Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2016 http://colleagueslist.blogspot.ca/

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Colleagues List, December 21st, 2017

Vol. XIII No. 24

GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE


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

 
This e-mail is sent only to a voluntary subscriber list.
If you no longer wish to receive these weekly columns,
write to me personally
waholst@telus.net


*****

Dear Friends:

This is my second to last Colleagues List issue for 2017. As usual for this time of year, I include our Holst Family Christmas Letter as the Special Item.

Much of the material following that letter is current news and wisdom but I was particularly taken by the item (below) of the royal conversation with the Canadian prime minister in 1961 - which served as the official inauguration of the trans-Atlantic cable between Canada and the UK. At Christmas in 1967, six years later, I was a graduate student at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland. That Christmas, my parents gave me a present - a phone call lasting about 15 minutes connecting me to my home town in Ontario. That conversation cost about $50. in 1967 Canadian dollar rates. What a different world we live in with satellites and cell phones today!

We are celebrating Christmas with family in Slave Lake, Alberta and will probably be closer to the North Pole than any of you my readers!

Have a Blessed and Holy Season.

Wayne

*****

SPECIAL ITEM
                                                                                      
HOLST FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER, 2017

Dear Friends:

 
A number of unique events and activities took place in our lives during the past year and we would like to tell you about them.

In June, the extended family came together to celebrate Marlene’s 70th birthday! We used the facilities of St. David’s United Church, our home congregation, to accommodate almost fifty immediate family members for several happy hours. Thanks to daughters Carmen (home from the Sultanate of Oman) and Sarah (home from Slave Lake, Northern Alberta) and their families, Marlene enjoyed a surprise gathering with her siblings and their families, that included happy conversation, delightful memorabilia, and good food.


Thankfully, every one invited was able to attend. Sarah and Carmen had arranged a family picture-taking session with all seven grand-children in the afternoon. This event, planned with Marlene, was something very special to her.

We began the year with an extended five-week trip to Oman in the Middle East, returning via Egypt and Spain. For nineteen days in October and November we visited South Africa and Swaziland as tour hosts for our fourth St. David’s Spiritual Travelers event since 2011. Twenty-five of us had a great experience of nature, culture and learning the history and contemporary social justice story of South Africa from knowledgeable guides.


2017 was a year we traveled from Cairo to Cape Town! And, although we didn’t cover all the territory between, we have learned a lot about Africa.

The rest of the year was spent teaching and providing hospitality at the church, as well as tending to our gardens and yard. Our health, thankfully, continues to be good – and we work at proper exercise, diet and medication.

We are mindful that a year like the past one involving good times with family, travel and work is a special gift. We are grateful for each day.

Marlene and Wayne                waholst@telus.net
Calgary, Alberta                      marleneaholst@gmail.com


*****

COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS

Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
December 20th, 2017

"Another Nativity Story"
  https://tinyurl.com/ybfz2aye


--

Mark Whittall
Ottawa, On.

Sermons and Blog,
December 15th, 2017

"Hidden"
  https://tinyurl.com/yago37cv


--

Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
December, 18th, 2017

"Fear of God as Wisdom"
  https://tinyurl.com/y88lajx5


*****

NET NOTES

IN CHRIST'S BIRTHPLACE, OLIVE WOOD SPECIALISTS
CARRY ON A HOLY LAND TRADITION
Traditional Carvings Remain Popular

Religion News Service,
December 19th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/ybfoqavz


--

PASTOR LIM AND THE CHURCH THAT PRAYED HIM OUT
Canadian Pastor Released from N. Korea, Makes News in 2017

Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
Faith Today, November/December, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/ya5e7nxc


--

NEARLY A QUARTER OF A MILLION SECURITY FORCES
WILL BE GUARDING CHRISTIAN CHRISTMAS IN EGYPT
The Government is Very Concerned About More Terrorism

Christian Week,
December 20th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/y7b52e


--

BERNARD LAW - FACE OF THE CHURCH'S FAILURE
ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE - DIES AT 86 IN ROME
He Consistently Moved Priests and Blamed Victims

America Magazine
December 20th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/y935glsl


--

THE UK SEEMS TO BE CHRISTMAS OBSESSED
Nation of Ebenezer Scrooge Knows How to Celebrate

BBC News
December 20th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/ydc8cnjg


--

SPIRITUALITY IN THE TIME OF POPE FRANCIS
Global Attention is Paid to His Faith Understanding

UCA News
December 20th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/ydc8cnjg


--

MANY THINGS YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW ABOUT CHRISTMAS
Are Probably Wrong

