Saturday, November 5, 2011

Colleagues List, November 5th, 2011

Vol. VII. No. 12


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:


Special Item:

In This Issue -

Book Notice for:

"Reclaiming the Bible
 for a Non-Religious World"
 by John Shelby Spong

Colleague Comment:

Ontario Friend

Colleague Contributions:

Isabel Gibson
Erich Weingartner
James Wall
Lynn Chazotsang
John Stackhouse Jr.

Net Notes

Canada Reads: Top Ten
Global 'Occupations' Evolve
Canadian Imam Beaten in Arabia
Freedom for Life's Second Half
E.O. Wilson's Theory of Everything
World Population: Quality or Quantity?
Irish Attitude to Church is Unfavorable
"I'm Coming Out of the Closet. Join Me!"
Arab Spring = Arab Christian Extinction?
Thirty Years to Repair Japanese Reactors

Global Faith Potpourri:
Fourteen ENI Geneva stories.

Quotes of the Week:

St. Basil
Dorothy Sayers
Jack Cornfield

On This Day:

Oct. 31, 1984 - 
Indira Gandhi assassinated in her own 
residence by her own Sikh security guards.


On Nov. 1, 1952 - 
US explodes the first hydrogen bomb, in 
a test at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands.


On Nov. 2, 1976 - 
Jimmy Carter defeats Gerald R. Ford. 
He is first U.S. president from the 
Deep South since the Civil War.


Closing Thought: Thomas Berry



Dear Friends:

A long-standing colleague and friend,
Rev. John Griffiths, the founder of
Calgary's Spiritual Directions institute
will be retiring officially on Sunday,
November 13th. Marlene and I hope to 
attend a celebration in his honor.

Spiritual Directions positions itself
between the church and the secular world 
in a way that draws together insights 
from both realities for the betterment 
of those who seek to grow spiritually.

Thank you John, for all you have done to
help so many people over the years - and
that includes us!


This week's Colleagues List introduces
the latest book by prolific religious 
writer, John Shelby Spong. It weaves
together a lifetime of the author's
biblical study and teaching and is

"Reclaiming the Bible for 
 a Non-Religious World"

I hope you enjoy my notification.


Colleague Comment:

This week a friend from Ontario comments
on content from my last week's mailing.


Colleague Contributions:

Isabel Gibson (Ottawa) writes on the
origins of All Hallows. (Traditional 
Iconoclast Blog)

Erich Weingartner (Calendar/North Bay,
Ontario) brings us up to date on North
Korean developments. He does not expect 
the "Arab Spring" to spread to that part 
of the world very soon. Thanks too,
to Miranda Weingartner, his associate.
(CanKor Website)

James Wall (Chicago) shares good insight 
on recent Palestinian/UNESCO membership
developments (Wall Writings Personal Blog)

Lynn Chazotsang (Calgary) a friend from
our local Tibetan community, provides
information on the latest response to
Chinese religious persecution in her
home country and calls for support.
(Personal Correspondence)

John Stackhouse Jr. (Vancouver) has
critical comment to offer on the
current "Occupy" global movement.
(Personal Blog)

Net Notes

"Canada Reads: Top Ten" - what are
Canadians currently reading? (

"Global 'Occupations' Evolve" - I 
have collected material from a wide
variety of sources to bring us all
up to date (America Magazine, ENI,
The Guardian  and The Tablet, UK and
St. James Cathedral, Toronto website)

"Canadian Imam Beaten in Arabia" -
an Edmonton imam on pligrimage in Saudi 
Arabia was beaten and arrested, then 
quickly released after Canada intervened.
(Toronto Star,

"Freedom for Life's Second Half" - an 
interesting book on the spirituality
of entering a maturer path by popular
Catholic writer/speaker Richard Rohr
(National Catholic Reporter)

"E.O. Wilson's Theory of Everything" -
the famous Harvard teacher and atheist
is still hard at work in retirement.
Catch up with him in Mozambique.
(The Atlantic Monthly)

"World Population: Quality or Quantity?" 
- an article by Latin American Jesuits
on the issue of the population explosion
(Mirada International/Ucan News)

