good."

I hope you enjoy it.

Colleague Contributions:

Tony Parel - announces details of the upcoming
Gandhi Society of Calgary's Annual Dinner.

Marjorie Gibson - remembers a time when there
was a link between grasshoppers, chewing
tobacco and sex. To find out what it was,
read her article.

Mark Noll - has written a kind of sequel to
the classic he wrote several decades ago on
the "evangelical mind."  It's worth your

John Griffith - provides a retreat for ministry
-related persons desiring to begin the autumn
season with some sound spiritual grounding.

Net Notes:

"Why Sermons Bore Us" - Tom Long, Atlanta,
and one of the best authorities on the
practice of worship, writes about sermons
(The Christian Century)

"Austria's Moment of Truth" - an editorial
contrasts the joy of World Youth Day in Madrid
and the pain of the church in Austria - both
experiences deeply felt by the current pope
(The Tablet, UK)

"Why People Reject Religion" - a new study
on "apostates" describes alienation from
many forms of modern organized religion
(Publishers Weekly)

"Canada Remembers Jack Layton" - the
people of Canada and the faith community
have praised the Leader of the Opposition
at his untimely death (Christian Week,
Anglican Journal)

"A Muscular Brand of Christianity" -
'gentle Jesus, meek and mild' - is not the
kind of hero these people are looking for
(The Guardian, UK)

"Advice to American Catholic Bishops" -
in a second summer editorial, we read
advice on how the bishops might treat
author Elizabeth Johnson (The Tablet, UK)

"S. Korean Church Crosses an "Eyesore" -
do they reflect deep faith, or are they
merely kitch? Neon sign crosses dot the
South Korean landscape (Los Angeles Times)

"Modern Culture and Old Order Anabaptism"
- the public awareness and appreciation
of Old Order Mennonites has risen sharply
in America over the past several decades

"Baroque Festival in the Bolivian Jungle"
- those who saw and loved the hit movie
"Mission" several decades ago, will
enjoy this article (The Guardian, UK)

"Earthquake Damages US National Cathedral"
- when the Episcopal Cathedral in Washington
DC was struck by an earthquake, it was the
second Anglican cathedral to be thus affected
(after Christchurch, NZ) this past year.
Roman Catholics have shown they care
(ENI, The Atlantic, Anglican Journal)

"German Laity Deeply Weary of Abuse Issue"
- it is apparent that German Catholics are
very depressed over their authorities
(Ucan News)


Global Faith Potpourri:

Fourteen ENI Geneva stories are published
here this week.

Quotes of the Week:

C.S. Lewis, Frederick Bueckner, Maya Angelou,
Mother Teresa, Jon Sobrino, Eleanor Roosevelt,
Meister Eckhart, Sara Miles, Teilhard de Chardin
and Philip Noel-Baker offer us a rich selection.

On This Day:

Germany gives total power to Hitler (1934)
Paris freed from Nazi rule by Allies (1944)
200,000 hear MLK's "I Have a Dream" (1963)
Supreme Soviet ends Communist Party (1991)
Japan surrenders, World War II over (1945)

Closing Thought:

Martin Luther King Jr, whose 'dream' speech
we remember this week, has final thoughts
to share, complemented by Matthew Fox.


The next issue of Colleagues List will
appear September 17th, after which we
return to a weekly schedule of mailings.




"Report to the Congregation and Reflection"
 Sunday, Sept. 11th, and Monday, Sept. 12th

As St. David's congregation returns from
the summer break, we plan a special weekend
of gathering/worship for those participating
in our Fiftieth Anniversary Tour of the Celtic
Lands, April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

Sunday, September 11th - worship with a
Celtic theme, and a special "Sight and
Sound Report" to the congregation prepared
by Jock McTavish (some of this material will
be posted on Colleagues List).

A CD Jock has produced will be given gratis
to all tour participants and extras will be
made available for those who are interested.

Monday, September 12th, TM Room, 7-9PM
the venue of a special reunion for persons
who took the tour. It will be an opportunity
for reflection and suggestions for future
spiritual travel projects sponsored by
the ACTS Ministry of St. David's.

