Saturday, November 29, 2014

Colleagues List, November 30th, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 17

*****

ADVENT SUNDAY EDITION

GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE

Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
waholst@telus.net

Colleagues List Web Site:

http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com

"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:

We begin the four week season of Advent
that can help us prepare for Christmas.

I hope your preparation this year will be
meaningful and I too will devote time and
energy to it.

My Special Item today is a book notice for:
"Vanishing Grace" - a sequel to an earlier
title on the grace theme by Philip Yancey.

He is a favourite author of mine, who helps
to bridge gaps between Christian traditions.

http://tinyurl.com/k8bogda
http://tinyurl.com/pv8sl5g

To read the full notice, please scroll down.

--

Colleague Comment:

This week is from my seminary classmate
Clinton Rohr who lives in St. Jacobs. ON.

Please scroll down to read his thoughts.

This reminds me of the fact that the
Globe and Mail reported this past week
that Clint's brother-in-law Walter Hackborn,
also of St. Jacobs, will be inducted into the
Canadian Business Hall of Fame next May.
Walter was a founder of Home Hardware.
http://tinyurl.com/nwvsy4f

Walter team-taught me in Sunday School
at St. James Lutheran, St. Jacobs. He and
my father Alfred Holst did this together
almost sixty years ago.

--

Colleague Communications:

Ron Rolheiser (San Antonio, TX)
This week, Ron writes about:

"Two Churches, Sacred Places, Struggles"
  http://tinyurl.com/q9rehjm

Jim Taylor (Okanagan, BC)
This week, Jim reflects on:

"Confirmation -
  You Don't Have to Believe Everything"
  http://tinyurl.com/ldqhhog

--

Net Notes:

"Faith's Defender" - Prince Charles has taken
on a special focus at this stage of his life and
as he waits to become king (The Tablet, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/nggmb3b

"EFC Celebrates Fifty Years" - The Evangelical
Fellowship of Canada is half a century old as an
organization that brings denominations and
service agencies together (Christian Week)
http://tinyurl.com/pvs7vxc

"Pope Francis Heads to Turkey" - a major
papal trip to a bridge-nation between
East and West, Muslim and Christian
(National Catholic Reporter, The Tablet, UK
  and UCA News)
http://tinyurl.com/jwprhb3
http://tinyurl.com/pvz9xwj
http://tinyurl.com/q5dd5bt

"Muslim Hopes High for Papal Visit" -
not only Christians, but also many
moderate Muslims and secularists
are anticipating good things from this
visit by Francis (The Christian Post)
http://tinyurl.com/nkz6sw7
http://tinyurl.com/omhuzk3

"Inter-Muslim Violence Hits Nigeria" -
this land of multiple tragedies also
suffers from intra-faith rivalries
(BBC News) http://tinyurl.com/qx9lstl

"The Ten Best Places to be a Student" -
if you were a student, where on earth
would you like to study? Canada ranks
two places out of a total of ten in an
English survey (The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/mfa2ttr

"Dissidents Pay a Heavy Price in China" -
Chinese leaders seem unaware of the
fact that "the blood of the martyrs is
the seed of the church" even today
(UCA News) http://tinyurl.com/ocp5ma4

"Turkish President Erdo─čan Termed Sexist" -
the president probably doesn't think so,
but western feminist reporters beg to
differ with him (The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/nmlcu8z

"Indian Nun's Killer Claims He Didn't Convert" -
the religious climate in India today is very
conflicted and here is an example of it
(UCA News) http://tinyurl.com/qywt7u9

"Aslan Claims Dawkins, Harris Not True Atheists" -
we have all heard of  Muslim Aslan's book on Jesus.
Here he takes on several "new atheists" with views
quite similar to many Christians (Christian Post,
Salon.com) http://tinyurl.com/ofe2xkr
http://tinyurl.com/pmyzhsb

--

Wisdom of the Week:

Reflect with me on words from -

Stanley Hauerwas, Cornel West, James Baldwin
and W.T. Purkiser

They come to us from  Sojourners online.
Scroll down to read them.