"Irish Attitude to Church is Unfavorable" 
- not surprizing is this story about a 
recent public poll taken in Ireland 
(National Catholic Reporter, Ucan News)

"I'm Coming Out of the Closet. Join Me!"
- a young Canadian Catholic woman writes
on the violence of bullying gays/lesbians
(New Catholic Times)

"Arab Spring = Arab Christian Extinction?" 
- as more democratic governments emerge
in a number of Arab states, the prospect
for Christian minorities does not improve
(The Guardian, UK)

"Thirty Years to Repair Japanese Reactors"
- the tragedy that hit Japan earlier this
year will take up to three decades to fix
(CNN Asia)

Global Faith Potpourri:

Fourteen stories from around the world
are provided this week from Ecumenical
News International, Geneva.

Quotes of the Week:

St. Basil, Dorothy Sayers, Jack Cornfield
and an Unknown contributor share wisdom
with us.

On This Day:

Read these important stories from
the archives of the New York Times

Indira Gandhi assassinated (1984)
US explodes first hydrogen bomb (1952) 
Carter becomes first president from 
the Deep South since Civil War (1976)


Closing Thought: 

Thomas Berry (geologist priest) 
who died a while ago, shares from 
his profound insights into the 
spirituality of evolution.


November is passing quickly. Soon, we
will reach the end of the church year.




Introducing the Full Program


Series underway:

"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

Registration: $25.00 for class fees,
and special hospitality. No more books 
are available. Order from



A Study Program Sponsored by:
The Department of Continuing Education
At the University of Calgary

Taught by: Wayne Holst

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

Series underway.



Series underway:

Welcome to our -

Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty, 
Staff and Students Autumn and Winter Series 
for 2011-12

Series One -

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

Putting your personal faith to work for others.
Oct. 14th - Nov. 25th - six Friday noon sessions


Series Two -

"An Altar in the World" by Barbara Brown Taylor

Discovering God in the ordinary experiences of life
March 2nd - March 30th - five Friday noon sessions

Time and Location for all sessions:
12:00 to 1:00PM in the Native Centre Board Room
Located above the Dairy Queen, Mac Hall Student's 

Led by: Wayne Holst, 
Coordinator of the ACTS Ministry, St. David's United
and a Faith and Spirituality Centre Liaison.

Cost of the book: $15.00 each


Join us this year for stiumlating campus discussions!

For more information:  Adriana Tulissi 403-220-5451
Co-ordinator, Faith and Spirituality Centre,
the U. of C. 



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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



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:

by John Shelby Spong
HarperOne, Toronto. $34. CAD.
Oct. 28th, 2011. 414 pages.
ISBN #978-0-06-201128-2.

Publisher's Promo:

“A masterful reading of these texts 
that have shaped the Western world. 
This book is filled with insights 
from a lifetime of deep engagement 
with Scripture. Highly commended!” 

- Gregory C. Jenks, author of 
  "The Once and Future Bible"

For centuries, scholars have been 
debating, analyzing and exploring 
perhaps the most influential book 
ever written - the Bible - and 
overturning much of what we know 
about this sacred text.

However, a large group of people 
who actually use this book, mainly 
lay Christians, aren’t aware of 
this larger, deeper conversation. 
It is for these people that Spong, 
drawing on a lifetime of experience, 
writes Re-Claiming the Bible for a 
Non-Religious World, a primer on 
the history and significance of 
the Bible. In this informal and 
accessible survey, Spong will move 
book by book through the Scriptures, 
introducing their themes and messages 
by examining the sweep of history in 
which these books were originally 
written. What has history taught 
us? How should we read these stories 
today? What does it mean for how we 
live our lives? And why do people 
tenaciously hold on to so many myths 
associated with the Bible? For the 
vast audience of people eager for a 
meaningful journey into the Bible, 
Spong leads the way.

Publisher's Promotional Link:


Author's Words:

My subject has always been some aspect 
of the Bible. (I believe that) if the
Bible is taught to laypeople in the same
way that it is taught in academic centers
... with no attempt to protect the fairly
juvenile Sunday School knowledge to which
otherwise learned people still cling, there
would be a significant response...