David Rostad of Rostad Tours, the person
whose tour company planned and organized our
experience in the UK and Ireland, will be
present to join our reflections and suggest
future possibilities.

Mark your calendars!

Here is a beautiful poem, birthed while on
the tour, by Jock McTavish:




"Living Ethically Amid Chaos"
 Two Books by Richard Holloway

September 19th - November 28th
TM Room, St. David's United Church
7:00PM - 9:00PM

"Godless Morality"
 Learning how to separate "God says"
 from doing what is right

Information about the book from


"Between the Monster and the Saint"
 Spiritual support for pursuing a life
 that seeks above all to be good

Information on the book from


Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst
Book sale begins at the end of August!

Registration: $50.00 for class fees,
the two books and special hospitality

Purchase only the books - $35.00



Two Study Programs Sponsored by:
The Department of Continuing Education
At the University of Calgary

Taught by: Wayne Holst

Recommended books:

"God, Atheism and Morality" (ten sessions)
 Tuesday Nights, 7:00PM - 9:00 PM
 September 27th - November 29th



"Paul the Apostle" (ten sessions)
 Wednesday Nights, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
 September 28th - November 30th




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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -


Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish

NOTE: This page is being reconstructed.



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.



Author Colleague Book Notice:

How Followers of Christ
Can Serve the Common God,
by Miroslav Volf
Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI
August, 2011. $21.99 US. 174 pages
ISBN #978-1-58743-298-9.

Publisher's Promo:

Debates rage today about the role of
religions in public life. As the world
becomes increasingly interconnected,
various religions come to inhabit the
same space. But how do they live together,
especially when each wants to shape the
public realm according to the dictates
of its own sacred texts and traditions?
How does the Christian faith relate in
the religious pluralism of contemporary
public life?

While Volf argues that there is no single
way Christian faith relates to culture as
a whole, he explores major issues on the
front lines of faith today:

1) In what way does the Christian faith
come to malfunction in the contemporary
world, and how should we counter these

2) What should a Christian's main concern
be when it comes to living well in the
world today? and

3) How should we go about realizing a
vision for human flourishing in relation
to other faiths and under the roof of a
single state?

Covering such timely issues as witness
in a multifaith society and political
engagement in a pluralistic world, this
compelling book highlights things that
Christians can do to serve the common good.


Author's Words:

(It is not difficult to see why debates
are raging today about the role of
religions in public life.)

First, religions - Buddhism, Judaism,
Christianity, Islam, and so on - are
growing numerically, and their members
worldwide are increasingly unwilling to
keep their convictions and practices
limited to the private sphere of family
or religious community. Instead, they
want these convictions and practices to
shape public life... according to their
own vision of the good life.

Second, in today's globalized world,
religions cannot be neatly sequestered
into separate geographical areas...
But how do such people live together,
especially when all of them want to
shape the public realm according to the
dictates of their own sacred texts and

When it comes to the public role of
religions, the main fear is that of
imposition (and this is true for both
religious and secularists alike.)

The fear of imposition of religious
views often elicits demands for the
suppression of religious voices from
the public square...

Unlike those who think religion should
stay out of politics, I will argue in
this book that religious people ought
to be free to bring their visions of
the good life into the public sphere -
into politics as well as other aspects
of public life. What's more, I believe
that it would be oppressive to prohibit
them from doing so.

(People fear both secular exclusion and
religious totalitarianism) but the
position that I myself will advocate
in this book will be an alternative
both to the secular total exclusion
of all religions from the public life
and to the ... total saturation of
public life with a single religion.


I am writing as a Christian theologian
to followers of Christ... My task is
to offer a vision of the role of the
followers of Jesus Christ in public
life, a role that stays clear of the
dangers of both "exclusion" and

My contention in this book is that
there is no single way in which
Christian faith relates and ought
to relate to culture as a whole...
Christ has not come with a blueprint
for political arrangements. Many
kinds of political arrangements are
compatible with the Christian faith.

