Saturday, February 14, 2015

Colleagues List, February 15th, 2015

Vol. X.  No. 27



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.


Dear Friends:

My Special Item this week is the seasonal
"Lenten Lent" a book of devotions by
American author Donna Sharper.

Please scroll down to read my thoughts
on the book and consider getting it.


Colleague Comments - this week are from
colleagues John Griffith of Calgary and an 
Ontario friend from my seminary years. John
comments on a Lenten retreat he will lead
for St. David's people followed by a comment
on the Net Note item of last week that focused
on the church and climate change and global
warming. Thanks to both of you.

Scroll down to read their letters to me.


Colleague Communications -

James M Wall (Chicago) - writes on the
Obama speech given at the Washington
Prayer Breakfast noted here last week
"Obama - Preacher in Chief"

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio) reflects on
"Our Daydreams"

Jim Taylor (Okanagan) offers views on
"Reducing Our Fears, Not Our Risks"

Martin Marty (Chicago) does an interesting
assessment of "Theology Now"

For more detail, scroll down.


Net Notes - are as follows:

"Bodies in Christ" - body image is a major
concern for many today, especially young
women, but other women as well. Here
are thoughts on the subject (America)

"Sex and Religion" - here are interesting
introductions to current studies on human
sexuality, particularly contemporary 
hook-up and gay cultural issues
(Publishers Weekly)

"McFarland - A Story of Hope" - Marlene
and I were invited to the pre-showing of
an intriguing story of Latino American
heroism. Well worth viewing when it
arrives near you, February 23rd
(Walt Disney Productions) trailer

"Is Billy Graham an Evangelical?" -
a helpful clarification of the complex
ministry of "America's Pastor"
(Christianity Today)

"Sharia Law Court Opens in Texas" -
this report is from conservative Christian
sources but says a lot about America today
(The Christian Post)

"Menno Simons - Radical Reformer" - for
those who are unfamiliar with the founder
of the Anabaptist Movement in 16th
century Europe, here is a primer
(Evangelical Fellowship of Canada)

"Supreme Court Ruling - Mixed Reaction" -
here is a reflection of the reaction, in
Canada this week, to the Supreme Court
ruling on medically assisted suicide
(Anglican Journal)

"Press Freedom is in World-Wide Decline" -
an eye-opening story about freedom of the
press in the world today (UCA News)

"Aussie Aboriginals' Disadvantage Worsening" -
a story, in some ways paralleling the situation
in Canada, on Australia's 'First Nations'

"Student Virginity Exam Sparks Indonesian Outcry" -
women's groups in Indonesia are up in arms over
a new discriminatory policy (UCA News)


Wisdom of the Week  - is provided by Sojourners
and the Bruderhof online with offerings from:

Rachel Carson, Dorothy Day, Henri J.M. Nouwen,
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jean Vanier, Evelyn Underhill,
Oscar Romero and Vincent van Gogh.

Please scroll down to read their thoughts.


On This Day - from the archives of the
New York Times - recorded as it happened:

"Stalin, Churchill and FDR Meet. Agree at Yalta"


Closing Thought -  this week is from Pope Francis
Please scroll to the end to read him.


If your are interested in reading about
our ACTS programs -

Winter 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary



Book Notice -

A Way to Refresh Your Spirit
by Donna Shaper

Woodlake Books, Kelowna BC 2015,
Paperback, 70 pages. $11.00 CAD
ISBN #978-1-77064-793-0

Publisher's Promo:

Lenten Lent:
A Way to Refresh & Renew Your Spirit =

Donna Schaper, author of more than
30 books, engages the sometimes gritty,
often chaotic and challenging realities of
our lives. With great honesty and humanity,
openness and hope, she offers readers a
way through Lent inspired by the ecological
metaphors of renewable and sustainable
energy – a truly healing “ecology” for the

Each of the 40 daily devotions – as well as
one for Easter – feature a scripture reference,
meditation, prayer, and action step.

Lenten Lent also includes guidelines for study
groups, making this a perfect resource for both
individual and group use.


Author's Words:

If you are like me, you long for spiritual
methods, practices, measurements - ways
to travel that long road to God. You don't
want anything fancy so much as you want
something just right. You don't want to
waste time or energy so much as to use
time and energy in a renewable and
renewing way...

In these meditations, I devote myself
again to renewal, not just for me, but
surely for me. And not just for you, but
surely for you. And not just for communities,
but surely for them as well.

