Edited by Wayne A. Holst
Colleagues List Blog:
"Thanks so much for this ministry you do so faithfully
and competently week by week...I count on it in a number
of ways and benefit from it regularly.
"Have a meaningful Advent season. We'll be in touch in '11.
Re: "My Search for my Great-Grandfather"
Hello Wayne: Thank you very much for the notice you gave
about my book and the space you devoted to it in the last
Re: "The Great Emergence"
Thanks, Wayne, for the link, the lovely review, and your
kind words. I will definitely want to receive Colleagues List!
Introduced in this Issue -
My Book Notice:
"Christmas - Festival of Incarnation"
My Winter University Course:
"God, Atheism and Morality"
The Avery Dulles Legacy
Anthony De Mello on Prayer
Pope to Lift Historic Condom Ban
Queen Opens Church of England Synod
Kairos Will Continue Pursuing Mining Justice
The Institutional Church is Bankrupt; Now What?
Orthodox Archbishop Charged with Sexual Assault
S. Korean Churches Condemn N. Korean Artillery Fire
Canadian Prostitution: Beginning a New Social Experiment
Pakistani Woman Raped While in Prison on Blasphemy Charges
Global Faith Potpourri:
14 stories from Ecumenical News International
Quotes of the Week:
Catherine of Siena
Henri J.M. Nouwen
On This Day (Nov. 20th - 24th)
Nov. 20, 1945 - 20 Nazis are on trial in Nuremberg, Germany
Nov. 22, 1963 - John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas
Nov. 24, 1963 - Jack Ruby shoots, kills Lee Harvey Oswald
Closing Thought - Benjamin Franklin
The Advent Season begins this weekend - for me
it is an eagerly anticipated time of preparation
for the arrival of the Christmas child.
To help you with your preparations, I have located
an excellent book, released this autumn by
Fortress Press of Minneapolis and Kitchener.
"Christmas - Festival of Incarnation" - is a title
I hope you might consider securing for yourself.
As the fall term ends, and classes wind down, I can
begin to consider my winter teaching.
First off the block is my January through April
course at the University of Calgary, entitled
"God, Atheism and Morality." I thank colleague
Jon Malinowski for his help in presenting this
class as part of the Continuing Education offerings.
I offer you a website description, below.
This week we feature the following colleagues:
Philip Jenkins - describes 'the prosperity gospel' -
largely an import from the United States to churches
in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia
(The Christian Century)
Lorna Dueck - brings two matters to our attention:
A special interview with Irene Spencer who spent
years in a polygamous relationship (and)
Blair vs. Hitchens - an introduction to the sixth
semi-annual Munk Debate, held this weekend in Toronto
- this time between former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
and author/polemicist Christopher Hitchens
(ListenUp, The Globe and Mail)
Jon Malinowski - raises a personal question about
Mary, the doctrine of the incarnation, and where
Joseph fits into the story (personal correspondence)
Jim Taylor - on this American Thanksgiving weekend,
our frequent contributor discusses good and bad
motivations for gratitude (Jim Taylor's Web Log)
Isabel Gibson - found a beautiful choral presentation
from Philadelphia which she is sharing with us all
Erich Weingartner - editor of the CanKor newsletter,
updates us on the current Korean crisis (CanKor)
Donald Grayston - completes this excellent colleague
collection with a choral YouTube marvel that would
not have been possible to produce before modern
cyber-miracles arrived (personal correspondence)
"The Avery Dulles Legacy" - Two years ago, we reported
the death of one of American Catholicism's greatest
modern theologians. Today, I share links to some of
his best articles, written over a forty year period
"Anthony De Mello on Prayer" - sometimes at odds with
the Vatican, but still a favourite with Indian Christians
and those who appreciate his rich inter-spiritual gifts
"Pope to Lift Historic Condom Ban" - perhaps the biggest
Catholic news this week was the possible and significant
policy change on the matter of condoms in fighting AIDS
(New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and
The Tablet, UK)
"Queen Opens Church of England Synod" - I bring you
two articles on the current gathering of the Church
of England in London; including a report on the
opening address of the Archbishop of Canterbury
(The Guardian, UK)
"Kairos Will Continue Pursuing Mining Justice" -
Canada is one of the world's most engaged nations
in international mining. Kairos, a Canadian ecumenical
partnership continues to fight for the rights of those
who work for Canadian mining companies, overseas
"The Institutional Church is Bankrupt; Now What?" -
This is not the first time in history that the Catholic
Church has been declared morally bankrupt, as a result
of the current global sexual abuse crisis it faces
"Orthodox Archbishop Charged with Sexual Assault" -
The head of the Orthodox Church in America (Canada)
is stepping down to face sexual assault charges
"S. Korean Churches Condemn N. Korean Artillery Fire" -
Korean Christians have a lot at stake in the current
warmongering taking place on their peninsula. This
article adds to the material provided by colleague
Eric Weingartner, above (Cathnews.Asia)
"Canadian Prostitution: Beginning a New Social Experiment" -
New laws regarding prostitution are currently working their
way through parliament. Here is an update on developments.