(In my presentations to thoughtful and
intelligent people over the years, I have 
often found that they did not really 
believe many things in the Bible at all. 
They only pretended they did, because they 
thought that was what Christianity and their 
(conservative) religious culture required them 
to do.)

(Some years ago, I began writing a regular
religious web column into the origins,
background and essential meaning of each
of the sixty-six books of the Bible... I
found that there was a vast audience of
religiously hungry people eager to explore
a meaningful journey into the Bible...
My audience wanted to know the background,
the context, the level of authenticity and
even the trustworthiness of the message
found in the various books now making up 
the Bible. They were aware that the Bible
has been a major force in shaping the
Western world; they wanted to understand
that impact and, in some cases, even wanted
to see if they could find their way back
into a realistic faith system.)

I wanted to reclaim not the literal power,
but the essential meaning of the Bible for 
the non-religious world we inhabit.

My book reflects the fact that its various
segments were originally written week by
week in the format of a fifteen-hundred
word essay (covering the entire sweep of
the Bible). Each essay could be read in 
ten to fifteen minutes at most.

- from the author's Preface


My Comments:

"Wisdom Emerges as Bombast Declines"

John Spong has been writing books about
the Bible, Jesus and the Church for some
decades. He developed a large readership
who admired his willingness to take on
some of the "sacred cows" of his Southern
American religious culture. The chief of 
these was fundamentalism and its various 
societal expressions like racism, sexism 
and American imperialism.

Because of his "in-your-face" writing
style, he garnered many enemies as
well as friends. This Southern gentleman
often appeared very different in person
than he portrayed himself in his books.
We know that from firsthand experience.
His visit to St. David's Calgary some
years ago revealed a man of profound
pastoral proclivities that gave the
lie to those who criticized him for
arrogant opinions.


John Spong has left a fine corpus of 
popular literary accomplishment, such as
"Living in Sin," (1988 - the first book 
of his that I read) "Rescuing the Bible 
from Fundamentalism," (1991) "Why 
Christianity Must Change or Die," (1998) 
"Here I Stand" (2001 - his 'apologia pro 
vita sua' which I reviewed for the Globe 
and Mail) "Jesus for the Non-Religious," 
(2007) and "Eternal Life: A New Vision." 
(2009). "Reclaiming the Bible for a
Non-Religious World," (2011) is his
twenty-third book according to my


"Re-claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious
World" may well outlast some of his more
strident diatribes of the past. Here, we
benefit from a lifetime of pastoral biblical
study and engagement with some of the
finest biblical scholarship of the
nineteenth thru twenty-first centuries.

We need to realize that, even though
Spong took on many scholarly pursuits
over his career as a literary priest
and bishop - his primary audience was
never the academy. He wrote for the
people in the church pews and the many 
he considered part of the church's 
"alumni society." Spong wanted to turn 
the best biblical scholarship into 
language that was readily understood 
by ordinary people. In doing this, 
he tried to emulate his mentor Bishop 
John A.T. Robinson of the UK, whose
book "Honest to God" rocked the faith
world of Christians half a century ago.

In his own way, he was also a Luther
(by intent if not necessarily theology.)
He truly believed that ordinary people
had the Spirit-given gift to understand
the most profound matters of faith, if
only these matters could be freed from
the elitist world of the ecclesiastics
and academics; and conveyed in the 
vernacular that most people understood.

He used writing techniques that attracted
attention. Controversy drew readers.


Spong writes an introductory chapter
that examines the Bible's mystique.
"We have historically built around the
Bible such a firm aura or defense
shield to protect it from any serious
investigation... that shield is far
more powerful than most of us can
imagine, for it is constantly reinforced."

His audience seems here to be his Southern
American culture. I don't think this is
the issue for the majority of Canadians 
that he makes it to be. We have developed
a more secularized attitude to scriptures.

On the next point, Spong is on more solid 
footing, I suspect.