(I believe, however, that Christ
commands) that Christians grant to
other religious communities the same
religious and political freedoms
that they claim for themselves.

- from the Introduction


My Comments:

I have read many of Miroslav Volf's
books, and have always been impressed
by the simplicity, clarity and profundity
with which he writes.

Volf comes out of a very contentious
and difficult religious background -
the Balkans - but he always demonstrates
a strong commitment to "embrace" - not
"exclude" those who differ from his views.

I admire the strong Christian conviction -
the "feet-on-the-ground" approach - he takes
to his faith. At the same time, he is
always looking for ways to find common
cause, and to build bridges with those who
will engage him in dialogue.

My sense is that many who may not agree
with him on certain points would still
respect him because he respects them.


That background makes him a worthy candidate
to author a book entitled "A Public Faith:
How Followers of Christ Should Serve the
Common Good."

He finds radical exclusivists - be they
religious or secular in orientation - to be
of little help to him as he attempts to
formulate a societal approach that honours
"the big tent" of religious political

He also finds radical inclusivists - be they
religious or secular in orientation - to be
equally unhelpful for the creation of common
societal well-being. Any one group that seeks
to impose its will on the majority is to be
resisted. That applies to religious and
secularist alike.

It is his view that, in a pluralist context,
it is important to remember Christ's command
that "in everything, do to others what you would
have them do to you (Matt. 7:12)


The two main sections of his book focus on
countering the malfunctions of faith that
develop in society while encountering others
with an engaged faith.

Faith, as part of the public discussion,
is not the problem, claims Volf. Abusive
and skewed kinds of faith are what harm
people. That is what makes them want to
turn away from religion altogether.

No-faith, on the other hand, can be
equally abusive and skewed.


While I have always considered Volf an
ally in my own spiritual quest, I find
his views on the social dimension of
faith expressed here to be very sensible
and helpful. I will gladly share this
book with students and others who are
seeking clarification on many matters
pertaining to the common good.


Buy the book from



Calgary, AB

Thursday, 18th August 2011

Dear Wayne,

Thanks again for the weekly letter.
So informative, such a good world tour.

Wayne, here is information on the our
forthcoming annual Gandhi dinner. The topic
is very timely, and the speaker, exceptional.
Please mention this dinner in your next
issue, if you have space.

Anthony Parel


Gandhi Society of Calgary Annual Dinner 2011

Time: Sunday October 2, 2011.
Location: Glory of India Restaurant,
2121-36 St NE (Sunridge Mall) Calgary.

Cash bar 5.30-6.30; Dinner: 6.30; Lecture: 7.30.
Speaker: Prof. Ramin Jahanbegloo
University of Toronto
Topic: “Gandhi and Islam”.
Cost: $35.00.

For tickets contact:
Anthony Parel:

Cheques to be made to
The Gandhi Society of Calgary.
Postal address: c/o Parel,
10-10 St. Julien Drive SW, Calgary, AB, T2T 6E2.

Our Speakier. Prof. Ramin Jahanbegloo was born
in Teheran, Iran. He is married to Azin Moalej,
a cousin of the renowned Persian philosopher
Seyyed Hossein Nasr.

He has a doctorate in Philosophy from the Sorbonne,
Paris, France, where he lived for twenty years.
He was a Post-doctoral Fellow in Middle Eastern
Studies at Harvard University. In 1997-2001 he
was an adjunct professor of Political Science at
the University of Toronto.

Upon returning to Tehran, he was appointed Head
of the Contemporary Philosophy Department of the
Cultural Research Centre, whose object was the
promotion of dialogue between civilizations.

In April 2006 he was accused of spying and was
arrested by Iranian authorities and sent to the
infamous Evin Prison. In response to strong
worldwide protest, authorities released him
in August 2006.

2006-2007 he was Rajni Kothari Professor of
Democracy at the Center for Developing Societies,
New Delhi; in 2008 he was appointed Massey College
Scholar-at Risk at the University of Toronto, and
in 2009 he was awarded the Peace Prize from the
United Nations Association of Spain.