"Pakistani Woman Raped While in Prison on Blasphemy Charges" -
the story of Aasia Bibi, reported here last week, continues
(Agenzia Fides, and ENI News, Global Faith Potpourri, below)
Global Faith Potpourri:
14 stories come to us from Ecumenical News International
Quotes of the Week:
Catherine of Siena, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Brian Manning
and Dorothy Day offer their insights.
On This Day (Nov. 20th - 24th)
Read on-the-scene reports of these famous events
provided from the archives of the New York Times:
20 Nazis are on trial in Nuremberg, Germany (1945)
John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas (1963)
Jack Ruby shoots, kills Lee Harvey Oswald (1963)
Closing Thought -
This week, we hear some good advice from the
American noteworthy, Benjamin Franklin.
May your Advent preparations and celebrations
be spiritually enriching and satisfying!
I'll be back in touch next week.
SPECIAL ST. DAVID'S LINKS
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (or) email@example.com
St. David's Web Address - http://sduc.ca
Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -
ST DAVID'S ACTS WEB PAGE
Created and maintained by Colleague Jock McTavish
ST. DAVID'S 50th ANNIVERSARY
TOUR OF CELTIC LANDS - 2011
We plan a 15-day tour of special Celtic sites
in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England -
April 26th - May 10th, 2011.
A highlight of the tour will be a visit to
St. David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire. Choir
members from our group will sing at various
informal cathedral events through the day
and at Evensong, on Saturday, May 7th!
We have 26 choristers signed up as part of the
tour group. This special choir begins rehearsals
in early January - led by our congregation's
music director, Brent Tucker.
Details are presently being finalized with
the St. David's cathedral dean, Jonathan Lean.
We are also planning to sing while visiting
Iona, Scotland and the Church of Mary Immaculate
in Inchicore, Dublin, Ireland.
ALL 38 PLACES ON THE TOUR ARE NOW SOLD OUT
We continue to gather a waiting list for this trip;
also an interest list for other, future tours!
Let me know if you have an interest in exciting
Did You Know?
According to legend, the leek became
the national symbol of Wales in
tribute to a hard-won battle in
640 AD where Welsh soldiers
wore leeks on their helmets to
distinguish them from their Saxon
“The legacy of
heroes is the
memory of a great
name and the
inheritance of a
great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli
- discovered by Marlene Holst
MONDAY NIGHT STUDY
Concluding our New Fall Program at St. David's:
Follow this series by clicking:
LISTENING FOR THE HEARTBEAT OF GOD:
A Celtic Spirituality (Philip Newell)
Including background material from the book:
THE CELTIC WAY (Ian Bradley)
INTROS TO CELTIC SAINTS PATRICK, COLUMBA & DAVID
Join our ten week Monday Night Study, which runs
from September 20th through November 29th
Monday, November 8th - 7-9PM - Completed!
Excellent response to the evening.
Dr. Wayne Davies, Department of Geography, U of C.
is a native of Wales. He spoke with us at one session,
introducing us to his homeland, and explaining some
of the important sites we plan to visit to maximize
our appreciation of the tour.
This program was made available for all
Monday Night study-folk plus those planning to
take the tour of Celtic Lands next spring.
40 persons, representing tour and non-tour participants
are currently registered for this ten-week series and
we have been experiencing our best attendances ever!