--

On This Day:

Provided  for us from the Archives
of The New York Times -

"Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin
  Meet in Tehran During WWII"
  http://tinyurl.com/nx3fpyh

"UN  Partitions Palestine Between
  Arabs and Jews"
  http://tinyurl.com/cnu3rhd

--

Closing Thought - William T. Cavanaugh
Please scroll down to read him.

--

A blessed Advent to you and your's!

Wayne

(end)

NEW YEAR PROGRAMS

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

Find this information at the end of the blog.

*****

SPECIAL ITEM

Book Notice -

VANISHNG GRACE
Whatever Happened to the Good News?
by Philip Yancey, Zondervan. paper.
2014. $14.00 CAD. 291 pages.
ISBN#03-1033-9324.

Publisher's Promo:

'Why does the church stir up such negative
feelings?' This is a question that Philip Yancey
has been asking all his life - for himself, as a
pilgrim; for others, as a journalist. The question
is more relevant now than ever: in the UK
Christianity continues to decline, even as it is
increasingly thought to be linked with intolerant,
fundamentalist attitudes. Yet while identification
with traditional forms of Christian religion is
dropping, indicators show that interest in
spirituality is rising.

Why the disconnect? Why are so many asking,
'What's so good about the "good news?"'
Yancey's lifelong writing career has always
focused on the search for honest faith that
makes a visible difference for a world in pain.
In his landmark book "What's So Amazing
about Grace?" he issued a benchmark call
for Christians to be as grace-filled in their
behaviour as they are in asserting their beliefs.

People inside and outside the church are still
thirsty for grace, Yancey points out. Perhaps
what the church seemed to lack in its heyday
is now, in its increasingly marginalised stance,
exactly what it needs to recover in order to
thrive. Grace can bridge the gap across the
movement away from Christianity, inviting
outsiders as well as insiders the chance to
take a deep second look at why it matters
and what could reignite its appeal to future
generations. How can Christians offer grace
in a way that is compelling to a jaded society?
And how can they make a difference in a
world of such wrenching need?

"Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the
Good News?" is a milestone book for all those
who are striving to make sense of their faith
and live it out amid the changing landscape
of our day. Philip explores how Christians may
have contributed to hostility toward them by
presenting the gospel in ways that come across
as strident and judgemental. Then he explores
what kind of news is good to a culture that thinks
it has rejected the Christian version. And finally,
he offers illuminating stories of how faith can be
expressed in ways that disarm even the most
cynical critics - through pilgrims, activists, and
artists rather than through preachers, evangelists,
and apologists.

--

Author Interview:

"Vanishing Grace" -
Yancey's New Look at an Old Theme:

Christianity Today, November 14th, 2014
http://tinyurl.com/pv8sl5g

(complete review requires subscription,
  but you get a taste of Yancey's ideas)

--

My Thoughts:

Philip Yancey is an American evangelical
Protestant Christian with conservative
roots. His career of investigative writing,
however, has often placed him in a role
that has prophetically challenged his own
Christianity and made him a favoured
writer across a broad spectrum.

His voice has always been fresh, because
he never writes as a member of the
theological or spiritual guild. Yancey has 
never been one to "toe the party line."

At the same time, however, he has always
shone a positive light on classic Christian 
faith that has helped a broad cross-section 
of people.

Seventeen years ago, Yancey authored
a first book on his current subject. It
was entitled "What's So Amazing About 
Grace?" It is still in print and selling well.
http://tinyurl.com/lazrym3

Now, after significant changes in America,
the world, the church and his own life,
he takes a second look at this important
subject.

This reality helps us to understand that
we can never fully fathom important
theological and spiritual truths. We need
to continue revisiting them at various
stages in our lives.

Still, his theme continues to be constant.
"We as Christians need to create pioneer
settlements that show the world a different,
grace-based way of living," he says.