At the present time he is a Research Fellow at
the Centre for Ethics, and a Professor of the
Political Science Department in the University
of Toronto. He has published works in Persian,
French and English, including a book in French
on Gandhi.

In his lecture, “Gandhi and Islam,” he will
explore nonviolent trends in contemporary
Islam inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.


Calgary, AB.

Marjorie Remembers an
interesting combination:

"Chewing Tobacco,
 Grasshoppers and Sex"
 August 26th, 2011


Portland, OR


A weekend series involving Marcus
and John Dominic Crossan at the
U of A Conference Centre, Edmonton

Friday and Saturday,
September 9th - 10th, 2011

Discover how some of the most important
words in the Christian language have been
distorted over the years. Explore how the
original meanings can be recaptured as
these two biblical scholars uncover a
parabolic and symbolic understanding
of the language itself.

$130 for all four sessions;
Purchase your tickets online at:

Find out more:


Notre Dame, IN

'Evangelical Mind' redux:

The Evangelical Mind Revisited
August 26th, 2011


Calgary, AB.

A "Breathing Life into Ministry" Program
Taking Time for Reflection on the
Emmaus Road

With Ron Semenoff and John Griffith

Reconnecting with the Purpose & Passion
of Your Ministry

Thursday, September 22, 2011, 9 am to 3 pm
Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre,
Cochrane, Alberta
$45 per person


At the beginning of a new season take time to
hear the Spirit of God speaking to you.

The day will include:

Meditative beginning
Reflecting on the Emmaus Walk and your own
ministry/faith walk
Conversations with a stranger: Identifying
issues/challenges in your life and ministry
Remembering God’s presence in our midst


A message of hope: then and now
Listening to and encouraging each other
Summary of the gifts of the day


"Breathing Life into Ministry" was founded
by Ron Semenoff and John Griffith to engage
ministry personnel in a flexible, effective
and efficient process of professional

Cheques are payable to Competency Inc.
10244 Hidden Valley Drive NW, Calgary, T3A 5B7



Tom Long Tells Why

The Christian Century
August 29th, 2011


Quest for Authentic Faith

The Tablet, UK
September 3rd, 2011


A Study of Religious Alienation

Publishers Weekly
August 31st, 2011

"Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion"
Phil Zuckerman. Oxford Univ., $24.95 (224p)
ISBN 978-0-19-974001-7

In this sociological study of “apostates,”
defined as religious people who later become
atheists, Zuckerman, a professor of sociology
at Pitzer College, interviews former adherents
from a variety of religions—among them Muslims,
Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses—and examines
their religious histories and motivations for
rejecting belief. Though apostates are a
steadily growing category of the American
religious landscape, little research focuses
on them and much of the public still mistrusts
them. Though much work remains to be done on
the topic, Zuckerman’s interviews and analysis
are an intriguing contribution to the literature,
covering everything from a list of the main
reasons people leave their religions (parents,
friends, education, personal misfortunes, and
sex all feature prominently) to a correlation
between secularization and women entering the
work force. If anything, the book’s greatest
flaw is its brevity: the conclusion, for
example, hints at a comparison between
apostates in America and atheists elsewhere,
which would have been an interesting topic
for further exploration. Nevertheless,
Zuckerman’s solid research and insights
make this book an important contribution
to the field and a thoroughly fascinating
read. (coming in November)


