Friday, May 22, 2020

Colleagues List, May 24th, 2020

Vol XV. No. 42

Archive - Dec 2009 - Oct 2019                                                                                    

GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE                                          CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE

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

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Dear Friends:

This week I introduce for you a small but challenging
book entitled "Imagine a Joyful Economy" which respects 
science and theology with a focus on "creation ecology" 

It has recently been released by Wood Lake
publishing and I encourage you to consider it.

Thanks for your comments. They help me to determine
what material to share here.

May you have a blessed time of social re-entry in safety.
I am pleased that, as Canadians, we are doing this with
typical "care and moderation."


NOTE 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.



Book Notice -

by James Gustave Speth and
Peter Denton

Wood Lake Books,
Kelowna, BC 2020. 69 pages.
Papercover $12.00 CAD
Kindle $7.50 CAD
ISBN #978-1-77343-161-1

Publisher's Promo:

This book is a welcome addition to the emerging
discussions of integrating ecology, economics, politics,
ethics and values. It urges us to rethink how we create
thriving social and economic systems, for the flourishing
of the earth community.

James Gustave (Gus) Speth and Peter Denton – world 
experts in their respective fields – are two voices to which 
we should listen.

Co-chair of the Next System Project, Speth argues that 

despite victories in environmental law, habitat protection 
and conservation, the momentum of the destructive path 
we are on, driven by profit and the desire for perpetual 
growth, has only accelerated toward planetary catastrophe.

“We desperately need a new American Dream,” says Speth,
“a dream of an America where the pursuit of happiness is
sought not in more getting and spending, but in the growth
of human solidarity, devoted friendship, and meaningful
accomplishment; where the average person is empowered
to achieve his or her human potential; where the benefits of
economic activity are widely and equitably shared; where
democracy and civic participation flourish at all levels;
where the environment is sustained for current and future
generations; and, where the virtues of simple living,
community self-reliance, good fellowship, and respect
for nature predominate. These traditions do not always
prevail today, but they are not dead. They await us, and
indeed they are currently being awakened across America.”

Looking at Christianity’s role, Denton sees both complicity
in the destruction of the natural world, and the positive role
it could still play. “Faith is entirely personal and individual,
but it can also be collective and communal. Faith can
mobilize whole communities into action, to ends which
are both practical and which bring glory to God – and
which transform our world in the direction of a sustainable
future, one better choice at a time.”


Authors' Words:

Speth - in this book, I will explore the transition from a
joyless economy to a joyful one. In the joyful economy,
the goal of the economic life is to sustain, nourish and
restore human and natural communities, so that the
material and non-material blessings of life are available
to all. It is a new system that gives priority not to profit,
production and power, but rather to people, place and

Its watchword is caring - caring for each other, for the
natural world and for the future. I will argue that 
promoting such a new political economy should be
the central task of a new environmentalism... A utopian 
vision like this is what today's situation requires.


Denton - For Speth and others like me, it is now long 
past time for a transformational system change.

This is an idealistic proposal. Speth argues that without
such idealism, the practical problems we face will
paralyze us into further inaction. He offers a vision,
not a road map, of how to get there from here... only 
major system change, grounded in hope, has the
potential to avoid the inevitable disaster.

The failure to honour creation has been a major
weakness in Christianity from its beginnings. There
have been some exceptions to this, like St. Francis
of Assisi, but we have been more likely to objectify
and commodify the natural world, subjecting Nature
to the needs and desires of people like us, and blessing
those who dominated and destroyed it. We have put
man, rather than creation, at the centre of our thought.

We need a theological transformation to support 
claims advocating the centrality of creation.

For the required theological changes we need - both as
individuals and communities of faith - we must engage 
in practical ecological concerns at the local level -
rethinking lifestyle changes - since more theological 
talk by itself is pointless. Action complements thought.

This approach requires humans to be co-creators with God.

As Christians, our hope needs to be grounded in faith.
That faith is one that a better world is possible only
if we start working toward it ourselves. God will not 
solve the creation problems we face alone. God needs us.

We need to practice "Creation ecology" in the choices
we make. This faith is personal and individual, but
also collective and communal. It can mobilize us
and our communities into action.

If our faith quest is genuine, we will be joined by those
of other faiths and no declared faith as well.

Thomas Berry called this endeavor "the great work" -
and we will find we are joined in the process by all
the children of earth.

- a summary of written themes by both authors


Author' Bios:

James Gustave Speth, Author

James Gustave “Gus” Speth is a Senior Fellow at the Vermont Law School and at the Democracy Collaborative, where he serves as co-chair of the Next System Project. In 2009 he completed his decade-long tenure as Dean at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. From 1993 to 1999, Gus was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (Carter Administration); and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council.