It has always been ironic to me that many
who claim "grace" as pivotal in their lives
are often slow to truly understand it. That
applies to themselves and to their treatment
of others. I must admit the same about it
myself. I am constantly reminded of my flaws
with grace active in my own life.

For a long time - non-Christians have called
us hypocritical in our witness to grace.
We tended to ignore that criticism, saying
such critics just didn't understand the Way
we followed. We cannot continue to ignore
such criticisms. Too many of us have fallen
badly and we have no excuse for it.

There has been too much abuse of the
sacred gifts we claim to possess as
Christians. Every day, the news bears
witness to that reality. The way we
treated and continue to treat our First
Nations is but one aspect of that abuse.

Canadians may read Yancey and claim
that he lives in a different religious
orbit than we do. After all, he still
writes from an American evangelical
Christian environment that grows
stranger to us in Canada as time
goes on.

But Yancey's prophetic voice speaks
from his context to our own in many
ways. We just need to change some
of the contextual terminology to see
it apply.

That is why it is good to follow Yancey
in this new investigation and, as usual,
I recommend to you what he has to say.

---

Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
http://tinyurl.com/k8bogda

*****

COLLEAGUE COMMENT

CLINTON ROHR
St. Jacobs, ON

November 23rd, 2014

Hi Wayne,

I appreciated you carrying the news of

Bill Hordern in this latest blog (Nov. 23rd).
http://tinyurl.com/psmve95

I too appreciated his book "Living By Grace"

and I can fully understand your relating to him
as a mentor. I had not known he initially was a
United Church minister. He sure contributed a
lot to our Lutheran community.

I also appreciated scanning your regular

communication and the range of material
you present.

Trusting you and Marlene are well.


Cheers,
Clint


*****

COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS

RON ROLHEISER
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
November 23rd, 2014

"Two Churches, Sacred Places, Struggles"

http://tinyurl.com/q9rehjm

--

JIM TAYLOR
Okanagan, BC

Web Log
November 26th, 2014

"Confirmation - You Don't
  Have to Believe Everything"

http://tinyurl.com/ldqhhog

*****

NET NOTES

FAITH'S DEFENDER
Prince Charles Knows
Global Inter-Faith Issues Well

The Tablet, UK
November 27th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/nggmb3b

--

EFC CELEBRATES FIFTY YEARS
Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

Christian Week
November 25th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/pvs7vxc

--

POPE FRANCIS HEADS TO TURKEY
Dialogue With Islam a Key Concern

National Catholic Reporter
November 26th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/jwprhb3

"Muslim Leaders Must Denounce Persecution
  of Christians" says pope in Turkey

The Tablet, UK
November 28th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/pvz9xwj

"Turkish Christians Dream of Better Days"
 
UCA News
November 25th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/q5dd5bt

--

MUSLIM HOPES HIGH FOR PAPAL VISIT
Moderate Islam Supports Francis

The Christian Post
November 28th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/nkz6sw7


"Door to Talks With ISIS Should Never Close"
  says pope to European Parliament

The Christian Post
November 26th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/omhuzk3

--

INTER-MUSLIM VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
Many Killed During Friday Prayers

BBC News
November 28th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/qx9lstl

--

THE TEN BEST PLACES TO BE A STUDENT
Canadian Cities Make Two of Ten in World

The Guardian, UK
November 23rd, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mfa2ttr

--

DISSIDENTS PAY HEAVY PRICE IN CHINA
Review of Cases Yields Sad Story

UCA News
November 28th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/ocp5ma4

--

TURKISH PRESIDENT IS TERMED SEXIST
Comments Not Appreciated by Western Women

The Guardian, UK
November 25th, 2015

http://tinyurl.com/nmlcu8z

--

INDIAN NUN'S KILLER DENIES HE CONVERTED
Claims He Remains Hindu in Explosive Climate

UCA News
November 27th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/qywt7u9

--

ASLAN CLAIMS DAWKINS AND 
HARRIS AREN'T TRUE ATHEISTS
Muslim Author of "Zealot"
Calls them "New Atheists"
and Not Like the Old Ones

The Christian Post,
November 24th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/ofe2xkr

Aslan's Salon Article:
November 21st, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/pmyzhsb

*****

WISDOM OF THE WEEK

Provided by Sojourners
and Bruderhof Online:

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

--

Indifference to injustice is more insidious
than the injustice itself.