This study program is part of our St. David's fiftieth
anniversary celebrations and is available to all!
WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Announcing our Autumn Series:
"The Book of Genesis"
Primeval and Patriarchal Stories -
Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel
Abraham, Covenant, Ishmael & Sodom.
Join us Wednesday mornings, 9-10 AM
October 6th through December 1st
A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted since 2000 can
quickly be found at: http://bookstudies.stdavidscalgary.net/
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.
CHRISTMAS - FESTIVAL OF INCARNATION
by Donald Heinz, Fortress Press,
Kitchener, ON. Hardcover, 256 pages.
$27.00 CAD. ISBN #13-9780800697334
Donald Heinz brilliantly unearths the social practices
and broader cultural history of Christmas, even as he
traces the original and evolving incarnational theology
that occasionally still shines through in our celebrations
of Christmas. Heinz's thick description of the religious
and cultural history of Christmas, from its origins in
the sacred texts of early Christianity to the figure of
Santa Claus to the commercial spree of today, is a
marvelous pilgrimage through lived religion as it appears
in folkways, music, art, and literature. Yet it also
assays the deeper theological meaning and appropriations
of this central festival and asks whether retrieving
Christmas can enable deeper appreciation of the reality
of incarnation in each era and, perhaps, even today.
Donald Heinz explains what he is trying to do
in his book "Christmas Festival of Incarnation"
Donald Heinz affirms that Christmas is undoubtedly the most
significant Christian message in terms of global impact.
Christmas is celebrated - albeit with kitch and glitz - in
all parts of the world; and even where the Christian community
exists only as a minority expression. (Some would say that
statement applies to Europe and North America as well.)
Several years ago I wrote a review for the Toronto Star
Religion Page on the book "Santa Claus: A Biography" by
Winnipeg author Gerry Bowler. He said that in spite of all
the fluffy fictional accounts of Santa Claus, Christians can
profitably mine the Santa Claus story and a good deal more of
what currently passes for Christmas.
In a true sense, Heinz has taken up that challenge and his
book attempts to encompass the entire phenomenon - religious
and secular together - in his quest for incarnational meaning.
Here is a sociological, psychological, historical and cultural
portrayal - as well as a religious and spiritual assessment -
of what Christmas has come to be.
This is a charming and generous resource to which a reader might
return again and again over the course of one's life. New insights
will be discovered with each new encounter.
Heinz begins with the original biblical "incarnational" texts
of Christmas - where it all began. At the heart of these accounts
is a fascinating account of how the Divine becomes human. How to
describe the indescribable is our ongoing challenge. From there the
author elaborates on how this primary material was developed and
expanded by the faithful over the centuries.
The Christmas story is drama, par excellence and this narrative
has been told in countless ways with so much creative expression.
With the retelling comes the secularization of it all. More than
just 'religious' folk are drawn into the broadening experience.
The arts (music, painting, and the theatre, for example) have
invested extravagantly in this narrative. For example, I now
count 160 CDs in my my expanding "Christmas music" collection.
It reflects diverse artisty - from renaissance madrigals to
baroque chorales to global folk music to popular and jazz
expressions - and my collection continues to expand!
My music hobby reflects the Christmas phenomenon writ large,
according to the author.
For many of us, Heinz's chapters on the role of theology in
rediscovering and representing the Incarnation will be eagerly
considered. He devotes a chapter to "taking Christmas back."
And yet, the author is enthralled by the entire Christmas
phenomenon - not only the 'sacred' stuff. If he had a choice,
he would want us to see good in it all. That is what makes his
presentation so extravagantly inviting.
If you would like to read and experience something substantive
and fully satisfying on the subject of how God and humans have
handled their relationship, this is a title I know you will
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
My University Winter Course:
GOD, ATHEISM, AND MORALITY
We continue our investigation of the New Atheists and
consider the question: "Can we be good without God?"
Text for the course will be Sam Harris' new book:
"The Moral Landscape:
How Science Can Determine Human Values"
(Free Press, October, 2010)
University Park, PA
The Christian Century
Nov. 19th, 2010
"The Case for Prosperity"
Listen Up TV Video
POLYGAMY: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM OR ABUSE?