The author takes on the "profound ignorance
of the Bible" exibited by today's most
notable critics, the New Atheists.

"I find myself perplexed as to how to
respond to them," he says. "I have no
desire to attack them or rise to God's
defense. The religion, the Christianity
and the Bible that they reject are the
same religion, Christianity and Bible
that I reject. My problem with such
writers is not located there. It is
rather in the apparent fact that they 
do not seem to know that there is any
other way."

"My desire is to work in that very arena
(as do the New Atheists) and to close
that gap in knowledge, at least in regard
to the Bible. I am not the enemy of the
Bible. I am the enemy of the way the 
Bible has been understood and the way the
Bible has been used."

"I want to take my readers into this
Bible in a new way. I want to plumb its
depths, scale its heights, and free its
insights from the debilitating power of


Spong writes with a sense that many of
the old battles he has fought are behind
him, and he can walk with those who want
to accompany him into new depths of 
understanding the faith he has wrestled
with for more than sixty years.

I like this kind of literary Spong, whose
ideas have been tested with live audiences
of thoughtful people and whose insights
have inspired and encouraged them onward.

I believe this book will have shelf-life
in my library and encourage you to secure
and read a copy of it too.

You will be rewarded.


Buy the book from




October  29th, 2011

"Thanks, Wayne. Good Saturday morning viewing 
and thought.

The Atlantic Monthly video on Iceland is superb.  
I've already sent it off to friends who were 
there fairly recently, knowing they too will 
love it...

Wayne, I am pleased to read last week of your 
being welcomed to the Lutheran clergy gathering 
once again, difficult though that may have been 
both for you and for others too.  

God's work of reconciliation.......

Reformation Sunday always causes me to remember 
our brothers and sisters in the Protestant 
stream of Christianity at Eucharist, to ask for 
forgiveness for whatever and whomsoever caused 
the divisions in the first place, and to pray 
that we will all be one.

God's best, my friend!



Ottawa, ON

Traditional Iconoclast Blog
October 30th, 2011

"Let it Snow, Let it Snow"
 All Hallows Revisited


Calendar, ON

Cankor Newsletter
October 31st, 2011

North Korea Update:

"Don't Expect Pyongyang 
 Spring Anytime Soon"


Chicago, IL

Wall Writings Blog
November 1st, 2011

"Palestine Enters UNESCO"


Calgary, AB

Wed, 2 Nov 2011 

"Global Intervention for Tibet"

Dear Friends

Ten young Tibetans have set fire to 
themselves in eastern Tibet since March 
2011; eight since 26 September.  At 
least five have died including a nun. 
These unprecedented and truly desperate 
acts are a cry to the outside world for
help. Seven of these self-immolations 
are linked to Kirti Monastery in Ngaba, 
one of the largest and most influential 
monastic institutions in Tibet. China’s 
merciless and violent crackdown in Ngaba 
and throughout Tibet is intensifying 
Tibetan grievances and exacerbating the 
resentment and desperation felt across 
Tibet.This growing tragedy, if left 
unchecked, could spiral even further 
into a nation-wide crisis, unless the 
world acts now. The international 
community, both citizens and governments,
must Stand Up for Tibet.  

Global diplomatic intervention now will 
save Tibetan lives.

Please visit: 

It is still possible to sign your name
to the protest letter.

Lynn Chazotsang
(403) 235-0765


Vancouver, BC.

Personal Weblog
November 3rd, 2011




What Our Nation's Readers
Consider to be the Best
November 2nd, 2011



"Wall Street Occupation" (interview)

America Magazine
November 1st, 2011


St. Paul's Cathedral Dean Resigns
London Fallout Continues

Ecumenical News International, Geneva

October 31st, 2011

Dean quits citing protest controversy

London (ENI news) - The Rev. Graeme Knowles, 
dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, resigned on 31 
October as the fallout continued over the 
handling of an "Occupy London Stock Exchange" 
anti-corporate protest camped outside the 
church's doors. "It has become increasingly 
clear to me that, as criticism of the cathedral 
has mounted in the press, media and in public 
]opinion, my position as Dean of St. Paul's 
was becoming untenable," Knowles said in a 
message on the cathedral's website. 