- Cornel West

--

If I love you, I have to make you conscious
of the things you don’t see.

- James Baldwin

--

Not what we say about our blessings, but
how we use them, is the true measure of
our thanksgiving.

- W.T. Purkiser

*****

ON THIS DAY

Provided from the Archives
of The New York Times

"Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin
  Meet in Tehran During WWII"
  http://tinyurl.com/nx3fpyh

"UN  Partitions Palestine Between
  Arabs and Jews"
  http://tinyurl.com/cnu3rhd

*****

CLOSING THOUGHT - William T. Cavanaugh

The way you buy has a lot to do with the
way you worship and who you worship
and what you worship.

(end)

*******

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


MONDAY NIGHT 'BOOKEND EVENT'
December 1st, 2014
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)

http://tinyurl.com/iedt

Hospitality and discussion

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst
All welcome. Hospitality donation only

--

MONDAY NIGHT STUDY - WINTER SERIES

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

---
THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
January 15th - April 2nd, 2015. Twelve Weeks.
10:00-11:00AM TM Room

(Biblical study theme selected at first session)

Led by Wayne Holst

No charge.

Study resource -
The DK Complete Bible Handbook
http://tinyurl.com/odxlv7q

---

ST. DAVID'S SPIRITUAL TRAVELERS'
SPECIAL 2015 SIXTEEN DAY TOUR

"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

(Tour itinerary/costs brochure

  available early in the new year)

---

UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE


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

A 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
Feb. 20th, 27th, March 6th, 13th, 20th

The study takes place during five Friday
sessions. Book to be selected by electronic
vote of those who are interested in joining
the study.

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 $15.00


*****
           

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Colleagues List, November 23rd, 2014

Vol. X.  No. 16

*****

GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE

Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
waholst@telus.net

Colleagues List Web Site:

http://colleagueslist.blogspot.com

"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:

My Special Items this week include:

My November Anglican Journal
"Insights" Column

"An Emerging New Sense of Canadian Identity"
  http://tinyurl.com/p54tq2v

Also, a reflection on the life of an important
mentor of mine:

"Remembering William Hordern"

http://tinyurl.com/obrpaaf (obituary)

http://tinyurl.com/mgmfu7m
http://tinyurl.com/qehjodl
(two of his most important books)

Please scroll down to read my reflections
on his influence in the development of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and
potential to influence the future of mainstream
Canadian Protestantism.

--

Colleague Comment this week is from a
seminary classmate of mine, John Horman,
who lives in Waterloo, ON. He responds to
my notice of the new Karen Armstrong book
on religion and violence.

To read him, please scroll down.

I've had 2,300 hits (330 per day) from that
November 13th issue - half of them from the
USA and Canada, and half from the rest of
the world. Much appreciated.

--

Colleague Communications this week are from:

Jim Taylor - who writes on -
"Harassment" http://tinyurl.com/mtfx6g2

Ron Rolheiser - who takes on the subject -
"Less People are Going to Church -
  Whom to Blame?" http://tinyurl.com/obyk94l

Martin Marty - who tackles -
"Mormon Issues" http://tinyurl.com/kk4pnn7

--

Net Notes are as follows:

"Bill Cosby Scandal" - sad but also necessary
news emerged this week (The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/mbhuhh8

"Why God Will Not Die" - an important article
on a theme that keeps returning over the years
(Atlantic Online) http://tinyurl.com/o3s95ot

"Deadly Attack in Israel" - more sad news
from Israel, a global religious trouble spot
(The New York Times, The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/mqlrm4w
http://tinyurl.com/pe4apgs