Irene Spenser Talks with Lorna about Her
28 Years in a Polygamous Relationship...
BLAIR VS. HITCHENS -
WHAT YOU BELIEVE TO BE TRUE, MATTERS
The Globe and Mail
November 24th, 2010
Quoting Jon Janusz Malinowski
Wayne, I've always been baffled by the genealogy of Jesus. As I
understand, it is traditionally understood that Jesus descends
from the House of David and, to show this, the genealogical tree
is given listing all the names from David until we reach Joseph.
However, Joseph is not the biological "father" of Jesus. Judaism
is, I believe, matrilineal; so why is not the lineage of Mary
given? In the case of Jesus, this is even more pertinent since
Jesus is of the flesh of Mary and not that of Joseph?
Thanks. Ciao. Jon
This is a good question, and one for which I may not be the
But let me try.
Modern Judaism may be matrilineal, but classic Judaism was not.
There are few references in the Bible to women and lineage, and
when there is, it is usually by virtue of their association with
a man - husband, father, brother, etc.
The Matthew chapter 1 lineage wants to link Jesus to Abraham,
David, and after the deportation to Babylon. It goes on to say
there were 14 generations between the three periods (Mt. 1:17)
and this would appear to be a deliberate calculation to
demonstrate the significance of Jesus' heritage. Most mainstream
Catholic and Protestant scholars do not put much credence in
this presentation and simply deduce that the writer of this
chapter "wanted to establish the Jewish credentials of Christ"
irrespective of the facts.
Indeed, other gospels, for example Luke 1:26ff make it clear
that Mary "conceives by the Holy Spirit" (vs 35) and the lineage
of Joseph is not part of that process. However, it could be
argued that since Joseph decided to "keep Mary" in spite of her
"questionable pregnancy" Jesus becomes part of the genealogical
family tradition of Joseph by "adoption".
What I also see in your question is that it points to an
important division in the early church. One tradition (Matthew)
wants to affirm Jesus' Hebrew heritage and Joseph plays an
important part in that. Luke, on the other hand, appealed to
the Gentiles, and for them Mary became "the" important figure.
Luke makes little or nothing of Joseph's Jewish heritage.
The question you raise, therefore, is quite profound, and
opens issues that tended to be dormant, or explained away,
for centuries. Now, however, it re-emerges as something
In other words "what is the human quality of the Incarnation?"
- do we found the doctrine on something physical, or is it
essentially something spiritual, mystical, mythological?
Nov. 24th, 2010
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
By Jim Taylor
Winter arrived with a vengeance last weekend. A great
flood of arctic air poured southward through the province.
One day, temperatures hovered around ten degrees Celsius,
and my neighbour was out mowing his lawn. The next day,
the temperature had plunged to minus ten. Enough snow
fell to glaze the roads like a skating rink, and to
impose an involuntary diet on birds...
As I watched them peck and pig out, I wondered if they
were grateful. To them, an abundant supply of seeds must
seem like manna from heaven.
At least they don’t try to hoard their bounty, as the
Hebrew people did with the original manna...
Read the entire article: http://edges.canadahomepage.net/
A Random Act of Culture in Philadelphia
YouTube "Hallelujah Chorus"
Nov. 25th, 2010
An Update on the Korean Situation Today
Friends: these two brief YouTube items are inspiring, gorgeous,
amazing, hopeful. Take eight minutes out of your life to listen
and watch. Thanks to my friend Doug Burton-Christie in California
for sending this to me...
Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque'
185 voices and 12 countries
THE AVERY DULLES LEGACY
A Collection of His Writings Over Four Decades
November 24th, 2010
ANTHONY DE MELLO ON PRAYER
Nov. 22nd, 2010
http://tinyurl.com/38vgvy3 (part one)
http://tinyurl.com/34rwtoc (part two)
POPE TO LIFT HISTORIC BAN ON CONDOMS
New York Times
November 21st, 2010
In Rare Cases, Pope Justifies Use of Condoms
Pope Benedict XVI said that condom use may be
appropriate in some cases to help stop the
spread of AIDS.
Wall Street Journal
Nov. 21st, 2010
Vatican Rushes to Clarify Pope's Comments
For the Faithful, Fear of AIDS
Comes Second to the Fear of God
The Guardian UK
Nov. 22nd, 2010
"We're in a new world."