Peter Denton, Author

Peter Denton is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada, with a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Sciences (McMaster). His 30-plus years of interdisciplinary teaching and research have focused on the nexus of science, technology, and society. Adjunct Associate Professor of History at the Royal Military College of Canada, he is the author or editor of six books, including Gift Ecology: Reimagining a Sustainable World (2012), Technology and Sustainability (2014) and Live Close to Home (2016) and, since 2015, also a regular contributor of pungent op eds to the Winnipeg Free Press. Involved in various roles since 2012 with the Civil Society Unit of the UN Environment (United Nations Environment Programme), in 2014 he was honoured as an elder among the Maasai for his ongoing development work in Kenya.

My Thoughts:

I believe that we are at an ideal time in our virus-confined
history to consider books like this. All humanity is facing
the same challenges of re-entry and re-building and now
is a good opportunity to go "back to the lifestyle drawing 
board" on a global scale. The set-backs we have been 
experiencing can actually be used as stepping stones to 
new life on a personal, national and international scale.

Of course there will be those who will want us to return to
"business as usual" - which at base is just business.

Here are voices to challenge solutions that will only take
us back to many of the problems we had before.

I see here a quest for values that we Canadians seek 
to reflect in our life together, and hope we will try to
defend and build on these values in the days ahead. 

This is not a large book, but its message is profoundly

I encourage you to consider the big ideas contained here.


Buy the book from:

Wood Lake Press:



Isabel Gibson,
Ottawa, ON

The Conversation,
May, 2020

"What Did Jesus Wear?"


Jim Taylor

Personal Web Log,
May 16th, 2020

"Beauty: Just Passing Through"


Mark Whittall,
Ottawa, ON

Sermons and Blog,
May 15th, 2020

"Like a Fish in Water"


Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site,
May 18th, 2020

"Facing Our Tough Hours"


Philip Yancey,

May 18th, 2020

"Praying All the Way to the Bank"


NET NOTES - May 21st

And How Do We Know?
by Joan Chittister

National Catholic Reporter,
May 20th, 2020


Perspectives from Various Traditions

Faith Today,
May 7th, 2020


Coronavirus Offers Unique Opportunities

New York Times,
May 13th, 2020


Famous Church Attracts First Visitors

Catholic Register, Toronto
May 18th, 2020


He Contributed Much to the Human Genome Project

Religion News Service,
May 20th, 2020


Setting an Example

May 13th, 2020


Different Pace in Different Countries

National Catholic Reporter,
May 19th, 2020


American Setting With General Lessons

The Christian Century,
May 18th, 2020


Their Source is the White House

Christianity Today
May 14th, 2020



Provided by Sojourners and the Bruderhof online:

Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable
excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust
and unworthy.

- Matthew Scully


Yet what are we? We breathe, we love, we cease: /
Too soon our little orbits change and fall: /
We are Fate's children, very tired; and all /
Are homeless strangers, craving rest and peace- /
And the days go by.  

- Henry Abbey


Love is not feeling, child, nor even the passion of lovers,
which always seeks only its own gratification. It is the
act of caring, of giving, the act of protecting the weak,
the helpless, the imprisoned and the desperate.

Love is the hand raised in defence. You cannot love
and keep your hands clean.

- Patricia Dunker


We wear masks out of our freedom to care for one another.
We stay home because in our freedom we don’t want to get
others sick. We don't reopen our church buildings just yet
because our freedom calls us to take care of not just 

ourselves,but instead turn toward the greater good of all. 

We continue to slow down and make wise choices out of 
our love for freedom.

- Jes Kast


Died May 20th, 1506

Globe and Mail
May 20th, 2020

In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean 

blue.It was a courageous thing to do … That’s a little rhyme 
that people of a certain age learned when they were taught 
that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. 

Such hogwash.

The North American and South American continents had 

been on their own since tectonic plates shifted about 200 
million years previously; their inhabitants had been there 
for thousands and thousands of years; and Vikings were 
in Newfoundland 600 years earlier.

What Columbus – an Italian explorer – really did on his 

four transatlantic voyages on behalf of Spain was open 
the New World for colonization and conquest. In his day, 
he was known for his ability to speak Latin, Portuguese 
and Castilian, for his skills as a seaman and navigator, 
for his determination, magnetism and endurance.

We now know there was a darker and crueller side. 

Columbus – a man of deeply held Catholic beliefs – 
enslaved and subjugated Indigenous people, particularly 
when he was viceroy and governor of the Indies. But he 
never achieved wealth or high status, and the latter years 
of his life were plagued with gout, flu, arthritis and likely
venereal disease. He died in Valladolid, Spain, on this day 
in 1506. He was 54 or 55.

– Philip King



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Colleagues List, May 24th, 2020

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