"Advocacy Not a Dirty Word" - for those
that still need convincing, here is a
helpful article (Christian Week online)
http://tinyurl.com/plyy79q

"Five Top Regrets of the Dying" - a list
of comments on "might-have-beens"
(The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/meen8qt

"The Curious Case of Jesus' Wife"- here
is a story that continues to intrigue
and will probably not go away
(The Atlantic online)
http://tinyurl.com/maf8f5f

"Francis to Raffle Off Unneeded Gifts" -
almost every week we find the pope
is breaking new ground; that's why
I keep posting articles about him
(UCA News)
http://tinyurl.com/ksw2do3

"Millions to Honor Francis Xavier Remains" -
a famous Asia missionary who contradicted
the Vatican of his day continues to be popular
among people to whom he brought Good News
(UCA News) http://tinyurl.com/mh9bvgg

"More Protestant Conversions in Latin America" -
it will probably take more than one good pope
to turn this around, if ever (Christianity Today)
http://tinyurl.com/lmr4sxw

"Religious Extremism Main Cause of Global Unrest" -
a new study confirms what many have suspected
was true for some time (The Guardian, UK)
http://tinyurl.com/o2b2kp6

--

Wisdom of the Week:

This comes to us from
Sojourners and Bruderhof online.
We hear from -

Ella Baker, Helen Keller and Brother Lawrence

Scroll down to read them.

--

On This Day:

November 16th - 22nd

From the archives of the New York Times -

"Spain Votes to Become a Democracy"
  http://tinyurl.com/lpxr6kn

"Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address"
  http://tinyurl.com/y9bvp8n

"Nuremberg War Trials Begin in Germany"
  http://tinyurl.com/3vlno

"JFK Assassinated" 
  http://tinyurl.com/2ay2mux

--

Closing Thought -  is offered by
Edward Said, middle east specialist
Please scroll down.

(end)

****

For those interested -

2014/2015 Adult Spiritual Development
ACTS Ministry Programs at St. David's
and at the University of Calgary

Please scroll down.
 
*****

SPECIAL ITEMS

MY NOVEMBER 'INSIGHTS' COLUMN
Anglican Journal
November 18th, 2014

"An Emerging New Sense of Canadian Identity"

http://tinyurl.com/p54tq2v

--

A Personal Reflection:

REMEMBERING WILLIAM HORDERN

Here is an edited version of his obituary,
which appeared Nov. 10th-13th, 2014
in the Saskatoon (SK) Star-Phoenix
http://tinyurl.com/obrpaaf

William Edward HORDERN (Bill)
September 8, 1920 – November 9, 2014

On September 8, 1920, Bill was born on a
farm at Dundurn, and died at 94 years in
Saskatoon.

He attended the Dundurn high school, the
University of Saskatchewan, and St. Andrew's
College. His call to ministry arose from his
concerns for the social stresses faced by
people during the "Dirty Thirties," the deep
faith of his parents, and his experiences as
a student minister with the United Church.

He was ordained by the United Church of
Canada and his first call was to Marsden and
Neilburg where, due to wartime shortages, he
usually rode a bike or a horse from one church
to the next.

Last spring he celebrated the 70th anniversary
of his ordination. In 1944 he married Marjorie
Joyce whom he had met seven years previous,
when she was the new school teacher the 
area. Throughout their fifty-eight years
of marriage she was a strong partner in his
professional work.

In 1945 they went to New York City where Bill
entered graduate studies at Union Theological
Seminary. He came there to study with John
Bennett and also spent significant time with
Paul Tillich (who first interested Bill in Lutheran
theology) and Reinhold Niebuhr (his doctoral
advisor).

As graduation approached he sent letters to
schools across Canada, seeking employment,
but was rejected by all. He kept a letter that he
had received from a school in Toronto that said
explicitly that they did not hire Canadians.