New York Times
Nov. 24th, 2010
The Rev. John Fuller a physician, on the pope's
acknowledging that the need to prevent diseases
like AIDS could outweigh the church's long
opposition to the use of condoms.
"A New Kind of Conversation"
Nov. 26th, 2010
THE QUEEN OPENS CHURCH OF ENGLAND SYNOD
Assembly Meets to Enact Church Policy
Nov. 223rd, 2010
Anglican Church Faces 'Piece by Piece
Dissolution' Says Archbishop at Synod
November 24th, 2010
KAIROS WILL CONTINUE TO PURSUE MINING JUSTICE
November 23rd, 2010
THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH IS BANKRUPT. NOW WHAT?
This is not the first time the Church
has fallen short of the ideals it espouses
Nov. 26th, 2010
ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA ARCHBISHOP
CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT IN WINNIPEG
Priest Turns Self In
Nov. 25th, 2010
S. KOREAN CHURCHES CONDEMN
N. KOREAN ARTILLERY FIRE
Nov. 25th, 2010
PROSTITUTION IN CANADA:
ON THE BRINK OF A NEW SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
Nov. 23rd, 2010
PAKISTANI WOMAN, ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY,
RAPED WHILE IN PRISON
November 24th, 2010
GLOBAL FAITH POTPOURRI
Ecumenical News International
22 November 2010
Pakistani minister denies release
of Christian blasphemy accused
Thrissur, India (ENI news). There is confusion about
the fate of a Christian woman sentenced to death under
Pakistan's draconian blasphemy law after a minister in
the country's government denied reports that President
Asif Ali Zardari has ordered her release. "This is not
true," Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal minister for
minorities, told ENI news on 22 November from his office
in Islamabad regarding the release of Aasia Bibi, who
was sentenced to death on 9 November for blasphemy.
The verdict had led to widespread international criticism
ranging from human rights groups to the churches, with
Pope Benedict XVI calling for her release.
Europeans feature in Pope's new list of cardinals
Rome (ENI news). In his selection of 24 new cardinals,
Pope Benedict XVI has ensured that half of the college
that elects the pontiff will be Europeans, although
the number of Roman Catholics is growing in Africa
and Asia, whilst declining in Europe. Of the cardinals
created on 20 November by the Pope, 15 are Europeans,
of whom 10 are Italians, while nine come from the
Americas, Africa and Asia. One of the newly created
cardinals is Kurt Koch, 60, who was bishop of Basel
in Switzerland until June, when he was named by Benedict
as the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting
Christian Unity. There are now 203 cardinals, but only
121 of them are eligible to elect a pope, after Pope
Paul VI decided that only cardinals under the age of
80 have the right to take part in the conclave.
23 November 2010
UNAIDS says Pope's condom move
makes HIV cooperation easier
Geneva/Rome (ENI news). The head of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé,
says a statement by Pope Benedict XVI that the use of
condoms is justified when intended to reduce "the risk
of HIV infection" will make it easier for international
organizations to cooperate with faith-based organizations
in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Sidibé is the executive
director of UNAIDS, the United Nations programme on HIV
and AIDS. He was answering a question about the Pope's
statement during a 23 November media conference in
Geneva. "The announcement will make cooperation easier
with faith-based organizations, in the fight against
HIV and AIDS," said the head of UNAIDS. "This is an
important step forward." The Roman Catholic Church
rejects condoms as a means of birth control and had
for many years said they are not a means of
Police raid Sudan churches' offices
during referendum build-up
Nairobi (ENI news). The head of the Sudan Council of
Churches has been calling for close scrutiny of out-of-
country referendum registration processes in Kenya,
Uganda and Egypt, while also reporting that police
recently stormed the council offices breaking down
doors, and conducted a search. The Rev. Ramadan Chan
Liol, the general secretary of the council, said
police forced their way into the council's offices
in Amarat Khartoum on 14 November, a Sunday, as 200
men who arrived in seven trucks cordoned off the
building. The churches' leader said one police
officer had said the building was suspected of being
a hideaway for weapons. The raid came as Africa's
biggest country is preparing for a plebiscite on 9
January to determine if the north and south will
split, Chan noted.
