Friday, October 9, 2015

Colleagues List, October 11th, 2015

Vol. XI.  No. 10




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.


For Canadian Thanksgiving I offer an
excellent title relating to the season.

It is "My Year of Buying Nothing"
by  Lee Simpson. a United Church of
Canada minister and former editor of
Chatelaine magazine.

This is a timely and helpful book about
living a quality life thankfully and with less.

Please scroll down to read the background
and my comments about this volume.


Colleague Contributions - this week are from:

Karen McKeown (Calgary AB) who shares a
short and a long interview of Jimmy Carter
at ninety, by Oprah Winfrey:


Beth Porter (Richmond Hill ON) offers the current
article she had edited for the Our Human Future
web page of L'Arche Canada: 

"Democratic Essentials at Risk" with Ursula Franklin
web page of L'Arche Canada:


Philip Jenkins (Waco TX) - here is a review of his
new book  "The Many Faces of Christ"


Jim Taylor (Okanagan BC) writes on the theme:
 "The Perils of Trying to Please"

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio TX) presents
his current website column:

"Innocence, Complexity and Sanctity"


Net Notes that caught my attention this week -

"Grounded - Finding God in the World:
 is the title of a new book by colleague
 Diana Butler Bass, and just out: 
 ( website)


"Canada's Refugees" - this article will update
you on current Canadian refugee stats, with
countries of origin (CBC News)


"He Named Me Malala" - a movie on the
life of the Pakistani women author who
has gained great fame in the West
(New York Times Movie Review (video)


"The Original Suffragette" - for those
interested in the origins of feminist
writing in english, here is a start --
on the life of Mary Wollstonecraft
(The Guardian, UK)


"Nobel Literary Prize Announced"- among
the many Nobel Prize announcements this
week, here is the literary winner, Belarussian
writer Svetlana Alexievich
(New York Times video)


"Ten Reasons Why Gandhi is My Hero" -
we include a lot about the Mahatma on
these pages, but here is something unique
(Faith and Spirituality Website)


"Christians and their Celebrity Pastors" -
evangelical (but not only evangelical)
Christian congregations can suffer from
this problem; but here is some advice
(Christian Week Online)


"Increased Violence and Fears of Third Intifada"
as we plan to leave on our St. David's Travelers
tour of Jerusalem and the land of three great
faiths, here is an update on the current situation
(New York Times)


Wisdom of the Week - is from the websites
of Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:

Simone Weil, Aung San Suu Kyi, C.S. Lewis,
N.T. Wright, Pope Francis, Grace Lee Boggs,
Oscar Romero and St. Francis de Sales

Please scroll down to read these thoughts.


On This Day

From the Archives of the New York Times

"All Labor Organizations Banned in Poland"

"Palestinian Gunmen Hijack Italian Cruise Ship"

"Anwar Sadat of Egypt Shot to Death"

"Soviet Union Launches Sputnik"


Closing Thought - Dag Hammarskjold

Please scroll down to the end to read him.


If you are interested in our regularly updated
New Program Season -

Autumn 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs through St. David's

United Church, Calgary

- scroll to the end of the blog.


Once more, I extend to all of you
a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!




Book Notice -

by Lee Simpson

Wood Lake Books
Kelowna BC. October, 2015
213 pp. $22.95 CAD
ISBN # 978-1-77064-801-2

Dedication by the Author -

This book is dedicated to the spirit of
radical gratitude and the inspiration of
Mary Jo Leddy; Canadian activist, theologian,
and woman of faith, without whom much of
what is good in my life and those of so many
others simply would never have happened.


(Simpson) reminds us that it is not having it all
that makes us happy, it's appreciating what we
do have. It's a very timely message and Lee
Simpson actually makes it fun to hear.

- Rick Wolfe


Publisher's Promo:

Lee Simpson may seem like an unlikely
candidate to don the mantel of anti-
consumerist prophet. She is, after all,
the former publisher of Canada’s most
successful women’s lifestyles magazine,
Chatelaine. But that is just the first of
many surprising things about her new
book My Year of Buying Nothing.

In the 1980s and ’90s, Simpson oversaw

the heady days of women’s magazine
publishing. Although proud of the excellent
journalism featured in her magazines, and
of the pioneering work of the editors she
worked with, her “primary role as senior
executive was to ensure that a maximum
number of advertising pages got sold.”