He was hired by the highly ranked Swarthmore
College (near Philadelphia) and then Garrett
Theological Seminary at Northwestern University
(Evanston, Illinois), until he received his first
offer of a position in Canada, as president of
Lutheran Theological Seminary (Saskatoon).

Overjoyed to return to Saskatchewan, he
quickly accepted, and arrived with his family
in 1966. He had a strong sense that his calling
was to be in Saskatchewan. He retired in 1985.

He was a prolific author and many of his books
were adopted as textbooks by colleges and
seminaries, and translated into a dozen languages
for use around the world.

His "Layman's Guide to Protestant Theology" 
was a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection and
is still in print (2nd edition)
http://tinyurl.com/mgmfu7m

He was also one of the founding presidents of
the American Academy of Religion, and was
widely sought as a speaker. His personal
theology was best expressed in his book,
"Living by Grace" and emphasized the
importance of a generous acceptance of
other people just as God generously accepts
and affirms us.
http://tinyurl.com/qehjodl


He was widely respected and appreciated.
Former friends, colleagues, and students
mention the strength of his own personal
convictions and his ability to give them
confidence in their own abilities and
viewpoints, even when their views did
not coincide with his. Every question
was treated as being very important.

During his time in the U.S. he gave support
to the civil rights movement while living in
a Republican dominated and segregated
community. In Canada he was a strong
voice for the ordination of divorced persons,
and women, in the Lutheran Church, and a
firm supporter of the New Democratic Party. 

He was deeply affected by the death of his
wife Marjorie in 2002, and the death of his
daughter Joyce, in 2010.

When the seminary in Saskatoon feted his
90th birthday, and dedicated the William
Hordern Chair in Theology, he was asked
which of his accomplishments he was most
proud of. Bill replied "My family."

---

Here is the testimony of one of his students
Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson, Medicine Hat, AB. 
http://tinyurl.com/n7p5r78
 
Here is what I wrote in his e-memorial book -

November 20th, 2014

Bill was a significant teacher of mine, even though
I never sat in his classroom. He was a special gift
to the church in Canada and a strong witness to
truth and justice. I experienced these qualities in
a very special way at a difficult time in my life and
am forever grateful.

--

A SHORT REFLECTION ON
WILLIAM HORDERN'S CONTRIBUTION

Because Hordern was much involved in the
negotiations and planning that resulted in
the emergence of the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in Canada during the 1970s and 80s.
I believe he had a strong influence on at least
three main qualities of that church as it exists
today.

While the ELCIC is not a large denomination
in Canada, it can and should play an important
role in the shaping of the future of mainstream
Protestantism in this land. It has already made
good progress in formalizing ties with the
Anglican Church in Canada.

I hope to reflect more on the themes below, but
for the present, here are three important qualities
of that church that I believe are worth considering
by many today.

1. Biblical-Theological Foundations:

In terms of its presentation to the wider
church and to the world, biblical-theological
foundations are important Hordern themes.
"Evangelical Lutheran" means "bible-based
and focused" but not biblical fundamentalist.
Many mainstream Protestant denominations
seem to downplay this quality, or it no longer
seems to be as important as it once was.
Evangelical Lutherans continue to struggle
to represent this in preaching and teaching.

--

Ecumenical-Interfaith Openness:

By virtue of his background and vocation,
William Hordern was clearly open to
ecumenical and inter-faith realities. In
his day, "ecumenical" in terms of "inter-
church" was clearly his frame of reference.
If he were still teaching, lecturing and
writing today, he would undoubtedly be
an "interfaith" person as well. Luther
made a deep impression on Hordern and
he was a worthy interpreter. That,
however, did not prevent him from
being a man of dialogue and learning
from those of other churches and faiths
- be they liberal or conservative.

--

Justice-Seeking Intentionality:

Hordern was committed to the important
Christian values of justice and peace.
He reflected this through his ministry
with people in both church and society.
His background in Saskatchewan and
the United Church of Canada prepared
him for that ministry. Lutherans - for
much of their history in Canada - have
tended to be "the quiet in the land."
Hordern believed that Lutheranism
and the social gospel were not
contradictions in terms. Instead, and in
these areas, church and society should
be partners.