Religion News Service,
December 14th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/y98l97kt


--

UNDERSTANDING EVANGELICAL OBSESSION WITH ISRAEL

Many Evangelical Christians View Israel as Very Strategic

America Magazine,
December 11th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/yazqvumu


"With Jerusalem Announcement, Trump Isn't
  Recognizing Reality. He Is Making It Worse"

America Magazine,
December 11th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/yd4fenp9


--

AMID U.S. EVANGELICAL DECLINE, A GROWING SPLIT
BETWEEN YOUNG CHRISTIANS AND CHURCH ELDERS

Christian Science Monitor
October 10th, 2017

https://tinyurl.com/yd4fenp9


*****

MOMENT IN TIME

Globe and Mail,
December 19th, 2017

Inauguration of the transatlantic cable

Dec. 19, 1961: The historic phone call started as any other: "Hello?" prime minister John Diefenbaker said. But, as he uttered this standard greeting, his voice was carried across the Canadian Transatlantic Telephone (Cantat) cable, officially opening the telephone link between Canada and Britain. "Are you there, Mr. Prime Minister?" the Queen asked from Buckingham Palace. "I am delighted to be able to speak to you on this new cable from my home in London." Their prim and scripted conversation, broadcast by CBC Radio, was witnessed by a cluster of dignitaries gathered at Diefenbaker's side at the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa. The final splice of the underwater cable, running from Oban, Scotland, to the outskirts of Hampden, Nfld., was completed Nov. 22. It was the first section of a Commonwealth cable system, linking Canada with Australia and New Zealand.

"Your Majesty," Diefenbaker added, "This day indeed marks an achievement."

– Wency Leung


*****

WISDOM OF THE WEEK

From Sojourners and the Bruderhof Online:

A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.

- W.E.B. Du Bois

--

To make a revolution, people must not only struggle against
existing institutions. They must make a philosophical/spiritual
leap and become more 'human' human beings. In order to
change/transform the world, they must change/transform
themselves.

- Grace Lee Boggs

--

Compassion constitutes a radical form of criticism, for it
announces that the hurt is to be taken seriously, that the
hurt is not to be accepted as normal and natural but is
an abnormal and unacceptable condition for humanness.

- Walter Brueggemann

--

God must become the equal of the lowliest. But the lowliest is one who serves others. God therefore must appear in the form of a servant. But this servant’s form is not merely something he puts on, like the beggar’s cloak, which, because it is only a cloak, flutters loosely and betrays the king. No, it is his true form. For this is the unfathomable nature of boundless love, that it desires to be equal with the beloved; not in jest, but in truth.

- Søren Kierkegaard

--

It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that he speaks; with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that he gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that he gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that he walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that he longs for shelter. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ.

- Dorothy Day

--

The people’s suffering should not be made a motive for resentment and desperation; it should make people look to the justice of God and realize that this situation must change. And if necessary, like those who have already given their lives, we must be ready to die, but always with the hope that comes from our Christian faith.

How I wish that child, nestled in straw and humble cloth, would speak to us this Christmas of the sublime value of poverty! How I wish that all of us who are reflecting here would bestow divine value on our sufferings great and small! Starting today, let us be more intent on offering to God whatever we suffer.

- Oscar Romero

--

The Savior has preceded us on the way of poverty. All the goods in heaven and on earth belonged to him. They presented no danger to him; he could use them and yet keep his heart completely free of them. But he knew that it is scarcely possible for people to have possessions without succumbing to them and being enslaved by them. Therefore, he gave up everything and showed more by his example than by his counsel that only one who possesses nothing possesses everything. His birth in a stable, his flight to Egypt, already indicated that the Son of Man was to have no place to lay his head. Whoever follows him must know that we have no lasting dwelling here.

- Edith Stein

--

There are many who are enkindled with dreamy devotion, and when they hear of the poverty of Christ, they are almost angry with the citizens of Bethlehem. They denounce their blindness and in gratitude, and think and think, if they had been there, they would have shown the Lord and his mother a more kindly service and would not have permitted them to be treated so miserably. But they do not look by their side to see how many of their fellow humans need their help, and which they ignore in their misery.


Who is there upon earth that has no poor, miserable, sick, erring ones around him? Why does he not exercise his love to those? Why does he not do to them as Christ has done to him?

- Martin Luther

*****

CLOSING THOUGHT - Desmond Tutu


Ubuntu ... speaks of the very essence of being human. ... It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours."

We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons."

(Tutu speaks of his formational Zulu philosophy)  

*****


(end)

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