State Funeral for Parliamentary
Leader of the Opposition

"A Tribute from a Politician"
 Bob Blakie
August 24th, 2011


Canadian Church Leaders Honour Layton

Anglican Journal
August 24th, 2011


Some Christians Want a Macho Jesus

The Guardian, UK
August 29th, 2011


Coming Down Hard Would be a Mistake
Re the Elizabeth Johnson Affair

The Tablet, UK
August 27th, 2011


Neon Signs Detract from the Message

Los Angeles Times
August 20th, 2011


New Status for Plain People

September 1st, 2011


Recognizing the Jesuit Missionary Legacy

The Guardian, UK
August 31st, 2011


Second Anglican Cathedral Hit in Past Year

ENI Report:
25 August 2011

Washington cathedral faces millions
in repairs after quake

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - The iconic
Washington National Cathedral, already
struggling with financial problems, faces
millions of dollars in repair costs from
the damage inflicted by the 23 August U.S.
East Coast earthquake. And nothing is
covered by insurance, according to a church
official. Clergy and a team of architects
and engineers spent the day after the
magnitude 5.8 quake assessing the cathedral,
and found significant damage, including
fallen carved angels on the church's roof,
cracks in flying buttresses, and missing
finials from the pinnacles of the central
tower, Religion News Service reports.


View Atlantic Monthly Video of Damage
August 26th, 2011


"Washington Catholics Support Cathedral"

Anglican Journal News
September 2nd, 2011



Ucan Newss
August 23rd, 2011



Ecumenical News International,

18 August 2011

Muslims in Britain mourn riot heroes

Canterbury, England (ENI news) - More than
20,000 mourners, most of them British-born
Muslims, gathered in Birmingham, England on
18 August for the funeral of three young men
mown down by a car while defending their
community and homes from rioters and looters
last week. "These three people (Haroon Jahan,
21, and brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul
Musavir, 31) are martyrs and the best we can
do for them is to pray for them and for
ourselves and to pray for our community," s
aid Muslim scholar Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi,
speaking at the service.


22 August 2011

Salvadoran youth participate
in peace workshops

San Salvador, El Salvador (ENI news) - A series
of workshops on building a culture of peace has
begun this week in El Salvador, involving youth
from several churches and coordinated by the
Reformed Church. Carmen Martínez of the Reformed
Church and facilitator for the workshops said
that the purpose of this training is to provide
the young leaders of the churches with the
necessary tools with which to become agents
of peace, reports the Latin America and
Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC).


23 August 2011

Mar Thoma church in India
celebrates 175th anniversary

Bangalore, India (ENI news) -
India's Mar Thoma church celebrated
the 175th anniversary of its
reformation with a visit from the
general secretary of the Geneva-
based World Council of Churches
(WCC), who said that "reformation
requires a unity in which we
challenge one another." The "gift
of the cross binds us together.
Our open arms can be a sign of
the ecumenical movement of the
cross, showing that we need one
another," said the Rev. Olav
Fyske Tveit, addressing church
leadership at the headquarters
in Thiruvalla, Kerala state.


24 August 2011

Vatican summons traditionalists to Rome

Vatican City, 24 August (ENI news) -
The Vatican has summoned the head of a
traditionalist group to Rome to assess
the results of a two-year doctrinal
dialogue between the schismatic group
and the Holy See, Religion News Service
reports. Monsignor Bernard Fellay,
superior general of the Society of
St. Pius X (SSPX), will meet on 14
September with top officials who are
trying to normalize relations,
including American Cardinal William
Levada, head of the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith.


25 August 2011

Fiji government again
cancels Methodist conference

Wellington, New Zealand (ENI news) - The
annual conference of Fiji's Methodist Church,
due to start 23 August, was cancelled by Fiji's
military government for the third consecutive
year after church leaders defied a government
directive to step down from their positions.
Fiji's Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese
Tikoitoga, also directed that no Methodist
Church minister be allowed to leave the
country, and banned permits under the Public
Emergency Regulation for all official
Methodist Church meetings. There are concerns
that the ban will lead to the collapse of the
Methodist church administration and severely
affect funding.


Fiji government expands
crackdown on Methodists

New York (ENI news - Fiji's military government
has expanded a crackdown on the Methodist Church,
banning all church meetings except for Sunday
worship and forbidding clergy from leaving the
country. Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel
Neumi Leweni was quoted in an article on the
Fiji Times website on 30 August as saying that
Methodist leaders will need to "seek
clarification" from the government for meetings
(except worship) or foreign travel.