German Protestant head says
a European Islam needed for dialogue
Trier, Germany (ENInews). A European form of Islam
needs to develop before a meaningful interfaith
dialogue can take place on the continent, the new
leader of Germany's 24 million Protestants has said.
"We are only at the beginning of a serious inter-
religious discussion on a theologically high level
and that is because there are problems with finding
counterparts," the Rev. Nikolaus Schneider told ENI
news in an interview in Trier. "The imams who come
from Turkey to Germany can hardly speak German and
that means that we need to train imams in Germany
at our universities," said Schneider, who was
elected the new chairperson of the Evangelical
Church in Germany (EKD) on 9 November during a
meeting of its governing synod in Hanover.
Schneider said that one of his priorities in
his new post is to set up as soon as possible
a meeting with representatives of Islam in
Germany, which has about four million Muslims.
Pope says he looks forward to
meeting with Russian Patriarch
Rome (ENI news). Pope Benedict XVI has in comments
made in a newly-published book says he hopes for a
meeting "in the not too distant future" with Patriarch
Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church. The book,
"Light of the world", was presented on 23 November
to international media at the Vatican. It is the
text of an extended interview with the pontiff
conducted in July by German journalist Peter
Seewald. Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul
II, spoke repeatedly about his dream of visiting
Russia, but met resistance from the Moscow
Patriarchate, which had accused the Vatican of
aggressively seeking converts among Russian
24 November 2010
Vatican at odds with China over ordination of a bishop
Hong Kong (ENInews). Vatican and Hong Kong cardinals
have criticised the Beijing government-backed Chinese
Catholic Patriotic Association for organizing the
ordination of a bishop in northeastern China. The Vatican
said in a statement on 24 November that the ordination
was a grave violation of the freedom of religion after
China's State-backed Roman Catholic Church grouping
ordained a bishop without having obtained the approval
of Pope Benedict XVI. There was strong security on 20
November when the Rev. Guo Jincai was ordained at the
Pingquan church in Chengde city, with dozens of police
blocking the building and denying entrance to reporters.
But worshippers said there was also an air of festivity,
with colourful banners and traditional Chinese lanterns
hanging outside the church and worshippers posing for
Russian Orthodox and Catholics
row over Kaliningrad properties
Warsaw (ENI news). The Russian Orthodox Church has
rejected protests by the country's Roman Catholic
archbishop after government authorities in the
Kaliningrad enclave gave the local Orthodox diocese
ownership of a Soviet-confiscated Catholic church.
"The way the Catholic Church is dealing with this
challenge today reveals its many inherent
contradictions," said Dmitri Sizonenko, the Moscow
Patriarchate's acting secretary for inter-Christian
relations. "Catholics are divided internally, and
behaving in an unjustified way as an injured
religious minority, and are issuing declarations
in the name of a church which counts more than a
billion believers worldwide." The Orthodox church
official was reacting to a statement by Archbishop
Paolo Pezzi, the Italian head of Russia's Moscow-
based Catholic Mother of God archdiocese. Pezzi
had condemned the ruling by Kaliningrad's district
duma, or council, that 15 non-Orthodox places of
worship in the Baltic port city should be handed
'God Box' in New York more diverse as it turns 50
New York (ENI news). The 19-story granite building on
Manhattan's upper west side, often referred to as the
"God Box", has been seen as a symbol of "unbridled
arrogance" on the part of traditional Protestantism,
but now represents a much more diverse religious
community. New York's Interchurch Center is one of
the most visible symbols of Christian ecumenism in
the United States as it marks its 50th anniversary,
the year the modern ecumenical movement for Christian
unity is celebrating its own centenary. A series of
events in 2010, including a rededication in May, have
marked the anniversary of the centre, often called
the "God Box", by tenants and visitors. American
philanthropist and Baptist layperson John D.
Rockefeller, Jr, played a major role in the planning
of the God Box, and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower
attended the groundbreaking ceremony in October 1958.