“I was part of the data analysis and market

research conglomerate that helped consumer
predators know your weaknesses and exploit
them mercilessly.”

In My Year of Buying Nothing, Simpson

invites readers into her world to witness
first hand the struggles she faced, the
decisions and compromises she had to make,
and the epiphanies and wisdom she won
during her year-long attempt to shed her
“consumer” skin and live a more sustainable,
more authentic, more earth-friendly life.

Who better to choose as a guide to a new,

healthier post-consumer lifestyle than someone
who is intimately familiar with the pitfalls and
dangers of the starting place, and the challenges
of the way forward.


Author's Words:

You tube UC Observer 10 minute video presentation
on the nature of her book and reason for writing it -


My Thoughts:

I have lived through periods in my life when I literally
did not know where my next meal was coming from.

The challenge in my life now is to live mindfully that
difficult times might ever return. My concern today,
during a period of relative plenty, is that I may try
to accumulate things I don't need as a kind of
psychological defense against a return of those
very stressful times in my past.

That is not the challenge author Lee Simpson (former
popular magazine editor and United Church minister
living in Lunenburg) faced when she decided to engage
in YBN - her "year of buying nothing." Her experience
was a choice and done voluntarily. Mine was not.

The learning from both our experiences seems to be
quite similar, however. We do not need nearly as
much to live fulfilling lives as we think we do. As
much as we may believe that we are free people
and can think for ourselves, we are very much the
targets of an advertising barrage that attacks us
constantly. We come to believe we need and deserve
things that we really don't. We continue to suffer
from peer pressure  and a herd mentality long after
our teenage years have passed.

I admire the author's courage in "going public"
through her blog, and interviews about what she
was doing when she was living the YBN. If we
are not convinced we can "live with less" before
we undertake a journey like that, we can certainly
grow from it during and following the experience.

Simpson's five chapters deal with things that
appeal to our animal nature; the food we need to
eat and can avoid; the mineral requirements like
getting there, staying warm and keeping it light.

For me, an important reminder was the amount
I spend on entertainment - cultural events,
books, magazines, newspapers (ouch!) I would
describe that as needed "personal growth and
enrichment." Have I really thought that through?

Her last chapter is a personal attempt to create
an environmental catechism and she uses the
poignant story from Mary Jo Leddy's book "Radical
Gratitude."  The African refugee woman living with
Mary Jo in Romero House, Toronto, stands looking
out the back window of her home and wonders why
we need "houses for our cars."

I discovered affirmation for some of my current
life disciplines, and challenges to my present
lifestyle that I need to heed. I do want to continue
in my personal quest for quality of life (QOL) as
well as significant behavioural change when
I realize that is possible.

This is a most unusual, but 'natural' book to digest. 
I highly recommend that you read it during this
season of Thanksgiving - and any time of year, for
that matter.


Buy the book from the publisher:

Buy the Book from


Karen McKeown
Calgary, AB

Super Soul Sunday
October 4th, 2015

"Oprah Interviews Jimmy Carter"
  (plus larger interview on his new book)


Beth Porter
Richmond Hill, ON

A Human Future
L'Arche Canada
October, 2015

"Democratic Essentials at Risk"
  Interview with Ursula Franklin

Philip Jenkins
Waco, TX

The Christian Century
September 30th, 2015

"The Many Faces of Christ"
  (review of his new book)

Jim Taylor
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
October 7th, 2015

"The Perils of Trying to Please"


Ron Rolheiser
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
October 5th, 2015

"Innocence, Complexity and Sanctity"


Finding God in the World
New Book by colleague Diana Butler Bass


Where They Come From by the Numbers

CBC News
October rth, 2015


Story of a Young Pakistani Woman

New York Times Movie Review (video)
October 1st, 2015


Mary Wollstonecraft

The Guardian, UK
October 5th, 2015


Winner is Belarussian writer Svetlana Alexievich

New York Times
October 3rd, 2015


From the Faith and Spirituality Website


Courting a Dangerous Spiritual Model

Christian Week Online
October 1st, 2015

Conflict Affects Both Sides in Region

New York Times
October 6th, 2015



Provided by Sojourners and Bruderhof online:

A self-respecting nation is ready for anything,
including war, except for a renunciation of its
option to make war.

- Simone Weil


Humor is one of the best ingredients of survival.