Armed civilians heighten Tripoli danger,
cleric says

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - Thousands of
small arms and light weapons distributed
to civilians by the government in Tripoli
are adding to the danger and instability
of the city as rebel forces continued to
fight soldiers loyal to deposed dictator
Moammar Gadhafi, a Libyan cleric has said.
The Rev. Amado Baranquel, a priest at St.
Francis Roman Catholic Church, the seat
of the Vicariate of Tripoli, said the
uncontrolled use of weapons was confining
civilians inside their houses and causing
extreme fear. "They are using the guns
any way they want. Some are using them
for looting," Baranquel told ENInews in
a telephone interview on 25 August from
Tripoli. "We hope this (fighting) will
end soon."

Mexican Presbyterians end relationship
with U.S. church over gays

New York (ENI news)- The National
Presbyterian Church of Mexico has voted
to end its 139-year relationship with
the Presbyterian Church (USA), in response
to the U.S. church's decision earlier this
year to allow the ordination of sexually
active gays and lesbians. According to a
news release on the U.S. church's website,
the decision came on a 116 to 22 vote of
the Mexican church assembly on 19 August.
The release said it likely will jeopardize
the continuation of the work that 11 U.S.
church mission co-workers have been doing
in Mexico, including work along the U.S.-
Mexican border, as well as the future of
short-term congregational mission trips to
Mexico and more than two dozen partnerships.


26 August 2011

Czech churches welcome accord
on seized properties

Warsaw (ENI news) - A prominent Czech
ecumenist has welcomed an agreement that
would allow churches to reclaim land and
buildings seized under communist rule,
but give up receiving state subsidies.
"The ball is now in the government's
court to prepare the necessary
legislation," said Joel Ruml, chairman
of the Czech Ecumenical Council, adding
that the legislation is expected to be
introduced early next year. The 58-year-
old Protestant was speaking after the
draft settlement was finalized in
Prague on 25 August, allowing religious
associations to retrieve assets
confiscated after the 1948 communist
takeover, while obtaining financial
compensation for others.

Son of Pakistani governor who
criticized blasphemy law is kidnapped

New York (ENI news) - The son of a
prominent Pakistani politician who was
assassinated after speaking out against
the country's blasphemy law was kidnapped
on 26 August in Lahore, police said.
Shahbaz Taseer, 27, was on his way to
work at mid-morning, without his usual
security guard detail, when he was
taken from his car at gunpoint, police
and government officials said. His
father, Salman Taseer, a senior figure
in the ruling Pakistan Peoples party
and governor of Punjab, was killed
last January after he called for reform
of the laws that make criticism of Islam
a crime possibly punishable by death.


29 August 2011

Berlin's Protestants celebrate
roots in Judaism

Berlin (ENI news) - On 28 August,
Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) in
the heart of Berlin was one of many
Protestant churches across Germany to
celebrate Israel Sunday, with a service
focusing on Christianity's shared history
with Judaism. Lala Suesskind, chairperson
of The Jewish Community of Berlin, an
organization with more than 11,000 members,
spoke at the service of the importance of
forgiveness between Christians and Jews
and the need for dialog to overcome
prejudices among all faiths.


30 August 2011

Anglican prelate plans visit to Zimbabwe

Canterbury, England (ENInews)--Rowan Williams,
the Archbishop of Canterbury, is planning to
visit Zimbabwe in October as part of a wider
trip to Africa and hopes to meet with President
Robert Mugabe to discuss a brutal dispute over
church properties. Renegade bishop Nolbert
Kunonga, a Mugabe ally, has seized church
properties and harassed worshipers and clergy,
according to media reports and the Diocese
of Harare.


1 September 2011

Christian-Jewish relations
still a source of debate

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - A fascinating
exchange recently took place in the pages
of the Vatican's newspaper between the chief
rabbi of Rome and the Vatican's chief
representative to the Jewish people. Their
conversation reflected just how far we've
come in Christian-Jewish relations -- but
also how far we have yet to go, Religion
News Service reports. Christians must
really think about what it means to accept
the validity of God's covenant with the
Jews while also seeing Jesus as the savior
of all mankind, the subject of a new book,
"Christ Jesus and the Jewish People Today."
Jews, for their part, need to assess
Christian claims about being in covenant
with the God of Israel.