25 November 2010
Global and Asian churches leaders warn on Korea standoff
London/Geneva (ENInews). The head of the Council for World
Mission, a global grouping of mainly Reformed churches, has
condemned the shelling by North Korea's military of a South
Korean island and has urged prayers that the tension does
not escalate. "CWM and its member churches share the
sentiments expressed by international leaders, the global
ecumenical fraternity and the world church community in
deploring the unprovoked aggression and attacks, and
calling upon North Korean military to cease from any
further attacks upon the people of the South," said CWM
general secretary, the Rev. Des van der Water, in a
letter to the Presbyterian Church of Korea.
New global Lutheran leader wants dialogue with society
Geneva, 25 November (ENInews). Lutherans worldwide need
to avoid isolation and to open themselves to people in
other churches and of other faiths, the Rev. Martin
Junge has said at his installation as the new general
secretary of the Lutheran World Federation. "Our faith
in the triune God grants us the spiritual resources to
resist the tendency to withdraw to self-isolation and
self-centred monologue," said Junge in a sermon at the
25 November ceremony at Geneva's Ecumenical Centre where
the LWF has its headquarters. Latin American music
heralded the installation of Junge, who succeeds the
Rev. Ishmael Noko, a Zimbabwean theologian who became
general secretary of the Lutheran grouping in 1994.
Scottish church leaders dare
millionaire UK minister to meet poor
Edinburgh, 25 November (ENInews). Two leaders from
the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland have challenged
George Osborne, a reputed multi-millionaire and
Britain's finance minister, the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, to travel to Glasgow and talk to poor
people who live there. The Rev. Ian Galloway,
convener of the Church and Society Council of the
church, and the Rev. Martin Johnstone, secretary
of its Poverty Truth Commission, said in a letter
that Osborne would be better informed about plans
to restore the economy if he consulted Scotland's
poorest people. Parts of Scotland including certain
areas in Glasgow are among the poorest areas of
26 November 2010
Serbian Orthodox bishop defies ouster
from Kosovo diocese
Warsaw (ENI news). A Serbian Orthodox bishop accused of
financial mismanagement has refused to accept a defrocking
order by his church's governing synod and has said he will
remain in charge of his diocese. "The decision to defrock
me is unconstitutional - it is uncanonical and has no bearing
on me, and I'm still what I was before," said Artemije
Radosavljevic, a 75-year-old bishop who previously headed
the church's Raska-Prizren diocese in Kosovo.
Food insecurity war can be won,
says church advocacy body head
Nairobi (ENI news). It is possible to win the war against
food insecurity in Africa, if appropriate measures are
adopted, says Peter Prove, the executive director of
Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, which campaigns for food
justice. At the same time, Prove, speaking at the All
Africa Conference of Churches headquarters in Nairobi
at a 22-26 November conference, warned that the current
impact of climate change is a big challenge, and must
be tackled fully and urgently. "We can win the war.
Here [in our conference] we have heard evidence of small
scale efforts which work. It is do-able and it is our
responsibility to make it happen," Prove told ENI news
in Nairobi during the EAA-organized conference titled,
"Food for Life".
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Provided by Sojourners Online
November 23rd, 2010
"If you are what you should be, then
you will set the world on fire."
- St. Catherine of Siena
November 24th, 2010
"There is no such thing as the right place,
the right job, the right calling or ministry.
I can be happy or unhappy in all situations.
I am sure of it, because I have been …
deciding to do this, that, or the other for
the next five, ten, or twenty years is no
great decision. Turning fully, unconditionally,
and without fear to God is.
Yet this awareness sets me free."
- Henri J.M. Nouwen
"To be alive is to be broken; to be broken is
to stand in need of grace."
- Brennan Manning
"... If those professing religion shared the life of
the poor and worked to better their lot, and risked
their lives as revolutionists do, and trade union
organizers have done in the past, then there is a
ring of truth about the promises of the glory to
come. The cross is followed by the resurrection."
- Dorothy Day
ON THIS DAY
Nov. 20, 1945 - 20 Nazi leaders went on trial before an
international war crimes tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.
Nov. 22, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy was assassinated
while riding in a motorcade in Dallas. Suspected gunman Lee
Harvey Oswald was arrested. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson
was sworn in as the 36th president of the United States.
On Nov. 24, 1963 - Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee
Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.
"Remember not only to say the right thing at the right place,
but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
- Ben Franklin