Friday, March 27, 2020

Colleagues List, March 29th, 2020

Vol XV. No. 34

Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2019                                                                                              http://colleagueslist.blogspot.ca/ http://colleagueslistii.blogspot.com/


GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE

Wayne A. Holst, Editor

My E-Mail Address: waholst@telus.net 

This email 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:

My Special Item this week is a reflection I began to
create during our congregation's annual Lenten retreat 
at Mount St. Francis, Cochrane, west of Calgary, mid-
March. What a great place for spiritual contemplation!

The remainder of the material in this week's issue is 
also new, using the familiar CL format.

It hope you can spend time here during quiet hours.

Wayne

PS A REMINDER - If a link, below seems to be dead, cut and
paste it into the address bar at the top of your web page
and it should work.

*****

SPECIAL ITEM

A Lenten Reflection:
 
LENTEN DISCIPLINE
WITH THE HELP OF THE DALAI LAMA

For many years I have followed the advice of sage Christians
when it came to Lenten observance. This year, however, I am
learning from a sage non-Christian. 

                                                              
Lent is a season of preparation and awareness, anticipating
Easter, but for some time I have been approaching it not as
"obligation” but “observance.” My practices have shifted from
"giving up” to “giving to.” I feel I have been maturing              spiritually and positively. A special adviser for me during 
this refocusing has been the famous Tibetan Buddhist, 
the Dalai Lama.

Perhaps you may agree with me in this, and I would like to
share with you some of the discoveries I have made as a
result of a church study group reading of "The Book of Joy -
Lasting Happiness in a Changing World*.

I believe that Lenten spiritual growth should focus on both
my inner and outer worlds, and I have developed two guiding
principles to help me.

First, I try to pay more attention to developing strong inner
values while becoming less self-centered.

Second, I believe that caring for and serving others results
in much personal joy, which is an intrinsic reward.

Both these principles are advocated by His Holiness in
recorded conversations with retired Archbishop Desmond
Tutu of Capetown and their discussion guide Douglas Abrams.

“The more time you spend thinking about yourself, the more
suffering you will experience,” says the Dalai Lama. “We
create most of our suffering, so it should be logical that we
have the ability to create more joy.”

As we engage in important Lenten self-assessment we need
to be intentional that such inner appraisal is re-framed from
self-centredness to attention to the circumstances of others.

Many sincere Christians have foundered on the rocky shores
of unproductive guilt over their own private demons. The Dalai
Lama keeps repeating that unhealthy attention to our
weaknesses will not enhance our inner values, nor will it
make us better people. In fact, the reverse may be true.

“Giving up” things that we know are not good for us may
actually expand our negative cravings and make things
worse.

Good can actually result from constructive suffering.
Acceptance of our vulnerabilities and re-directing our
energies through reaching out to others can result in
mutual strengthening and support. For example, at an
appropriate opportunity, the authentic revealing of an
embarrassing or shame-producing personal experience
with another can be a sign of inner strength, not weakness.
Thus, a healthy refining of negative suffering can lead to
something better.

Meditation in quiet stillness with the Spirit of God can be
life-giving. Distracting thoughts are quieted as we begin
to perceive a greater reality. Enhancing inner values is
something to which extroverts need pay special attention;
since they are inclined to find fulfillment in action, rather
than reflection.

Optimism, says the Dalai Lama, is based on feelings;
and feelings are unstable. Hope, however, is based on
a steadfast faith that has been tested and continues to
be honed with each new life development.

In sum, as constructive as self-focus can be, anxiety
results in giving it too much attention. Turning outward
to serve and care for others can lead to a life of fulfilled
joy.

Behind the words of this Buddhist seer I begin to hear
the haunting words of Jesus, and my Lenten spiritual
journey is doubly-blessed.

*The Book of Joy: 

  Lasting Happiness in a Changing World          
  https://tinyurl.com/tq5xgke

*****

COLLEAGUE CONTRIBUTIONS

Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log,
March 26th, 2020

"Why We Gather to Grieve"
  https://tinyurl.com/sn2zhoe


--

Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX.

Personal Web Site,
March 23rd, 2020

"Love in the Time of Covid 19"
  https://tinyurl.com/w
oea3ay

--

Mark Whittall,
Ottawa, ON.