---

Hopefully, I can write more about these
three pivotal themes in future reflections.

*****

COLLEAGUE COMMENT

JOHN HORMAN
Waterloo, ON.

November 17th, 2014

Responding to the Colleagues List
issue of November 16th, 2014 on
Karen Armstrong's New Book:

"Fields of Blood -
 Religion and the History of Violence"
 http://tinyurl.com/mocnpwg

Dear Wayne:

I find it helpful to think of religion in the
same way I think of music. We often think
of music as a great force for peace. And so
it can be. And I am every bit as enthusiastic
in promoting music for everyone as Karen
Armstrong is in promoting religion. But is it
really a force for peace?

I reflect back on the summer I spent at age
sixteen as an army cadet at Camp Ipperwash
(Ontario) in 1956. Without question it was
preparing us for war. The chief duty of a soldier,
we are told, in not to romantically "die for his
country", but to "kill the enemy", who, it went
without saying, was all too ready to return the
favour blow for blow, corpse for corpse. We
had a chaplain, of course, church parades,
that sort of stuff. But music was practically
ubiquitous, beginning first thing in the morning
with a wake-up call by trumpet, and ending at
bed time with the Last Post. Formal parades of
course involved music with marching bands,
but even on long marches or in the barracks
music was there. There was no need of a band;
we provided our own music, usually with lyrics
which even today in our permissive times would
not be permitted in public performances or on
television.

Do not tempt me to sing such immortal
ditties as "The North Atlantic squadron" or
"Captain Mulligan's raiders". Believe me, you
don't want to know what the cabin boy did to
the captain. There was not the slightest
suggestion that we should stop singing, or
even the we should clean up our lyrics. This
is because our singing had a huge military
value. Consider: Why would a sixteen year
old boy want to march for twenty miles
(no kilometers in those days!) on a hot
summer day with no water or snack on the
way? It was the music that kept us going,
just as it would keep slaves going in a cotton
field or a sugar cane plantation. It is an
anaesthetic of sorts, keeping the brain from
being governed by the suffering of the body.

But it would have worked exactly the same
way whether we were going to an actual war
or going to assist e-bola patients in Sierra
Leone or going to build houses for a Habitat
project in Winnipeg. So you can't really say
that music is a force for peace any more than
you can say that it is a force for evil or banality.
It is a device that the human mind uses to
reinforce group solidarity and to keep from
thinking to closely about inconvenient aspects
of the situation at hand and get on with what
one intends to do.

To me religion seems to work the same way.

I know that some apologists like to denounce
the cruel actions that some religious folk practice
as false or misunderstood or even perverted
religion, as if the person being tortured for his
religious beliefs is religious while the person
who turns the thumbscrew to elicit a confession
is doing something else, while some enemies of
religion like to present the jihadi as the
authentically religious person while the person
whom he is beheading is doing something else.
But both approaches seem to me unfair.

Religion, like music, can be used to reinforce
whatever one believes one must do, whether
it is to behead someone or put up with being
beheaded or torture someone or endure being
tortured or simply lead a banal life in a settled
society, doing good according to one's best
understanding of what the good might be.

We see examples of religion promoting great
good, but also great evil. It is up to us. But it
seems to me not very helpful to eagerly claim
the good aspects of practicing religion as true
and authentic religion while pretending that
the more awkward manifestations are really
something else.

John Horman

*****

COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS

JIM TAYLOR
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
November 16th, 2014

"Harassment"

http://tinyurl.com/mtfx6g2

--

RON ROLHEISER
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
November 16th, 2014

"Less People are Going to Church -
  Whom to Blame?"

http://tinyurl.com/obyk94l

--

MARTIN MARTY
Chicago, IL

Sightings
November 17th, 2014

"Mormon Issues"

http://tinyurl.com/kk4pnn7

*****

NET NOTES

BILL COSBY SCANDAL
Why Now?

