Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2016

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Colleagues List, September 1st, 2019

Vol XV. No. 8


Labour Day Weekend Edition

Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

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write to me personally -


Dear Friends:

Labour Day weekend has long been, for many of us in the
Northern Hemisphere, a major divider between the summer
and autumn seasons. Here is Calgary I already begin to
feel a chill in the air that is a harbinger of things to come.
My daily exercise/walk with partner Marlene, benefits from
cooler weather.

My Special Item this week in an introduction to colleague
Richard Rohr's new book The Universal Christ. It is, in many
ways, a summary of his life's work. Please enjoy this.

Hopefully, other parts of this mailing will appeal to also.





How a forgotten reality
can change everything
we see, hope for and believe
by Richard Rohr

SPCK Crown/Random House
London, UK. Toronto, ON. 2019
260 pages. $17.50 CAD. Paper.
Kindle Edition $16.99 CAD.
ISBN #978-0-281-07862-2

Publisher's Promo:

In his decades as a globally recognized teacher, Richard Rohr has helped millions realize what is at stake in matters of faith and spirituality. Yet Rohr has never written on the most perennially talked about topic in Christianity: Jesus. Most know who Jesus was, but who was Christ? Is the word simply Jesus’s last name? Too often, Rohr writes, our understandings have been limited by culture, religious debate, and the human tendency to put ourselves at the center.

Drawing on scripture, history, and spiritual practice, Rohr articulates a transformative view of Jesus Christ as a portrait of God’s constant, unfolding work in the world. “God loves things by becoming them,” he writes, and Jesus’s life was meant to declare that humanity has never been separate from God - except by its own negative choice. When we recover this fundamental truth, faith becomes less about proving Jesus was God, and more about learning to recognize the Creator’s presence all around us, and in everyone we meet.

Thought-provoking, practical, and full of deep hope and vision, The Universal Christ is a landmark book from one of our most beloved spiritual writers, and an invitation to contemplate how God liberates and loves all that is.


Author's Words:

I wish to write about the Christ Mystery - the indwelling of the
Divine Presence in everyone and everything since the beginning
of time as we know it.

Who is this Christ? He is not just Jesus of Nazareth, but something
much more immense, even cosmic, in significance. How that is so
and why it matters, is the subject of this book. Once encountered,
I believe this vision has the power to radically alter what we
believe, how we see others and relate to them, our sense of how
big God might be, and our understanding of what the Creator is
doing in the world.

What is the universal message and purpose of Christ that
extends beyond Christianity? I call it The Big Tradition.

The Big Tradition - answers to this question is something to which
most of us have never fully exposed and is the subject of this book. Understanding the Big Tradition is a huge goal, but do we have
any choice is coming to know this now?

If you will allow me in the pages to come, I want to be your
guide in exploring these great questions about the meaning
of Christ and his shaping of reality for each of us. It is a subject
that has intrigued me for over fifty years.

In keeping with my Franciscan tradition I want to ground our
quest in the stuff of earth.

If my own experience is any indication, the message of this
book can transform the way you see and the way you live. It
can offer you the deep and universal meaning that Western
civilization seems to lack and long for today. It has the potential
to reground Christianity as a natural religion and not one
simply based on special revelation, available only for a few
lucky and enlightened people. To begin, I want us to encounter
the mystery of faith.

Once we know that the entire physical world around us, all
of creation, is both the hiding place and the revelation place
for God, this world becomes home, safe, enchanted - offering
grace to any who look deeply. I call that kind of deep and
sound seeing "contemplation." It is cosmic in nature.

The cosmic notion of Christ competes with and excludes
no one but includes everyone and everything (Acts 10:15, 34)
and allows Jesus Christ to finally be the God figure worthy
of the entire universe. In this understanding of the Christian
message, the mental distinction between "natural" and
"supernatural" sort of falls apart.

Although my primary background is in philosophy and
scriptural theology, I will draw on the disciplines of
psychology, science, history and anthropology to enrich
the text. I don't want this to be a strictly "theological" book
if I can help it.

Jesus came into the world not only for the sake of theologians
but so that "all may be one" (John 17:21.)

I will follow the monastic tradition of "lectio divina" or a
group reading and lingering on an idea. It is a contemplative
way of reading that goes deeper than only the mental
comprehension of words. Contemplation is waiting patiently
for "the gaps to be filled in" and does not insist on a quick
closure or easy answers.

We will discover that "Christ" is much more than Jesus'
last name.

- based upon and interpreted from the Introduction to
  this book "Before We Begin."


Author's Bio:

Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher whose work is grounded in Christian mysticism, practices of contemplation and self-emptying, and compassion for the marginalized. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, where he also serves as academic dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. The Center publishes his “Daily Meditations,” free reflections emailed to hundreds of thousands around the world. Fr. Richard is the author of many books, including the bestsellers Falling UpwardThe Naked Now, and, most recently, The Divine Dance. His work has been featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday, Krista Tippett’s On Being, and in the New York Times.


My Thoughts:

I have long believed that Richard Rohr is a wonderful spiritual
partner for a faith journey. He is one who can ground us in
good theology, but not confine readers to "mere theology."

This book is, in many ways, a "summa" of his life and work
as both a spiritual director and teacher.

I first heard Richard speak at a conference held in Ottawa and
was there at the invitation of friend and colleague Ron Rolheiser.
To hear him speak is, in many ways, an improvement over reading
him, but his writing is also a special gift to be offered those who
buy and engage his books.