Sermons and Blog,
March 24th, 2020

"Virtual Hugs"
  https://tinyurl.com/w9ev2dp


--

Philip Yancey,
Colorado

Philipyancey.com
March 24th, 2020

"Living in Plague Times"
  https://tinyurl.com/renyg
dx

--

John Stackhouse Jr.
 Moncton, NB

Context,
March 26th, 2020

"Cushioning the Collisions of Self-Isolation"
  https://tinyurl.com/rfbyfpw


*****

NET NOTES 

THE LORD'S PRAYER IN A PANDEMIC
Thoughts from America that Go Beyond

Sojourners Online
March 26th, 2020



--

WHAT JUDAISM TEACHES
ABOUT THE FEAR OF DEATH
And the Embrace of Life

Mew York Times,
March 26th, 2020

ENGLAND'S "PLAGUE VILLAGE"
OFFERS LESSON IN HUMANITY
An Important Image from History

Catholic Register, Toronto
March 21st, 2020


https://tinyurl.com/u72p42o

--

WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH CAN
TEACH US ABOUT CORONAVIRUS
Christians Have Always Experienced Plagues

The Gospel Coalition (via)
Christian Week, Winnipeg MB
March 21st, 2020


https://tinyurl.com/vk2ezx9

--

WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THIS PLACE
WHERE WE DON'T WANT TO BE?
A Hopeful Reflection on Our Times

National Catholic Reporter,
March 25th, 2020


https://tinyurl.com/tenr58k

--

IN HIS PERSONAL EVOLUTION,
ROMERO IS A SAINT FOR OUR TIME
He was Human Before Becaming a Saint

National Catholic Reporter,
March 26th, 2020

https://tinyurl.com/vulhmfm


--

WHO MADE US GOD?
Judging Motives of Our Political Adversaries
Former Christianity Today Editor Speaks Out

National Catholic Reporter
March 21st, 2020


https://tinyurl.com/uvkzmhk

--

IN THE USA, CONSERVATIVE CHURCHES
NEED TO GET THE SOCIAL DISTANCE MEMO
Unlike Canada, One Church Sector Resists

Religion News Service
March 23rd, 2020

https://tinyurl.com/ssnjtfg

--


INDIA'S EXECUTIONS WON'T END THE
PANDEMIC OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
It Remains Deeply Entrenched in the Culture

Religion News Service,
March 25th, 2020


https://tinyurl.com/ug54ltl

*****

WISDOM OF THE WEEK - March 29th, 2020

Provided by Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:

In times of chaos and fear, we lean into words and music,
art and dance, and we ask what they can teach us.

Then, we take those lessons with us into the world,
and we let the muse remind us why hope is possible
in a time like this.

- Kaitlin Curtice


--

We can believe that God is present and still be either 
six feet away or in the safety of our homes on Sunday 
morning. The church will always be the church no matter 
how physically close its members are. God isn’t just found 
in the confines of a physical church building  - God meets
us where we are.

- Miguel Petrosky

--


The image Jesus left with the world, the cross, the most 
common image in the Christian religion, is proof that God 
cares about our suffering and pain. He died of it. Today 
the image is coated with gold and worn around the necks 
of beautiful girls, a symbol of how far we can stray from 
the reality of history. But it stands, unique among all 
religions of the world. Many of them have gods. But only 
one has a God who cared enough to become a man and 
to die.

- Philip Yancey

--

Make a start with yourself, and abandon yourself.
Truly, if you do not begin by getting away from yourself,
wherever you run to, you will find obstacles and trouble
wherever it may be. People who seek peace in external
things – be it in places or ways of life or people or
activities or solitude or poverty or degradation – however
great such a thing may be or whatever it may be, still it is
all nothing and gives no peace. People who seek in that
way are doing it all wrong; the further they wander, the
less will they find what they are seeking.

- Meister Eckhart

--

A person who cares nothing for praise or blame knows
great inward peace….Praise does not make you holier
than you are, nor blame more wicked. You are exactly
what you are, and cannot ever be any better or worse
than that, in the eyes of God. Attend to what is really
within you, then, and you will not care what others say
of you. People look at externals, but God looks at the
heart. They weigh actions; God knows your intent….

To feel no need of human support and assurance is
a mark of inward confidence – of those who truly walk
with God in their hearts.