The Guardian, UK
November 18th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mbhuhh8

--

WHY GOD WILL NOT DIE
Science Makes Us All Religious

The Atlantic Online
November 17th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/o3s95ot

--

DEADLY ATTACK IN ISRAEL
Four Rabbis Massacred
Palestinians Claim Responsibility

New York Times Slideshow
November 17th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mqlrm4w

"Attack on Synagogue
  Puts Israel Close to Brink"

The Guardian, UK
November 19th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/pe4apgs

--

ADVOCACY NOT A DIRTY WORD
We're More Powerful Than We Think

Christian Week Online
November 14th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/plyy79q

--

FIVE TOP REGRETS OF THE DYING
Study on this Theme Continues

The Guardian, UK
November 15th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/meen8qt

--

THE CURIOUS CASE OF JESUS' WIFE
Science and Biblical Scholars Clash

The Atlantic Online
November 17th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/maf8f5f

--

FRANCIS TO RAFFLE OFF UNNEEDED GIFTS
Symbolic Gesture on Behalf of Homeless

UCA News
November 20th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/ksw2do3

--

MILLIONS TO HONOUR REMAINS
OF ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
Famous Missionary Lauded in Goa

UCA News
November 19th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/mh9bvgg

--

CONTINUING PROTESTANT
CONVERSIONS IN LATIN AMERICA
'Francis Effect' Not Yet Noted
as Protestant Numbers Grow

Christianity Today
November 13th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/lmr4sxw

--

REPORT: RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM
NOW MAIN CAUSE OF GLOBAL UNREST
Terrorism is Major Reason for Conflict

The Guardian, UK
November 18th, 2014

http://tinyurl.com/o2b2kp6

*****

WISDOM OF THE WEEK

Provided by Sojourners and
Bruderhof online:

Give light and people will find the way.

- Ella Baker

--

I believe that God is in me as the sun is
in the color and fragrance of a flower —
the Light in my darkness, the Voice in
my silence.

- Helen Keller

--

The time of business does not with me
differ from the time of prayer, and in t
he noise and clatter of my kitchen, while
several persons are at the same time
calling for different things, I possess
God in as great tranquility as if I were
upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.

- Brother Lawrence

*****

ON THIS DAY

Provided from the archives
of the New York Times

"Spain Votes to Become a Democracy"
  http://tinyurl.com/lpxr6kn

"Lincoln Delivers Gettysburg Address"
  http://tinyurl.com/y9bvp8n

"Nuremberg War Trials Begin in Germany"
  http://tinyurl.com/3vlno

"JFK Assassinated" 
  http://tinyurl.com/2ay2mux


*****

CLOSING THOUGHT - EDWARD SAID


Every empire tells itself and the world that
it is unlike all other empires, that its mission
is not to plunder and control but to educate
and liberate.


(end)

*****


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

MONDAY NIGHT STUDY (Ten Weeks)
September 15th - November 24th
7-00-9:00PM TM Room
(Thanksgiving Day exempted)

"A Fair Country" by John Ralston Saul
   http://tinyurl.com/pvs5e3w

"Medicine Walk" by  Richard Wagamese
  http://tinyurl.com/o95nho4

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst


Link to study:
http://tinyurl.com/kkca8rp


--

MONDAY NIGHT 'BOOKEND EVENT'
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)

http://tinyurl.com/iedt

Hospitality and discussion

Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst

All welcome. Hospitality donation only

--

THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
(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
http://tinyurl.com/odxlv7q

--


ST. DAVID'S SPIRITUAL TRAVELERS'
SPECIAL SIXTEEN DAY TOUR

"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

--

UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY
FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY CENTRE

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.

http://tinyurl.com/luljvww
http://tinyurl.com/ntxcp2v

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


THIS STUDY IS COMPLETED.

*****