Friday, January 13, 2012

Colleagues List, January 14th, 2012

Vol. VII. No. 22


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:


Colleague's Opening Suggestion:
Rebekah Chevalier
Toronto, ON.

Special Item in this Issue -

Book Notice:

"Changing Human Nature:
Ecology, Ethics, Genes and God"
by James C. Peterson

To read my full background information
enter CL website.


Colleague Contributions:

Monica Kilburn-Smith (Calgary)

John Griffiths (Calgary)

Bill Phipps (Calgary)


Net Notes:

Speedy Overview -

God's Gulag

Rational Animals

Is the Pastor Here?

Skyscrapers and Market Crashes

Archbishop Addresses Lahey Case

Mandela Story to be TV Docudrama

Canadian Museum Explores Religion

Vancouver Theology School Threatened

Writer Hits Back Over Accused Priests

Copts Celebrate Christmas With Protection


Global Faith Potpourri:
Enter CL website

Fourteen ENI Geneva stories.

Wisdom of the Week:
Enter CL website

Kelly James Clark
Alice Walker
Rowan Williams
e.e. cummings
Stanley Hauwerwas

On This Day:

On Jan. 9, 1968 - Surveyor 7 makes soft
landing on moon, marking end of American 
unmanned lunar surface explorations.

On Jan. 10, 1946 - first General Assembly
of the United Nations convened in London.

On Jan. 11, 1935 - Amelia Earhart begins
trip from Honolulu to Oakland, CA. - first 
woman to fly solo across Pacific Ocean.

Closing Thought: Julian of Norwich 
Enter CL website



Dear Friends:

I am always open to suggested
improvements in Colleagues List
and this week I received a tip 
that I am attempting to implement.

Thanks, Rebekah and here is what
you wrote:

January 9th, 2012

Hi Wayne, I am one of your interested 
readers. I enjoy your blog and would 
like to offer one suggestion that would 
make my reading of it easier. It would 
be a big help if you could insert a link 
for each of the items in the listing at 
the beginning of your blog, that would 
take you directly to the item further 
down in the blog. It would mean I could 
click directly to a particularly item 
and be taken to it, rather than scrolling 
through a very long webpage. 

With regards, Rebekah

Rebekah Chevalier 
Senior Editor 
Communications Unit 
The United Church of Canada 
3250 Bloor St. W., Ste. 300 
Toronto, ON  M8X 2Y4


I am beginning to experiment with
this suggestion as you may have noticed, 
but I am open to refining it. 

Please let me know what you think! 

Book Notice:

My book notice for this week is a bit 
of a challenge because I know that 
formal ethical reflection as a theological
discipline is not easy for some of my 
readers. I do think, however, that the 
subject at hand is an important one and 
it involves everyone at some point so I 
hope you will bear with me as I try to 
unwrap a rather intricate gift from 
Canadian author James C. Peterson.

It is entitled:

"Changing Human Nature:
Ecology, Ethics, Genes and God"


Colleague Contributions and Comment:

Monika Kilburn-Smith, Calgary, is not
only a woman-priest, but also very
attuned to her teen daughter's interests.

Below is the latest Youtube production
from Canadian pop-idol Justin Bieber
which she sent to friends this week.
It is entitled "Pray."


John Griffiths, Calgary, is now
semi-retired, but still active in
a new organization that reflects
his interests.

"Breathing Life into Ministry" -
is introduced by his colleague
Roy Semenoff.


Bill Phipps, Calgary. His justice work 
in the Philippines offers a challenge to
Canadian mining companies operating there. 
It was picked up this week by Ucan News, 
an Asian Catholic agency I rely on frequently.

Net Notes:

"God's Gulag" - a Siberian monastery holds
mystical and magical meaning for the author
of this article (The Atlantic Online)

"Rational Animals" - Kristel Clayville writes
about progress being made in moving from the
'human dominance' of nature paradigm that
governed our past thinking, to a more
egalitarian philosopy (Sightings)

"Is the Pastor Here?" - as more an more
ministry positions in the local church
are being filled by women, here is an
interesting take on how adjustments need
to be made (Alban Weekly)

"Skyscrapers and Market Crashes" - here is
an intriguing article on the correlation
between high building projects and economic
crashes (BBC)