-Thomas à Kempis

--

If we are honest, we have to say that we cannot reach
the goal. We cannot become what we ought to become,
true men and women. Many let the matter rest there;
they confess it, but take no action. They make themselves
satisfied with half because they cannot have the whole.

God demands all, not just half. And this “all” we are
not capable of giving. What is impossible for us is
what God wants – all love to him and to our fellow
humans.

If this is true, it would seem that we can have no
good conscience, no trusting relationship with God,
no inner peace, and no freedom of the soul. But
God has in his mercy shown us a different way.

 “You cannot come up to me, so I will come down
to you.”

And God descends to us human beings. This act of
becoming one of us begins at Christmas and ends
on Good Friday.

- Emil Brunner

--

The morning prayer determines the day. Squandered
time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which
we succumb, weakness and lack of courage in work,
disorganization and lack of discipline in our thoughts
and in our conversation with others, all have their own
origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer.

Order and distribution of our time become more firm
where they originate in prayer. Temptations which
accompany the working day will be conquered on
the basis of the morning breakthrough to God.

Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and
simpler where they are made not in the fear of men
but only in the sight of God. “Whatever your task,
work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men”
(Col. 3:23). Even mechanical work is done in a
more patient way if it arises from the recognition
of God and his command. The powers to work take
hold, therefore, at the place where we have prayed
to God. He wants to give us today the power which

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


*****

MOMENT IN TIME

Globe and Mail,
March 26th, 2020

The Métis under Louis Riel begin the North-West Rebellion

March 26, 1885: A man named “Gentleman” Joe McKay
fired the misguided first shot, felling an elderly, unarmed
Cree man and touching off the first battle of the 1885
Resistance. Gentleman Joe was an interpreter for the
North-West Mounted Police forces sent to quash a Métis
uprising led by Louis Riel, a familiar thorn in Ottawa’s side.

Fifteen years earlier, Riel had launched a resistance
against government encroachment on Métis land around
present-day Winnipeg. With similar grievances emerging
in Saskatchewan, Métis leaders convinced Riel to return
to Canada from his Montana exile and lead a second
resistance on their behalf. He began by sending a list
of demands to Ottawa. When that was largely ignored,
they took up arms, seizing buildings, establishing a
provisional government and naming Gabriel Dumont
military commander. On March 26, a rag-tag force of
about 100 North-West Mounted Police and civilian
volunteers met Dumont’s men outside Duck Lake.

During a peaceful discussion among emissaries from
the two sides, Gentleman Joe shot dead an unarmed,
half-blind Cree man. The ensuing fusillade sent the
policemen fleeing through the snow. Métis victory
would be short-lived. By May, Riel would surrender
to vastly greater Canadian military forces. He was
convicted and hanged before the year was out.

- Patrick White


--

CLOSING THOUGHT 


(end)

*****

For those interested:

ST. DAVID'S ACTS  WINTER MONDAY NIGHT BOOK STUDY

A Ten Week Series January 13th - March 23rd, 2020
(Family Weekend Session, February 17th, exempted)
Monday Evenings, TM Room 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

"FUTURE FAITH - Ten Challenges Reshaping 
                              Christianity in the 21st Century"

Author: Wesley Granberg-Michaelson

Registration/Hospitality and Book: $60.00.
Book only: $25.00


37 copies of the book were made available for sale.
All are now sold. 

Total on-site registrations: 32
(plus 3 on-line participants). Grand Total: 35 to date.

A SUMMARY OF OUR STUDY SESSIONS WILL BE HELD
ONLINE AS ZOOM FORMAT CHALLENGES AWAIT

Book Description - https://tinyurl.com/tybpxvd

PLEASE READ THE STUDY NOTES FOR ALL TEN CHAPTERS
https://tinyurl.com/qpx7l8n

*****

ST. DAVID'S ACTS THURSDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY

Our theme this winter: 

"Jesus' Parables and Miracles" 
  (a total of 10 examples)

As recorded in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark 
and Luke and the Gospel of John

Ten Sessions - January 23rd-April 2nd, 2020

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

THE FINAL STUDY SESSIONS WILL BE HELD ONLINE

Study resource -

"The DK Complete Bible Handbook"
  Edited by John Bowker


http://tinyurl.com/odxlv7q
 

*****


​​​​​


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Colleagues List, May 24th, 2020

Vol XV. No. 42 Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2019                                                                                               ...