A daily devotional... lets our days end,
knowing that we have at least tried to
notice time and tempo as they pass
through our hours on this earth...

May we feast in the time it will take to
renew ourselves this Lent... Ultimately,
it is my hope that these devotionals will
accompany you through Lent and yield
a harvest of solar and wind energy in you.
By solar, I mean a sunnier disposition
and by wind I mean something like wind
in your sails.

May these 41 meditations be a handful
of hope to guide you on that journey.


My Thoughts:

Donna Sharper has been writing inspirational
books for ordinary Christians for some decades.
She has written for the Alban Institute and
other publishers who serve the spiritual needs
of people in congregations.

The Canadian publisher, Woodlake Books of
Kelowna BC = long a publisher for parishioners -
has produced this book of Lenten devotions
and we are the better for it.

Lent encourages us to give special attention to
spiritual needs in our lives and this book is a
helpful addition to resources available to us.
The author has selected forty plus one scripture
passages for Lent and Easter from both Hebrew
and Christian testaments. She uses various
biblical translations because the words she
selects are important to her.

Readers can be both disciplined or periodic
selectors of these brief (rarely more than just
a page in length) inspirational pieces that are
supported by biblical passages in each case.

I know that I will be using this booklet as
a Lenten resource this year, and I encourage
you to do the same


Buy the book from Woodlake:
Buy the book from



Calgary, AB

February 8th, 2015

Theme for St. David's Lenten Retreat
Mt. St. Francis Centre, Cochrane AB-
11:30AM -4:00 PM, March 1st, 2015

Hi Wayne, when you advertise this retreat
I think it is important to tell people it is a
"silent preached retreat" and not a bible
study or a discussion oriented process. 

This means that it is a contemplative retreat,
a time for reflection on the word of God for
our life.  I will use the scriptures for the day
(Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 9:2-9)  to give
an opening reflection on the passage for the
gathered community; a second reflection will
be shared about half way through and then
there will be a concluding sharing time. 

This is important that people come prepared
to spend silent time listening for God's voice
in their own reflections. 
I look forward to our time together.



An Ontario Friend:

February 8th, 2015

From Colleagues List, February 8th, 2015

"Churches Warm Up to Climate Change" -
early signs that the churches are assuming
a stronger role in modern climate change
advocacy and action (Sightings)

Hello Wayne:

"Churches Warm Up To Climate Change" made
me remember that it is now more than a quarter
of a century since I participad as a member of
the delegation of the Holy See ("the Vatican")
in the first-ever European meeting of all the
Christian Churches in Europe at Basel, Suisse
in 1989.  The theme of the meeting was "Justice,
Peace and the Integrity of Creation."

John Paul II and the now-Ecumenical
Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (if
memory serves, he also was a participant at
Basel) were well aware then of the need for
Church leadership to participate in the struggle
to preserve our environment, one of God's many
gifts to all humankind.  Pope Francis' forthcoming
encyclical letter on the ecology is one direct result
of Basel '89.  And Patriarch Bartholomew, to the 
annoyance of not a few in his own Communion,
has provided steady and solid leadership in this

Warming Churches up to anything perceived to
be "new" is, as you and I both know well, a long,
slow process.  May our leaders persevere and may
those whom they lead have open ears, open minds,
open hearts.

Thanks for all the work you put into your blog.

An Ontario Friend



Chicago IL

Wall Writings
February 10th, 2015

"Obama - Preacher in Chief
   at Prayer Breakfast"


San Antonio TX

Personal Website
February 9th, 2015

"Our Daydreams"

Note Ron's Cancer Update - Good News!


Okanagan, BC

Web Log
February 8th, 2015

"Reducing Our Fears, Not Our Risks"


Chicago. Il

February 9th, 2015

"Theology Now"



Healthy Image Needed

America Magazine
February 23rd, 2015


Books Assess Hook-up and Gay Cultures

Publishers Weekly
February 11th, 2015


Latinos and One Who Believed in Them
(coming February 23rd)

Disney Movie Trailer


America's Pastor vs Evangelicalism's Architect

Christianity Today
February 6th, 2015


Conservatives React to Dubious Report

Christian Post
February 11th, 2015


Beginnings of the Anabaptist Movement Website

Right-to-Die Issue Divides Us

Anglican Journal
February 11th, 2014


Canada Still Remains Among Top 10 Best

UCA News International
February 12th, 2015


Unemployment Figures Growing

February 11th, 2015


Worries Over AIDS Dominate

UCA News
February 10th, 2025



Provided by Sojourners and
Bruderhof online:

Is the exploration of the natural world just
a pleasant way to pass the golden hours of
childhood or is there something deeper?