"Archbishop Addresses Lahey Case" - the
Catholic Church in Canada was shaken
by the arrest of one of its bishops for
possession of child porn. Now, his, local
archbishop speaks (

"Mandela Story to be TV Docudrama" -
several years ago the Mandela movie
"Invictus" movie appeared. Now, a
documentary on his life (Guardian, UK)

"Canadian Museum Explores Religion" -
the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau,
QC is featuring an exhibition on the
role of religion in Canadian life

"Vancouver Theology School Threatened"
- this ecumenical seminary (United,
Anglican, Presbyterian) is facing some
financial challenges (Vancouver Province)

"Writer Hits Back Over Accused Priests"
- Catholic priests continue to experience
a heavy public backlash because of the
behaviour of a few of them. We know that
many priests lead exemplary lives.
(Ucan News)

"Copts Celebrate Christmas With Protection"
- Christmas for Egyptian Christians was
more stable than many anticipated because
of government protection (AFP News)

Global Faith Potpourri:

Fourteen ENI Geneva stories.

Wisdom of the Week:

Kelly James Clark, Alice Walker,
Rowan Williams, e.e. cummings and
Stanley Hauwerwas offer their thoughts.


On This Day:

Surveyor 7 makes soft moon landing, 
marking the end of US unmanned lunar 
surface explorations (1968)

First UN General Assembly convenes 
in London (1946)

Amelia Earhart begins trip from 
Honolulu to Oakland, CA. - the first 
solo woman to fly Pacific Ocean (1935)

Closing Thought: Julian of Norwich 




Introducing the Full Program


"The Other Face of God:
When the Stranger Calls Us Home"

by Mary Jo Leddy

Ten Monday Nights - 
January 16th - March 26th, 2012
(except February Family Weekend Monday)

Information about the book from

NOTE: Mary Jo Leddy is coming to St. David's
for a weekend this spring. Watch for new
information as it becomes available.



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
January 24th - March 27th, 2012

Course Information:



Welcome to our -


Noon Hour Book Discussions for Faculty, 
Staff and Students Winter Series for 2012:

"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, U. of 
C. - artuliss@ucalgary,ca



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

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -



An accumulation of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents 
more than 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: 

Ecology, Ethics, Genes and God,
by James C. Peterson
Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2010
Paperback. 259 pages. $15.00 CAD.
ISBN #978-0-8028-6549-6.

Publisher's Promo:

As debate over the manipulation 
of human genes rages in the public 
sphere, James Peterson offers an 
informed Christian defense of 
genetic intervention. In "Changing 
Human Nature" he pointedly reminds 
us that the question we need most 
to consider is not whether our genes 
will undergo change but whether we 
will be conscious of and conscientious 
about the direction of that change.

Drawing from the biblical tradition, 
Peterson argues that human beings have
a unique capacity and calling to tend 
and develop the natural world -- 
including themselves, their bodies, and 
their genes -- as God's garden. While 
carefully addressing legitimate religious 
concerns, Peterson's theologically 
grounded yet jargon-free discussion puts 
forth clear and specific guidelines for 
the proper use of genetic intervention 
to help people.

Distinctive for its nuanced approach, 
"Changing Human Nature" will fill the 
need for a thoughtful, positive Christian 
perspective on this timely topic.


Author's Words:

Nature, the material world around us,
is constantly changing... Some of this
change is cyclical... There is also
linear change... Much of what was, will
not be again, and what is yet to come
has not always been before...

What the Christian Scriptures state
clearly is that the one true God created
all that is. There are detailed discussions
among those who are convinced that the
Christian Scriptures are reliable, as to
what they do and do not teach about 'how'
God created. Finding a description of the
(actual) creation method (by reading the
first chapters of) Genesis (however) is 
reading into the text ideas that were 
not intended.

(The author goes on to suggest that
God's purposes in creation seem to serve 
a broader objective than to support human
beings and that, over time, God chooses
to develop great movements from the
most intimate beginnings - God, it would
seem from what science teaches, is an
evolutionary creator.)

We should find comfort in the patience
God shows for creation so gradually
unfolding. Life developing over time
from common ancestors gives us a point
of identification and belonging with all
of life God has made.

(Some theologians have focused on the 
implications of evolution if it is indeed 
God's chosen method of creation. But it is 
not the intention of this book to settle 
the argument of the 'how' of creation.)