Rohr is one of those rare persons (like Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen,
Ron Rolheiser and others) who write in a way that transcends
spiritual and religious traditions. We need to listen and learn
from such people today. We live in a world where our faiths can
be either great unifiers or dividers. Rohr shares a faith,
grounded in contemplative, mystical tradition that transcends
faith traditions and helps us to a greater human unity.

Jesus Christ - as interpreted by many of his loyal followers over
the centuries has "divided" rather than "united" people. That
is a sad result of so much of what he actually represented.

For those of us with deep commitment to the mission of the
Christ, but who at the same time seek human unity and peace,
writers like Richard Rohr and books like The Universal Christ
can be a great help, and I highly recommend it.


Buy the book from



Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log,
August 28th, 2019

"Imprisoned by Meanings of Words"


Elfrieda Schroeder,
Winnipeg, MB.

"In Transit" Blog
  August, 2019

"To Those Who Came and Went Before Me -
   A Great Cloud of Witnesses"


Mark Whittall,
Ottawa, ON.

Sermons and Blog
August 24th, 2019

"A Story of Liberation"


Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
August 26th, 2019

"A Lesson in Aging"



Breaking Natural Law and Returning to It

August, 2019


More Evidence of Anti-Trump in the Young

August 27th, 2019


Witnesses to the Gospel or Apostles of Empire?

America Media
August 30th, 2019

The Philippines is the Only Country in the World
(outside of the Vatican) to Bann Divorce

UCA News,
August 28th, 2019


To the Political Protests in Hong Kong

Religion News Service,
August 27th, 2019


A Timely Message from American Progressive
Evangelical Spokesperson Jim Wallis

May 29th, 2019


As Part of a Mainly White Community

Religion News Service,
August 29th, 2019


Save Environment and Inhabitants

La Croix International
August 28th, 2019
(to access this, you may have to register)


Living in a Post-Literate World

Christianity Today,
August, 2019



Globe and Mail,
August 27th, 2019

Norris McWhirter was co-founder and now sole
editor of The Guinness Book of Records

Toronto, November 2, 1977. His twin brother
Ross [co-founder of The Guinness Book of Records]
was murdered by the IRA in 1975.

Aug. 27, 1955

What is the fastest game bird in Europe – the golden plover
or the red grouse? That question, posed by Sir Hugh Beaver
in 1951 while out shooting in southeast Ireland, would prove
difficult to answer. It dawned on Sir Hugh, then the managing
director of Guinness Breweries, that arguments over such
questions must rage each night in tens of thousands of pubs
across the British Isles in the absence of record books.

That just could not stand. Norris and Ross McWhirter, brothers
who ran a facts and figures agency in London, were enlisted
and the 198-page Guinness Book of Records was published
on this day in 1955. It was a bestseller by Christmas and the
ensuing series would become the most-sold copyrighted
in history and an iconic gift for children the world over.

Published in 23 languages and running the gamut from science
and sports records to human and animal oddities, the book’s
entries have changed with the times; a number of records,
such as some eating and drinking feats, have been abolished
over concerns for competitors’ safety. And, for the record,
even a partial answer to Sir Hugh’s question wasn’t published
until the Book’s 36th edition – 22 years after his death.

It’s the red grouse.

- Jack Denton 


WISDOM OF THE WEEK - September 1st, 2019

We cannot create what we can't imagine.

- Lucille Clifton


People need hope and inspiration desperately.
But hope and inspiration are only sustained by work.

- Tarana Burke


He must trust, and he must have faith. And so he builds,
because what is building, and rebuilding and rebuilding
again, but an act of faith?

- Dave Eggers


Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with
the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare,
social justice can never be attained.

- Helen Keller


We have been called to be fruitful – not successful, 
not productive, not accomplished. Success comes 
from strength, stress, and human effort.

Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the
admission of our own weakness.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Many have forgotten that unofficial witness-bearing used
to be the chief way by which the good news went around
the world. I tell you, and you believe and receive and tell
someone else, and he tells others. Frank, vital telling in
ordinary language that the Lord Jesus Christ lives and
loves, and can save and keep, and can be known like a
real friend, and is a Master who gives real orders and
strength to carry them out – think of the power that is in
that! Can you wonder that the devil detests it? -

- Amy Carmichael



We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of
mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must
abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover
the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be
worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only
on the condition of humility and reverence before the world
that our species will be able to remain in it.



For Those Interested -

ACTS Ministry - related programs at St. David's


A Ten Week Series September 16th - November 25th, 2019
Monday Evenings, TM Room 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

"HOLY ENVY" Finding God in the Faith of Others

Author: Barbara Brown Taylor
Registration/Hospitality and Book: $60.00.
Book only: $25.00

35 copies of the book are available for sale
Sundays at St. David's until the program begins.

About 10 books remain after the August 25th sale.

Book Description -


Some stats:
Autumn and Winter Series (2018-19) -
Total class registrations: 87
Total books sold: 102
Average weekly winter class attendance: 34



Our theme this autumn: TBA
We meet to select the biblical book(s)
to be studied on Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Autumn theme will be announced at that time
Ten Study Sessions - Thursday mornings,
 September 26th-November 28th, 2019

Gathering at 9:30 AM in the St. David's TM Room
and meeting 10:00 - 11:00 AM.

Study resource:

"The DK Complete Bible Handbook"
  Edited by John Bowker



On the site of the Morley mission church,
Soon to be re-built after a destructive fire.
Planned and co-led by representatives of the
McDougall family, friends, and the Stoney First Nation.

Sunday, September 22nd, 2:00PM

"Celebrating Treaty Seven in Southern Alberta"

Followed by hospitality at the Morley United Church.



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