The Guardian, UK
November 1st, 2011


"A Place to Talk"

The Tablet, UK
November 5th, 2011

"... cathedrals can still be cutting-edge 
places of real conversation. Perhaps they 
are the only central institutions left that 
dare to embrace the edges and the margins." 


St. James Cathedral and 'Occupy Toronto'
Learning from Experience...

St. James Cathedral Toronto Website:



Toronto Star
October 30th, 2011


Imam Released from Saudi Jail
Canadian Influence Praised
October 31st, 2011


Richard Rohr's 'New Spirituality'

National Catholic Reporter
November 1st, 2011

Use Mozilla to Open Link:


His Work in Mozambique Explored

The Atlantic Monthly
November, 2011


Perspective from Latin America

Mirada International (via)
Ucan News

October 31st, 2011


Scandals Taking Their Toll

National Catholic Reporter
November 1st, 2011

Use Mozilla to Open Link:


Ireland Closes it Vatican Embassy
Cites 'Economy' Move

Ucan News
November 4th, 2011



Cathy Cavanagh,
New Catholic Times
October 31st, 2011


Are the old protections disappearing?

The Guardian
November 1st, 2011



CNN Asia
Novbember 1st, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
31 October 2011

UK churches seek action on 
tax avoidance

London (ENI news) - Representatives from 
the United Kingdom's main Christian 
denominations and charities submitted a 
letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
(treasury secretary) on 31 October, urging 
the government to tackle tax avoidance in 
order to "Close The Gap" between rich and 
poor. "Tax evasion and avoidance is estimated
by the Treasury to cost the U.K. at least 35 
billion British pounds [US$56.4 billion] 
annually. This is nearly nine per cent of 
U.K. tax revenue. The efficient collection 
of this revenue would lessen the demand to 
cut social and welfare expenditure which 
is hurting the poorest in our communities 
so much," the letter read. 


'Blessings from above' mark 
Reformation Day in Germany

Berlin (ENI news) - The Evangelical Church 
in Germany (EKD – the German federation of 
Protestant churches) marked Reformation Day 
on 31 October with a soaring, whimsical 
approach to spreading Martin Luther's message 
that the grace of God is available to all. 
Across the country, schools, student 
organizations and church groups organized 
"flashmobs" that launched "blessings from 
above" -- paper airplanes with inspirational 
messages. Most flew their gliders from windows 
or other high vantage points simultaneously at 
15:17 (3:17 pm) in recognition of the beginning 
of the Protestant Reformation on 31 October, 

New book tackles history of the popes

New York (ENI news) Author, historian and 
British peer John Julius Norwich has never 
displayed any lack of drive and energy, but 
even by his standards, "The Popes: A History" 
(also published as "Absolute Monarchs: A 
History of the Papacy") is ambitious in the 
extreme. Crammed into its pages are the 
lives of 265 popes, from St. Peter to today's 
Benedict XVI, their struggles with challenges 
to religious orthodoxy as well as battles 
with secular powers ranging from Frederick 
Barbarossa to Communism.

Hong Kong council criticized 
for role in election

Hong Kong (ENI news) - The Hong Kong 
Christian Council said that its participation 
in a committee convened to elect a head of 
government, a process called undemocratic, 
was to provide a Christian voice in social 
development. The council, with a legal mandate 
under Hong Kong's constitution, or Basic Law,
on 30 October nominated 10 electors to the 
1,200-members Election Committee that will 
elect the government head, the Chief 
Executive, in March 2012. The election, 
however, has drawn severe criticisms from 
a number of Christian groups. They said that 
the election is unfair, as the composition of 
the Election Committee is inclined towards 
pro-Beijing groups and business sectors. 


Succession rules changed for British monarchs

Canterbury, England (ENI news) - Catholics and 
leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where 
Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of state have 
welcomed an announcement by British Prime 
Minister David Cameron about changes to the 
royal succession that include allowing the 
monarch to marry a Roman Catholic. "Attitudes 
have changed fundamentally over the centuries 
and some of the outdated rules ... just don't 
make sense to any of us any more," Cameron told 
reporters on 28 October at the 2011 Commonwealth 
Heads of Government meeting in Perth, Australia.