(What is clear is that) Cyclical and linear 
change is measurable and characteristic of
our planet. Our physical world moves.

Not only does nature change, but one part
shapes another... Glaciers carve valleys. 
New species replace old ones. Nature is 
interactive and dynamic. As part of this
world, people too change and shape one
another and the world... God's creation
is to be fulfilled in and through time.
It is not finished yet...

We can still make choices that shape 
ourselves and the material world for
good or ill... Our human, physical form
is shaped by our decisions, as is the rest
of nature. Medical interventions have
saved many lives...

We not only shape nature unintentionally.
We cannot survive unless we shape nature
deliberately... The question is not
whether we will shape our surroundings;
it is whether we will do so consciously
and conscientiously... Simply saying no
to change is both impossible and

The question before us is not whether
we will we will shape nature and ourselves
but whether we will be aware that we are
doing so, and choose well how we will do
so and to what purpose...

I will seek to respond to that request
with my best reading of the Christian
tradition on our place in a universe of
constant change (maintaining a transcendent
perspective on reality as I know it.)

(The author shares the outline of his
book by describing human responsibility
and the gift of technology in helping
us to shape what is entrusted to us.
He suggests cautions that need to be
observed as ethical decisions are made
and helpfully names four standards he
believes can help us shape human nature.
He also discusses who should apply these
standards by reviewing mistakes of the
past - the devastating history of coercing 
people to adhere to certain elitist biases 
including racism and eugenics; and he  
proposes a system of checks and balances 
for ethical human decision-making.

- from the Introduction


Concluding "Expectations"
- by the author

Human genetic intervention is one part
of how we can fulfill our capacity, 
calling and relationship to bear God's
image in God's garden... God does invite
us to be part of God's kingdom. It is
a privilege to contribute by God's grace
and direction... We are workers, not
master-builders; ministers, not messiahs...

If, from the full perspective of Christian
tradition, an instant of genetic intervention
is safe, a genuine improvement, increases
the choices of recipients, and is the best
use of our finite resources (the four
'standards' for shaping human nature
noted above) that genetic intervention 
may be an expression of love for God, 
for one another, and the rest of creation 
entrusted to us.

For such opportunities to serve we should
be responsible and thankful.


My Thoughts:

Many of the students in my current
ethics classes at the university
(eg "God, Atheism and Morality")seem
to be genuinely surprised when I
suggest to them that Christians are
involved in shaping contemporary
ethics like genetic restructuring,
gene therapy and cloning. It is
a common understanding that, at
best, religious thinkers are not
part of front-line thinking with
the best minds science can offer.

People who still accept transcendent
realities (like me) are "supposed"
to be at the defense of traditional
thinking and are therefore part of an
era past - not engaged in what is
important to many today.


I am happy to introduce a book that
in some ways goes further than the
stance taken by visionaries like 
Richard Holloway whose views on ethics 
are quite intriguing to many of my 

"Changing Human Nature" by James C.
Peterson of McMaster Divinity College,
Hamilton, Ontario delves into the
Christian tradition and combines that
with cutting edge scientific thinking.
He offers steps that persons engaged
in ethical dialogue between scientists 
and religious thinkers might take in 
their reflections and decision-making.

Religious thinkers need to honour the
best that science is teaching us.

Scientific thinkers need to respect
the dimension that religion has to
offer the discussion.

Together, we will both be the better
for a collaboration of integrity.


Here are two contributions provided
for us by "Changing Human Nature."

Peterson digs deeply into biblical/
theological tradition to offer
substantial insight that can inform
both scientific and religious thinking.
Too many liberals tend to ignore the 
rich resources of their faith tradition. 
I think this is a mistake. Tradition can 
enrich. It need not necessarily retard 
the discussion.

There are many enlightened voices of
Christian heritage, for example. Not 
all say the same thing. Not all take 
a defensive posture.

I am grateful to the author for helping
me to add "meat" to the "bones" of my
commitment to transcendent human values
in my discussion with students who have
great doubts about "religious" values
and who see these only as destructive
at worst, or irrelevant at best.

Secondly, Peterson knows his science
and is not afraid to let good science
guide his growth toward truth. Too
many conservative writers see it as
their purpose to "protect" God and
God's people from new developments in
medical research. It is very important 
for religious people to know what 
science is telling us so they can 
integrate this to their philosophy 
of life. 

