Saturday, November 1, 2014

Colleagues List, November 2nd, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 13



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

"Quicklinks" are included with many items
at the beginning of this issue. To get a more
complete picture, however, scroll down to
find your special selection in the body of
the blog. 

Note that not all items here have links.


Dear Colleagues -

This week I bring you a book notice
of "Thomas Berry - Selected Writings"
I have been waiting for a volume like
this to appear for some time.

For old Berry fans and those new to him,
I believe this title is worth considering.

Please scroll down to read my thoughts


Colleague Contributions - this week are
provided below with these titles:

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC)
"Distorted Statistics Foment Hatred"

Martin Marty (Chicago, IL)
"Southern White Evangelical Decline"

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio, TX)
"Three Kinds of Spiritualities"

John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (Vancouver, BC)
"How North American Evangelicals Worship"


Net Notes -

"Sistine Chapel Makeover" - this
heavily visited near-centre of Rome
has gotten a facelift (UCA News)

"Missing Church, Not Religion" -
The author does a survey of the three
best-sellers by Marilynne Robinson
(Duke U. Leadership, Anglican Journal)

"Mormon Underwear Revealed" - where
there is secrecy there is curiosity. Now
you can learn about it all from the LDS
church itself (The Atlantic Online)

"Truth, Then Justice in El Salvador" -
progress seems to be taking place
in a land of chronic unrest, thank God
(America Magazine, Catholic News Service)

"90% of Iraqi Christians Displaced" -
a sad development; Christians have
lived here since the faith began two
thousand years ago (Christian Post)

"Crisis in US/Israeli Relations is Here" -
it appears that Obama has reached the
end of his patience with obstinate
Israeli leadership - is this a sign of change?
(The Atlantic Online)

"Ebola May Have Reached Turning Point" -
have we come to a tipping point in the
battle against the plague? (Guardian, UK)

"Francis: "Evolution and Creation 'Both Right'" -
this week, the pope speaks about religion
and its relationship to science, but media
coverage on the whole seems amateurish
and uninformed (The Guardian UK,
Catholic News Agency, Time Magazine)

Two Reviews: "America's Pastor" and
"Fail - Finding Hope" - a British assessment
of a book on American evangelist Billy Graham,
and a positive look at failure in ministry 
(The Tablet, UK, Englewood Review of Books)

"Role of Religion in the Growth of
German Democracy" - an in-depth look
at how the church in Germany has helped
to build democracy since re-unification

"What Mandela's Jail Cell Teaches Us
About Leadership" - Jim Wallis of
Sojourners reflects on his visit last
summer to Nelson Mandela's jail cell


Wisdom of the Week -

Vigen Guroian, Henri Nouwen, Teresa of Avila,
Angela Y. Davis and Mother Teresa teach us.

Provided by Sojourners and Bruderhof online.
Please scroll down.


On This Day -

October 26th-November 2nd

From the archives of the New York Times:

"New York Stock Exchange Crashes"

"Indira Gandhi Assassinated by
  Two of Her Sikh Bodyguards"


Closing Thought - Martin Luther

Please scroll to the end.


Fall 2014 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary

Scroll to the end of my blog if you are interested.


With November on the calendar, we are
moving definitively away from summer
and looking toward winter where we live.

Please continue to walk with me!



Book Notice -

Selected Writings
on the Earth Community

With an Introduction by  
Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Modern Spiritual Masters Series

Orbis/Maryknoll New York,
(to be released Nov. 10th, 2014)
200 pages. $16.62 CAD. Paper.
ISBN #978-1-62698-095-2.

Author's Bio:

Thomas Berry (1914-2009), was a priest,
a "geologian," and a historian of religions. 
He was an early and significant voice
awakening religious sensibilities to the
environmental crisis.  He is particularly
well-known for articulating a "universe
story" that explores the world-changing
implications of contemporary science. 

Berry pointed the way to an ecological
spirituality attuned to our place in nature
and giving rise to an ethic of responsibility
and care for the Earth.

This work, timed to mark the centenary
of his birth, will offer the best guide to one
of the true prophets and spiritual masters
of our time.

See wiki bio:


Publisher's Promo:

"The essential collection of Thomas Berry. 
Introduced with an elegant biography written
by his extraordinary students, there is no better
way into this genre-defying figure."

- Willis Jenkins, The University of Virginia

"Thomas Berry offers big picture thinking,
big-hearted love, and big screen imagination,
both scientific and religious about how the
cosmos can thrive.  New readers and longtime
students of Berry alike will find this volume a
portable summary of his best work."