2 November 2011

Tibetan protests spread to Nepal

Kathmandu (ENI news) - After growing 
protests in Tibet and India against 
China's rule of the formerly Buddhist 
kingdom of Tibet, demonstrations have 
now flared up in Nepal with police 
arresting nearly 100 people near the 
Samdupling Tibetan refugee camp in 
Kathmandu valley. Nepalese police said 
they acted on a tip that some people 
would attempt self-immolation in 
protest on 2 November, the second 
day of a three-day "Global Action" 
campaign by Tibetans in Nepal. 

UK to allow religious 
gay partnership ceremonies

Canterbury, England (ENI news) Same-sex 
couples will be allowed to hold civil 
partnership ceremonies in houses of 
worship in England and Wales, Equalities 
Minister Lynne Featherstone announced in 
Parliament on 2 November. "The government 
is advancing equality for LGB (lesbian, 
gay, bisexual) people and ensuring freedom 
of religion for people of all faiths. No 
religious group will be forced to host a 
civil partnership, but for those who wish 
to do so this is an important step forward," 
she said. 


Kenyan houses of worship 
on alert for terror attacks

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - Houses of 
worship stayed on the alert on 2 November 
over possible attacks as religious leaders 
continued to support a Kenyan military 
operation against al-Shabab militants in 
southern Somalia. On 2 November, Kenya 
warned it would begin air attacks on 
al-Shabab bases in Somalia, after sending 
in ground troops three weeks ago. Christian 
and Muslim leaders have backed the military 
action as a move that will protect Kenya. 

Faith groups meet in Italy 
to promote "green" pilgrimages

Assisi, Italy (ENI news) - Representatives 
from 15 faith traditions gathered at the 
Sacred Land Celebration in Assisi, Italy 
from 31 October to 2 November for the 
launch of the Green Pilgrimage Network, 
organized by the Alliance of Religions 
and Conservation (ARC) in association 
with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The 
delegates hope to implement initiatives 
such as a car ban on pilgrimage routes 
in Nigeria, solar panels for a cathedral 
roof in the United Kingdom, provisions 
of fresh water for pilgrims in India, 
and the planting of thousands of trees 
around sacred sites in Armenia, 
according to a news release from ARC. 


3 November 2011

Sudan churches remain united 
despite country division

Nairobi, Kenya (ENI news) - Despite 
this year's vote by South Sudan for 
independence, churches in Sudan and 
South Sudan have decided to remain 
united, mainly to help denominations 
in Muslim-majority Sudan. Bishops of 
the Roman Catholic Church on 28 
October approved maintaining one 
conference covering the two states, 
alluding to shared history and existing 
"very real practical human links." In 
July, the Episcopal (Anglican) Church 
decided to remain one body for the next 
two years and the Sudan Council of 
Churches has also said it will not 

To many magicians, 
faith is just hocus-pocus

Washington, D.C. (ENI news) - Magician 
Penn Jillette and his shorter, quieter 
partner Raymond Teller have mystified 
audiences around the world with their 
card tricks and other illusions that 
would make even Harry Houdini proud, 
Religion News Service reports. With 
a TV series that seeks to disprove of 
supernatural beliefs, including 
religious ones, the duo have long been 
a public face of atheism and skepticism. 
Now, Jillette, in his new book, "God, 
No!," says he has little use for 
performers who try to use magic tricks 
to lure audiences into a spiritual 
message. Magic doesn't make someone 
an atheist, he says, but it makes it 
a lot harder to be a believer.