I am sure there is something much deeper,
something lasting and significant. Those
who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among
the beauties and mysteries of the earth are
never alone or weary of life. Whatever the
vexations or concerns of their personal lives,
their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner
contentment and to renewed excitement in
living.…There is symbolic as well as actual
beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb
and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready
for the spring. There is something infinitely
healing in the repeated refrains of nature –
the assurance that dawn comes after night,
and spring after the winter.

- Rachel Carson


I really only love God as much as I love
the person I love the least.

- Dorothy Day


That is our vocation: to convert the
enemy into a guest and to create
the free and fearless space where
brotherhood and sisterhood can be
formed and fully experienced.

- Henri J.M. Nouwen


Only the obedient believe. If we are
to believe, we must obey a concrete
command. Without this preliminary
step of obedience, our faith will only
be pious humbug, and lead us to the
grace which is not costly. Everything
depends on the first step. It has a
unique quality of its own. The first
step of obedience makes Peter leave
his nets, and later get out of the ship;
it calls upon the young man to leave
his riches. Only this new existence,
created through obedience, can make
faith possible.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


It is quite easy to found a community.
There are always plenty of courageous
people who want to be heroes, are ready
to sleep on the floor, to work hard hours
each day, to live in dilapidated houses.
It’s not hard to camp – anyone can rough
it for a time. The problem comes in living
with brothers and sisters whom we have
not chosen but who have been given to us,
and in working ever more truthfully towards
the goal. A community is only being created
when its members accept that they are not
going to achieve great things, that they are
not going to be heroes, but simply live
each day with new hope, like children, in
wonderment as the sun rises and in
thankfulness as it sets.

- Jean Vanier


Love is creative. It does not flow along the
easy paths, spending itself in the attractive.
It cuts new channels, goes where it is needed.

- Evelyn Underhill


Christian faith does not cut us off from the world
but immerses us in it; the church is not a fortress
set apart from the city. The church follows Jesus,
who lived, worked, struggled, and died in the midst
of a city, in the polis.

- Archbishop Oscar Romero


I always think that the best way to know God
is to love many things. Love a friend, a wife,
something, whatever you like, and you will be
on the right way to knowing more about it; that
is what I say to myself. But one must love with
a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with
strength, with intelligence, and one must always
try to know deeper, better, and more. That leads
to God, that leads to unwavering faith.

- Vincent van Gogh



From the archives of the New York Times

"Stalin, Churchill and FDR Meet. Agree at Yalta"



Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders,
no limits: he sends us to everyone. The gospel is
for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for
those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more
welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to
go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the
fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest
away, most indifferent. The Lord seeks all – he
wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy
and his love.



Winter 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary:


January 12nd – March 23rd, 2015
7-00-9:00PM TM Room. Ten Weeks.
(Family Day Monday exempted)

“Fields of Blood: Religion and

  the History of Violence”
  by Karen Armstrong

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

Registration $60.00. Book only $25.00

This study is now in progress.
Forty books sold.

Study design and class links

Lorna Dueck interviews Karen Armstrong
Youtube link:

January 22nd - March 26th, 2015. Ten Weeks.
10:00-11:00AM TM Room

"Romans and James -

  Foundations for Christian
  Thought and Living"
  Study Leader: Wayne Holst

No charge.

Study resource -
The DK Complete Bible Handbook

This study has begun.



"Jerusalem and the Land of Three Great Faiths"
  October 16th - 31st, 2015

Hardcopy tour details brochure
is available in the church lobby.

Tour Company: Rostad Tours Calgary

Tour Hosts: Wayne and Marlene Holst
Sponsored by: St. David's ACTS Ministry
Endorsed by: St. David's Church Council

Talk with or write to Marlene and Wayne

Save $300. if deposit paid by March 31st.



Interfaith Chaplains' Book Studies
for faculty, students, staff, and
campus guests - Winter, 2015

"Simply Good News" by N.T. Wright

Book Study Co-Sponsored by:
The Faith and Spirituality Centre,
University of Calgary and
The ACTS Ministry,
St. David's United Church, Calgary

Native Centre Board Room
McEwan Student Centre
Fridays, 12:00 - 1:00 PM. Five sessions.
Feb. 20th, 27th, March 6th, 13th, 20th

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

Study Leader: Dr. Wayne A. Holst
Book cost $20.00


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