- Mary E. Hunt, Women's Alliance for Theology,
                          Ethics & Ritual

 "This important selection of Berry's writings
Invites us to consider our contributions to a
functional cosmology that is capable of nurturing,
revising, and sustaining our spiritual intuitions
and our beloved earth community."
- Barbara A. Holmes, author, Race and the Cosmos

Editors' Bio:

Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim are co-directors
of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale.  They
were students of Thomas Berry and have devoted
themselves to his legacy by editing his books and
producing the Emmy-award winning film, Journey
of the Universe, with Brian Swimme.  They are
editors of Berry's The Christian Future and the
Fate of the Earth.  Tucker also edited Berry's
The Great Work, Evening Thoughts, and
The Sacred Universe.


Editors' Words:

Thomas Berry - Living a New Story

Thomas Berry was an original and prophetic voice
for the Earth community. As a gifted speaker, an
original thinker, and an inspiring teacher, he
reshaped our thinking about human-Earth relations.
Drawing on his broad knowledge of world religions
and his deep thinking for the journey of the universe,
he identified "story" as a means of guiding humans
into the future.

Berry was an outspoken advocate for the environment.
Early on, he called for the restitution of habitat for
biodiversity, not simply as a conservation measure,
but in recognition of the intrinsic value of nature.

In fact, some of his most insightful writing and
publications occurred  after he was sixty-five and
had retired from teaching.

His last books include "Dream of the Earth"(1988)
"The Great Work" (1999) and "Evening Thoughts"
(2006). "The Christian Future and the Fate of the
Earth" along with "The Sacred Universe" were
published in 2009 the year he died, aged ninety five.

He was a scholar, teacher and mentor who called us
to an awakening and exodus from our sleep. He
was deeply influenced by Thomas Aquinas and
Teilhard de Chardin. He introduced the concept
of various earth eras and invented the "Ecozoic
Era' as the emerging period in which humans
could recover their creative orientation to Earth.

The layers of Berry's thinking are multiple
and have organic continuity with one another.
(Many of this insights are only now starting
to make sense to many of us today)

- from the Introduction


Author's Words:

When we look back over our lives we realize
that whatever of significance we have achieved
has been the fulfillment of earlier thoughts and
dreams that sustained us when we encountered
difficulties through the years...

Beyond the dreams of our personal future, there
are the shared dreams that give shape and form
to each of our cultural traditions. Because the
other world cannot be explained by any technical
or scientific language, we present this other
world by analogy and myth and story. Even beyond
childhood, this is a world of the human mind...

What we look for is no longer the Pax Romana,
the peace of imperial Rome,  nor is it simply
the Pax Humana, the peace among humans,
but the Pax Gaia, the peace of Earth and every
living being on Earth. This is the original and
final peace, the peace granted by whatever
power it is that brings our world into being.
Within the universe, the planet Earth with all
its wonder is the place for the meeting
"of the divine and the human."

- from "Evening Thoughts"


My Thoughts:

A little more than twenty years ago, when
Thomas Berry was in his late seventies, I
was invited to attend one of his week-long
"Fate of the Earth" retreats, sponsored by a
partner Toronto Catholic order and locally
handled by the indefatigable Ann Lonergan,
a sister to the famous Canadian theologian.

The event was held on the north shore of
Lake Erie at a church centre near Port Dover
and - even then we were beginning to experience
something of the ecological reclamation that was
taking place on that famous lake that serves as a
border between Pennsylvania and Ontario.

I look upon that experience with much gratitude
because it not only spoke to me first about the
healing of the earth, but also to some healing
in my own life after some years of turmoil.

(The Canadian religious were even willing to
cover my costs, but I succeeded in paying them
back after some months! This helped me learn to
risk venturing into some new worlds of thinking
and to follow advice from my old colleague
Herb O'Driscoll who had suggested that if I
would be willing to launch into the deep, God
would be there, ahead of me.)

Berry, like many great seers was not always
that easy to understand, even though he
made great efforts at clarity. It was just
that he seemed so far ahead of us at the
time that his ideas were - well, 'new age'
to say the least - and especially to those
of us whose formation had largely been
from the era of 'Christian classical.'

For example, we did a Sunday liturgy of
dancing around a huge oak tree on the
grounds, and I wondered  at the time
about what all that silliness meant.

During his week with the group, I asked
if I could have a personal chat with him;
and he obliged! He invited me to his
unkempt bedroom at the retreat and
gave me almost an hour of his time.

I look upon that experience as a paradigm-
changing opportunity in my life. That was
not so much because of what he said, but
because of my experience with this man of
such presence and depth. His story-telling
ability was even more meaningful during
that one-on-one than his public discourse
had been.


I have been waiting for this new book -
a "summa" of Berry's theology as a
"geologian" - for some time.

I am grateful to the editors and to my
friends at Orbis like Robert Ellsberg for
initiating the spirituality series in which
this book now appears.

Now, at least, I have between the covers
of one book something to remind me of
what I had strained eagerly to understand
from him then. Here is some logic I can
follow where previously I had seemingly
been running on intuition alone.

Here we find words informed by Christian
hope even though his frame of reference
calls for continuing paradigm adjustment.