4 November 2011

Thai religious communities 
respond to flood crisis

(ENI News) - Religious communities 
in Thailand are responding to a 
continuing flood crisis resulting 
from heavy monsoon rains in the last 
three months. At least 373 people are
reported to have died and flooding has 
reached the capital city of Bangkok. 
Buddhadharma, a Buddhist online news 
site, has reported that Wat Sa Ket, 
or "the Temple of the Golden Mount" 
in Bangkok, is offering counseling 
to flood victims. In conjunction 
with the National Office of Buddhism, 
the initiative is called Dharma for 
the Mental Rehabilitation of Flood 
Victims -- mobilizing some 200 monks 
"with training in Buddhist psychology 
and counselling" to various evacuation 
sites. Muslim, Catholic, Anglican and 
Russian Orthodox churches are also 
involved in flood relief. 

Chinese prison Bible 
to be displayed in U.S.

(ENI new - Part of a fading Bible, 
painstakingly and secretly hand-
copied by a group of Christians 
sentenced to a labour camp in China, 
will now be on display at the George 
W. Bush Institute in Dallas, the 
institute announced. A manuscript 
of the Book of Revelations was given 
on 2 November to former president 
George W. Bush by ChinaAid Association,
a Pennsylvania-based non-profit 
organization that monitors the state 
of religious freedom in China,
especially the condition of banned 
churches run secretly in private 
homes. The Chinese Bible was assembled
more than a decade ago by a group of 
nearly 20 Christians who were sent to 
a labour camp in northwest China after
being arrested at a prayer service,
China Aid president and founder Xiqiu 
"Bob" Fu said.



Provided by

October 31st, 2011

"It is important to cherish a 
pure thought of God, consciously 
imprinting it upon our memory as 
if it were an indelible seal. In 
this way we grow in love for God: 
it stirs usto fulfill [God's] 
commandments and in so doing, 
the love of God in us is nurtured 
in perpetuity."

- Saint Basil


November 1st, 2011

“From the Incarnation springs the 
whole doctrine of sacraments — the 
indwelling of the mortal by the 
immortal, of the material by the 
spiritual, the phenomenal by the 
real… A sure mark of Catholic 
Christianity is the honoring of 
the “holy and glorious flesh,” 
and indeed of all material things,
because they are sacraments and 
symbols of the Divine glory.”

- Dorothy L. Sayers


November 2nd, 2011

"It is the basic principle of 
spiritual life that we learn the 
deepest things in unknown territory. 
Often it is when we feel most 
confused inwardly and are in the 
midst of our greatest difficulties 
that something new will open. We 
awaken most easily to the mystery 
of life through our weakest side. 
The areas of our greatest strength, 
where we are the most competent 
and clearest, tend to keep us away 
from the mystery."

- Jack Kornfield


November 3rd, 2011

"The most lovable quality any human 
being can possess is tolerance.... 
It is the vision that enables one to 
see things from another’s viewpoint
.... It is the generosity that concedes 
to others the right to their own opinions 
and their own peculiarities... It is the 
bigness that enables us to let people be 
happy in their own way instead of our way."

- Unknown


November 4th, 2011

“Love is the will to extend one's self 
for the purpose of nurturing one's own 
or another's spiritual growth... Love 
is as love does. Love is an act of will 
-- namely, both an intention and an 
action. Will also implies choice. We 
do not have to love. We choose to love.”

- M. Scott Peck



Provided from the archives
of the New York Times

Oct. 31, 1984 - Indian Prime Minister 
Indira Gandhi was assassinated near 
her residence by two Sikh security 


On Nov. 1, 1952 - the United States 
exploded the first hydrogen bomb, in 
a test at Eniwetok in the Marshall 


On Nov. 2, 1976 - former Georgia 
Gov. Jimmy Carter defeated Republican 
incumbent Gerald R. Ford, becoming the 
first U.S. president from the Deep South 
since the Civil War.



Now, in our modern scientific age, in
a manner not known before, we have 
created our own sacred story, the epic
of evolution, telling us, from emperical
observation and critical analysis, how
the universe came to be, the sequence of
its transformations down through some
billions of years, how our solar system
came into being, then how the earth took
shape and brought us into existence...
This is our sacred story.


Sacred stories have always been important 
to human tribes to ground them in morality 
and in celebration. Today, the "tribe" is 
no longer just local but our entire species.

- Mathew Fox from "Christian Mystics"


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