2 September 2011

Interfaith efforts part of 9/11 anniversary

New York (ENI news) Interfaith services are
planned to commemorate the tenth anniversary
of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001,
with advocates acknowledging that their work
has not been easy but has yielded tangible,
if sometimes overlooked, results. "Religious
diversity is a gift," said the Rev. Chloe
Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith
Center of New York. "It strengthens the civic
fabric of the city." President Barack Obama,
former President George W. Bush and other
officials will attend on 11 September
commemoration ceremonies in New York City.



Provided by

August 18th, 2011

"No [person] who values originality
will ever be original. But try to
tell the truth as you see it, try
to do any bit of work as well as it
can be done for the work's sake,
and what [people] call originality
will come unsought."

- C.S. Lewis


August 19th, 2011

"What child, while summer is happening,
bothers to think much that summer will
end? What child, when snow is on the
ground, stops to remember that not long
ago the ground was snowless? It is by
its content rather than its quantity --
happy times and sad times, the time the
rabbit bit your finger, the time you had
your first taste of bananas and cream,
the time you were crying yourself to
sleep when somebody came and lay down
beside you in the dark for comfort."

- Frederick Buechner


August 23rd, 2011

"Words mean more than what is set
down on paper. It takes the human
voice to infuse them with deeper

- Maya Angelou


August 24th, 2011

"The more we receive in silent prayer,
the more we can give in our active life.
Silence gives us a new outlook on
everything. We need silence in order
to touch souls. The essential thing is
not what we say, but what God says to
us and through us. Jesus is always
waiting for us in silence."

- Mother Teresa


August 25th, 2011

"To understand the truth is
to do the truth."

- Jon Sobrino


August 26th, 2011

"It isn't enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it. And it isn't
enough to believe in it.

One must work at it."

- Eleanor Roosevelt,
  in a 1951 radio broadcast


August 29th, 2011

"Whatever God does, the first outburst
is always compassion."

- Meister Eckhart


August 30th, 2011

"I think the most important thing for me
about St. Gregory's is the practice and
the theology of open Communion, which says
basically that the altar does not belong
to the church. The altar is God's, and
everybody is welcome. It is not up to the
church to say, 'You don't deserve Communion,
because you're not baptized or you're gay
or you're divorced or you're a child.'"

- Sara Miles


September 1st, 2011

"By means of all created things, without
exception, the divine assails us, penetrates
us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant
and inaccessible, whereas in fact we live
steeped in its burning layers."

- Teilhard de Chardin


September 2nd, 2011

"Defeatism about the future is a crime.
The danger is not in trying to do too
much, but in trying to do too little."

- Philip Noel-Baker



Aug. 19, 1934, a plebiscite in Germany
approved the vesting of sole executive
power in Adolf Hitler as Fuhrer.


Aug. 25, 1944, Paris was liberated by
Allied forces after four years of Nazi


Aug. 28, 1963, 200,000 people
participated in a peaceful civil
rights rally in Washington, D.C.,
 where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
delivered his "I Have a Dream"
speech in front of the Lincoln


Aug. 29, 1991, the Supreme Soviet,
the parliament of the U.S.S.R.,
suspended all activities of the
Communist Party, bringing an end
to the institution.


Sept. 2, 1945, Japan formally
surrendersin ceremonies aboard
the USS Missouri, ending World
War II.



Martin Luther King Jr:

"In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid
our nation of racial and economic injustice,
I have heard many ministers say: "Those are
social issues, with which the gospel has no
real concern." And I have watched many churches
commit themselves to a completely other-worldly
religion which makes a strange un-Biblical
distinction between body and soul, between the
sacred and the secular."


Comment by Matthew Fox:

To ignore the body is to ignore the body politic
and the suffering in the body politic. This is
a dualistic theology that separates body from
soul and sacred from secular. King rightly
points out that these dualisms are unbiblical.


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