Because they knew him so well, Tucker and
Grim are able to sift through his large
oeuvre and come up with some real gems.
And they keep following one after another!
They share this in a gradual, developing way
so that even those new to Berry can explore
their way through his evolving thought over
many decades.

It is also nice to know that a book of such
shelf value is now available for such a
modest price.

Here indeed is a keeper!

I believe that Berry will continue to make
more sense to all of us as time goes on.


Buy the Book -

From the Publisher:




Okanagan, BC

Web Log
Oct. 26th, 2014

"Distorted Statistics Foment Hatred"


Chicago, IL

October 27th, 2014

"Southern White Evangelical Decline"


San Antonio TX

Personal Web Site
October 26th, 2014

"Three Kinds of Spiritualities"


Vancouver, BC

Web Site
October 31st, 2014

"How American Evangelicals Worship" 



Exquisite Lighting Improvement

UCA News
Oct. 30th, 2014


Why I Read Marilynne Robinson

Duke Divinity Leadership/
Anglican Journal Online
October 7th/19th, 2014


LDS Church Provides Demonstration

The Atlantic Online
Octobert 22nd, 2014


Memory as Well as Healing

America Magazine
November 10th, 2014

"Music Strikes a Chord in Fighting
  El Salvador Street Crime"

Catholic News Service
October 30, 2014


Only 30 of 600 Families Remain in Bagdad

The Christian Post
October 28th, 2014


Obama is Very Angry Over Current Politics

The Atlantic
October 28th, 2014


International Cooperation is Credited

The Guardian, UK
October 29th, 2014


Faith and Science Compatible

The Guardian, UK
October 29th, 2014

"Vatican Astronomer Says
  Pope's Words No Game-Changer"

Catholic News Agency
October 30th, 2014

"Media Coverage of Pope 
  Often a Lot of Papal Bull"
Time Magazine,
October 31st, 2014


Two Reviews -

A British Review Perspective

The Tablet, UK
October 30th, 2014

"Fail: Finding Hope and Grace
Amid Ministry Failure"

Book Describes
Value in Lack of Success

Englewood Review of Books
October 24th, 2014



October 30th, 2014



Jim Wallis, Sojourners
October 30th, 2014



I think gardening is nearer to godliness
than theology. True gardeners are both
iconographers and theologians insofar as
these activities are the fruit of prayer
‘without ceasing.’ Likewise, true gardeners
never cease to garden,not even in their
sleep, because gardening is not just
something they do. It is how they live.

- Vigen Guroian


Gratitude is not a simple emotion or an
obvious attitude. It is a difficult discipline
to constantly reclaim my whole past as
the concrete way in which God has led
me to this moment and is sending me
into the future. It is hard precisely
because it challenges me to face the
painful moments – experiences of
rejection and abandonment, feelings
of loss and failure – and gradually
to discover in them the pruning hands
of God purifying my heart for deeper
love, stronger hope, and broader faith.

- Henri Nouwen


Oh God, I don’t love you, I don’t even want
to love you, but I want to want to love you!

- Teresa of Avila


No march, movement, or agenda that defines
manhood in the narrowest terms and seeks to
make women lesser partners in this quest for
equality can be considered a positive step.

 - Angela Y. Davis


The best way to show your gratitude to God
and people is to accept everything with joy.…
We may not be able to give much but we can
always give the joy that springs from a heart
that is in love with God. All over the world
people are hungry and thirsty for God’s love.
We meet that hunger by spreading joy. Joy
is one of the best safeguards against temptation.

- Mother Teresa



October 26th-November 2nd

From the archives of the New York Times

"New York Stock Exchange Crashes"

"Indira Gandhi Assassinated by
  Two of Her Sikh Bodyguards"



Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would
go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.



Fall 2014 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary:

September 15th - November 24th
7-00-9:00PM TM Room
(Thanksgiving Day exempted)

"A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul

"Medicine Walk" by  Richard Wagamese

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

Link to study:


December 1st
7:00-9:15PM TM Room
Sponsored by the Bible Study Group

"From Jesus to Christ" -
  How Jesus Became God

  by Bart Ehrmann
  A PBS Video Series  - Part Two
  (total of two hours in length)

Hospitality and discussion

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

All welcome. Hospitality donation only


(Twelve Weeks)

September 18th - December 4th
10:00-11:00AM TM Room

"From Jesus to Christ IV -
  A Study of the Book of Acts"

Led by Wayne Holst
No charge.

Study resource -
The DK Complete Bible Handbook



Interfaith Chaplains' Book Studies
For faculty, students, staff, campus guests -

Fall 2014

Native Centre Board Room
McEwan Student Centre

Fridays, 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Oct 17, 24, 31, Nov 7, 14, 21
(six sessions)

"Everything Belongs:
 The Gift of Contemplative Prayer"
  by Richard Rohr.

Participants are encouraged to attend
all six sessions. However, you may attend
one or more sessions on a drop-in basis.

Book cost $15.00


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