- Aung San Suu Kyi


Some day you will be old enough to start reading
fairy tales again.
- C.S Lewis


What Jesus was offering, in other words, was
not a different religious system. It was a new
world order, the end of Israel's long desolation,
the true and final "forgiveness of sins," the
inauguration of the kingdom of god.

- N.T. Wright


God is in every person’s life. Even if the life of a
person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed
by vices, drugs, or anything else – God is in this
person’s life. You can – you must –try to seek
God in every human life. Though someone’s life
be a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always
a space in which the good seed can grow.

You have to trust God.

- Pope Francis


Real poverty is the belief that the purpose of
life is acquiring wealth and owning things.
Real wealth is not the possession of property
but the recognition that our deepest need,
as human beings, is to keep developing our
natural and acquired powers to relate to other
human beings
- Grace Lee Boggs, in memoriam


Everyone who struggles for justice, everyone
who makes just claims in unjust surroundings,
is working for God’s reign, even if not a Christian.
The church does not comprise all of God’s reign;
that goes beyond the church’s boundaries. The
church values everything that is in tune with its
struggle to set up God’s reign. A church that tries
to keep itself pure and uncontaminated would not
be a church of God’s service to people.

The authentic church is one that does not mind
conversing with prostitutes and publicans and
sinners, as Christ did – and with Marxists and
those of various political movements – in order
to bring them salvation’s true message.

- Oscar Romero


Do not look forward to what may happen
tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who

cares for you today will take care of you
tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield
you from suffering, or he will give you unfailing
strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, put aside
all anxious thoughts and imaginations, and say
continually: “The Lord is my strength and my
shield; my heart has trusted in him and I am
helped. He is not only with me, but in me, and
I in him.”

- St. Francis de Sales



From the Archives of the New York Times

"All Labor Organizations Banned in Poland"

"Palestinian Gunmen Hijack Italian Cruise Ship"

"Anwar Sadat of Egypt Shot to Death"

"Soviet Union Launches Sputnik"


CLOSING THOUGHT -  Dag Hammarskjold

Never, “for the sake of peace and quiet,” deny
your own experience or convictions. The only
kind of dignity which is genuine is that which
is not diminished by the indifference of others.
Pray that your loneliness may spur you into
finding something to live for, great enough to
die for. Never measure the height of a mountain
until you have reached the top. Then you will
see how low it was.



Our New Program Season -
Autumn 2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs through St. David's

United Church, Calgary.


Theme: "Living in Darkness - Living in Light"

Books: "Learning to Walk in the Dark"
              by Barbara Brown Taylor

             "Between the Dark and the Daylight"
               by Joan Chittister

A  ten-week study in contemporary spirituality
with books by two prominent Protestant and
Catholic writers.

Ten Monday evenings, 7-9PM
In the St. David's TM Room
September 21st - November 30th, 2015

Books and Registration/Hospitality - $60.00
Books only - $35.00

Registrations to date: 28.

We have sold close to all of our 35 original book sets,
but registration is still open.

Brenda and Joan will help Jock when Wayne
participates in the "Jerusalem and the Lands
of Three Great Faiths" tour (October 16th - 31st)

Now into our sixteenth year of Monday Night Studies
Our thirty-first series of (usually) ten week sessions!

Our Current "Spiritual Darkness" Study Design/Links:

Check our complete archives for all 45 book studies:



Theme: The Book of Exodus from the Hebrew Bible
              "A Classic Story of Human Liberation"

Ten sessions 10-11 AM
Gathering at 9:30AM
In the St. David's TM Room
September 17th - December 3rd

No charge.

Study resource -

The DK Complete Bible Handbook

(copy available in our church library)



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

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

We have 29 paid-up participants getting
ready to depart. On Sunday, October 11th
there will be an official "blessing" and
"send off" from St. David's congregation.

Books for consideration -

One City, Three Faiths
by Karen Armstrong (1997)

DK Eyewitness Travel (2014)

TOP TEN: Israel, Including Sinai & Petra
DK Eyewitness Travel (2014)

27 persons attended the pre-Jerusalem Tour
gathering at St. David's, September 14th.

29 participants leave for Tel Aviv, October 16th.



Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre
Cochrane, Alberta

Mark your calendars!

Sunday February 28th
11:30 AM - 4:00 PM

John Griffith is on sabbatical this year.
Reflections will be led by a Franciscan on staff.


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