I'm thinking here about ongoing human
genome and stem cell research, for 

As Richard Holloway says - "We are
very close to shaping, rather than
being shaped, genetically." How
do we want that to happen?

When our understanding of God shifts
from "unchanging" to "evolutionary"
we discover that what really changes
is human understanding and that a God
who evolves as we humans evolve can
provide great comfort and stability
as we tackle issues our fore-bearers 
never imagined.

With those thoughts in mind, I feel
better equipped to deal with both
cultured critics of faith, and those
Christians who I believe are living
with their heads in the sand.

Thanks to James C. Peterson for
helping me move forward in my
thinking. I believe he can help
you too.


Review from Booklist:

"Many books of late argue either the 
incoherence of religious belief in a 
scientific age or that faith is a 
rational way to seek meaning in the 
world. Peterson's work is a refreshing 
alternative. Committed to both 
Christianity and Western science, 
he argues that scientific research 
with its potential to shape the world 
is 'part of the God-given mandate for 
human beings to share in the redemption 
and development of creation.' Shaping 
the world can include changing our 
genetic makeup. So Peterson carefully 
examines the ethical concerns about 
genetic intervention raised by 
philosophers, theologians, and 
bioethicists (e.g., does the change 
affect one person, or is it passed 
on to descendants?) and then proposes 
four standards that must be met before 
an intervention can proceed. This is a 
thoughtful work that demonstrates that 
religious faith in general and the 
historic Christian tradition in 
particular can not only coexist 
synergistically with science but also 
make a positive contribution to addressing 
the ethical questions scientific research 


Buy the book from



Calgary, AB

Justin Bieber's "Pray"

Youtube link:


Calgary, AB.

"Breathing Life Into Ministry"

An ecumenical organization
focused on ministry support.

Check out program offerings on
the website, and listen to the
presentation by Roy Semenoff


Calgary, AB.

"Canadians Lobby for Clean
Mining in Philippines"

UCC Group Leads Project

Ucan News
January 12th, 2012



Holy and Haunted

The Atlantic Online
January 10th, 2012



January 12th, 2012

by Kristel Clayville


Women in Ministry

Alban Weekly
January 8th, 2011


A Correlation is Seen

BBC News
January 10th, 2012


Sadness and Anger
January 8th, 2012


Major British-American Production

The Guardian, UK
January 8th, 2011


Focus on Faith and Canadian Life
January 11th, 2012



Vancouver Province
January 7th, 2012



Ucan News
January 9th, 2012



AFP News
January 7th, 2012


"Christmas Peaceful for
 Coptic Christians"

National Post
January 7th, 2012



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
6 January 2012

Church of Norway to improve 
inclusion of native Sami people

Oslo, Norway (ENI news) - The (Lutheran) 
Church of Norway in the next five years 
will be implementing a plan to enhance 
the role of the indigenous Sami people 
in church life. "We want Sami church life 
to be an equal and natural part of the 
church, and the Church of Norway to be 
a multicultural fellowship," said Jens-
Petter Johnsen, director general of the 
Church of Norway National Council. He 
spoke with the Church of Norway 
Information Service. The Sami are 
an indigenous people in the northern 
parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, 
and on the Kola Peninsula in Russia. 

Report names 50 worst countries
for Christian persecution

(ENI news) - The international Christian 
organization Open Doors released its annual 
World Watch List this week, naming the 50 
countries where it says Christians face the 
worst persecution. For the first time in 
the 20 years that the list has been compiled, 
the situation for Christians did not improve 
in any country, Open Doors said. For the 
tenth year running, North Korea topped the 
list. Open Doors reported that Christianity 
has been driven so far underground in North 
Korea that parents wait until their children 
are old enough to understand the dangers of 
practicing their faith before teaching them 
about it. The organization also estimated 
that between 50,000 and 70,000 ChristianS 
are currently interned in labor camps.


Egyptian Christian leaders consider 
dialogue with Islamic groups 

(ENI news) - Christian leaders in Egypt are 
meeting to discuss opening a dialogue with 
Islamic groups as a way of addressing 
sectarian violence. Ahead of the Eastern 
Christmas celebrated on 7 January, His 
Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Egypt's Coptic 
Orthodox Church leader, met on 5 January 
with Anglican Church leaders, according to 
news reports, to discuss how they could 
begin "constructive dialogue" with the 
Islamists who have won a majority in 
Parliament. The meeting came as the Muslim 
Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and 
the Nour Party secured a clear win in the 
elections that began on 28 November.


9 January 2012

Pope Benedict's latest group of cardinals: 
more Roman, less 'catholic'

(ENI news) - Pope Benedict XVI's announcement 
on 6 January of 22 new cardinals shows that 
he is continuing a pattern of stacking the 
College of Cardinals with Europeans (mainly 
Italians) and with leaders of the Roman 
curia, the papal bureaucracy whose officials 
are often considered more conservative than 
prelates in dioceses around the world. This 
trend goes against the push by Benedict's 
predecessors, notably the late John Paul II, 
to "internationalize" the College of Cardinals 
and make it more representative of the global 
church, Religion News Service reports. 

Christian roots of African movement 
recalled during anniversary

(ENI news) - The Christian roots of the 
African National Congress (ANC) were cited 
during weekend celebrations in South Africa 
marking the centennial of Africa's best 
known liberation and political movement. 
More than a dozen African heads of state 
and representatives from around the world 
attended to honor the movement that 
eventually overcame the apartheid system 
of racial segregation. On 8 January, 
hundreds packed into Waaihoek Wesleyan 
Church in Bloemfontein, where the ANC 
began. The movement was founded by Christian 
pastors, mission-educated journalists, 
lawyers and social workers on 8 January 

In Israel, Christian population 
has lowest growth rate, report says  

Jerusalem (ENI news) Christians have 
the lowest growth rate among the 
Israeli population, according to an 
Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics 
report released on 6 January. According 
to the report, the Christian growth rate 
of 0.9percent compares to the Jewish 
rate of 1.7 percent and the 2.7 percent 
growth rate among Muslims. Christian 
Arabs have a growth rate of one percent 
while the rate among non-Arab Christians 
is 0.7 percent. About 154,000 Christians 
live in Israel, constituting 2 percent 
of the population, according to the 


10 January 2012

Scholars to honor Alvarez 
for lifetime of achievement 

(ENI news) - A Puerto Rican 
missionary and scholar will receive 
a lifetime achievement award this 
spring by the Society for Pentecostal 
Studies. The Rev. Carmelo Alvarez, 
a program consultant and visiting 
professor for the Latin American 
Evangelical Pentecostal Commission 
and the Evangelical Pentecostal 
Union of Venezuela, will be honored 
in recognition of his academic work, 
research and publications on 
Pentecostalism, according to 
the Latin America and Caribbean 
Communication Agency (ALC). 


Latino evangelical coalition 
highlights issues in U.S. election

Orlando, Florida (ENI news) - A 
group of Latino evangelical churches 
in the United States have begun a 
voter registration drive intended 
to send a message to candidates 
that they ignoreLatino interests 
at their peril. The National Latino 
Evangelical Coalition kicked off 
its six-state "Nuestro Futuro" 
campaign on 10 January in Orlando, 
Florida, with a news conference, 
and an evening rally and 
registration effort at Iglesia 
El Calvario, a local church. 

German Muslims show solidarity 
with threatened Catholic churches

Duisberg, Germany (ENI news) - Three 
Catholic churches in the west German 
region of North-Rhine Westphalia that 
may have to close this month have
received a show of solidarity from 
the local Muslim community. Muhammed 
Al, chairman of the Merkez Mosque 
Association, wrote to Bishop Franz-
Josef Overbeck, head of the Essen 
diocese, on behalf of local Muslims 
last fall about the three Catholic 
churches in the town of Duisberg.


11 January 2012

Ugandan Anglican leader has 
drawn both praise and criticism

(ENI news) -He is described as 
charismatic, intelligent and humble 
in Uganda and the Global South, but 
Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi, 
who will be leaving office this 
year, has also been criticized in 
the Anglican Communion for his 
hardline stance concerning 
homosexuality. Orombi on 7 January 
told the Church of Uganda's house 
of bishops to prepare to elect his 
successor in June. His ten-year term 
was set to expire in January 2014 
before he turned 65. His decision 
to seek early retirement comes after 
serving for seven years. The Christians 
he serves say Orombi has transformed 
his church, but his hard-line stand 
concerning issues within the Anglican 
Communion also earned him criticism.


Imams in Britain must reach 
out to youth, says cleric

(ENI news) - Imams at British mosques 
have let down a generation of young 
Muslims by failing to reach young people 
who sometimes end up in prison, Ibrahim 
Mogra, chair of the mosque and community 
affairs committee of the Muslim Council of 
Britain, said. Following the publication 
of a report showing that the number of 
Muslims in British prisons has rocketed 
over the last 20 years, Mogra told ENI
news in an interview on 11 January that 
most Muslim clergy and mosques have 
finally realized that in houses of 
worship they are preaching only to 
the converted.


12 January 2012

Film about Japanese teachers highlights 
their opposition to "emperor system"

Tokyo (ENI news) - A new Japanese film 
highlights the struggles of a Christian 
music teacher and two former teachers to 
defend their beliefs, including their 
disagreement with the compulsory singing 
of the national anthem in schools. 
Scheduled to be shown in Tokyo on 14 
January and Osaka on 28 January, and 
available on a Japanese-language DVD, 
the film, "True to Myself," was shown 
with English subtitles at the Yamagata 
International Documentary Film Festival 
in Japan last October. 

Christian leader urges end to escalating 
religious violence in Nigeria

(ENI news) - As sectarian violence increases 
in northern Nigeria, Rev. Martin Junge, 
leader of the Lutheran World Federation, 
called on 12 January for an end to the use 
of religious texts to validate murders and 
acts of aggression. Junge's statement 
followed a video message from Abubakar 
Shekau, the alleged head of an Islamic 
militant group known as Boko Haram, 
stating the attacks were revenge for 
murders of Muslims in the region by 


In Israel, a clash over 
religious gender segregation

Jerusalem (ENI news) - Should Israel 
allow segregation by gender in the 
public sphere simply because one 
religious group -- ultra-Orthodox Jews 
- demand it? This issue has become a 
focal point as Israel struggles with 
its identity as a Jewish democratic 
state. "This is taking us straight to
the most important dialogue [for the 
country]: what kind of values do we 
want for our Jewish state?" said Anat 
Hoffman, executive director of the 
Israel Religious Action Center, in 
an interview with ENI news.


January 6th, 2012

"My life is not simply a meaningless 
conglomeration of serendipitous events 
and unremarkable happenstance. Rather, 
it is a series of divine appointments 
with the goal of shaping my character."

- Kelly James Clark


January 9th, 2012

"Anybody can observe the Sabbath but 
 making it holy surely takes the rest 
 of the week."

- Alice Walker, from 
  "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens"


January 10th, 2012

“Our present ecological crisis, the 
biggest single practical threat to our 
human existence in the middle to long 
term, has, religious people would say, 
a great deal to do with our failure to 
think of the world as existing in 
relation to the mystery of God, not 
just as a huge warehouse of stuff to 
be used for our convenience.”

- Rowan Williams


January 11th, 2012

"Anyhow - from my standpoint the only thing
- if you're some sort of artist - is to work 
a little harder than you can at being who 
you are; while if you're an un-artist (i.e. 
aren't) nothing but big and quick recognition 
matters." (sic)

- e.e. cummings, "a letter to his daughter"


January 12th, 2012

“Saints cannot exist without a community, 
as they require, like all of us, nurturance 
by a people who, while often unfaithful, 
preserve the habits necessary to learn the 
story of God.”

- Stanley Hauerwas, from 
  “The Gesture of a Truthful Story” 



On Jan. 9, 1968 - the Surveyor 7 space 
probe made a soft landing on the moon, 
marking the end of the American series 
of unmanned explorations of the lunar 


On Jan. 10, 1946 - the first General 
Assembly of the United Nations convened 
in London.


On Jan. 11, 1935 - aviator Amelia Earhart 
began a trip from Honolulu to Oakland, CA.
becoming the first woman to fly solo across 
the Pacific Ocean.



"True thanking is to enjoy God."

- Julian of Norwich

Thanking and enjoyment go together.
Think of it. If you give someone a
gift and they do not use it, then you 
will feel disappointment, despite any 
genuinely nice thank-you note they may 
write. If you give them a gift that
they enjoy using, that joy is the most
satisfying thank-you they could offer.
Their joy makes us happy. So too, in
Julian's view, we thank God more by
our enjoyment of God's gifts than
through mere words.

And this delights God.

- Matthew Fox in "Christian Mystics"


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