Many parts, one body

A significant part of Father Raniero Cantalamessa’s Good Friday homily from St. Peter’s emphasized spiritual and ecumenical unity within Christendom.

It was a passionate, visionary call for all religious groups to put asides petty differences to focus on Jesus of Nazareth.

Cantalamessa’s call for unity conjured St. Paul’s ‘many parts, but one body’ speech in 1 Corinthians and brought to mind a recent email message about an amazing Lego church.

. . . a year and a half of planning, building and photographing.

. . . more than 75,000 pieces of Lego.

. . . features a balcony, a Narthex, stairs to the balcony, restrooms, coat rooms, several mosaics, a nave, a baptistery, an altar, a crucifix, a pulpit and an elaborate pipe organ.

The Lego Abston Church of Christ – one amazing structure made up of many parts and a testament to human imagination and faith.

Photo courtesy – Amy Hughes


Jesus Unplugged

Whether it is digging for ossuraries, holy shrouds, sacred scrolls or holy grails, humanity continues its quest for the historical Jesus.

Yet all of our 21st Century science and sophisticated technology will likely never completely be able to answer the fundamental question of whether or not the carpenter’s son from Nazareth was divine.

Like the early gospel writers – film directors have also attempted to portray various ‘faces’ of Jesus. They tend to run the gamit from the azure-eyed, self-assured, placid Jesus in Jesus of Nazareth to Mel Gibson’s horrific pulvervized Jesus in The Passion of the Christ.

In trying to define what cannot be defined, to prove what cannot be proven, one is reminded of the words from the Gospel of John, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

World’s slowest computer

Another one of the joys of March break and the summer for teachers is having the time to reflect on instructional strategies, best practice etc.

Yes, the ‘edublogosphere’ has been rife with discussion and use of the new read and write technologies of the Internet. The sheer volume of and speed at which information now travels and the accompanying techno-jargon is causing me ‘psychic vertigo’ (did I just coin this phrase?)

In the United States the Long Now Foundation seeks to promote slower, better (long term) thinking and to foster creativity and responsibility. One of the foundation’s main goals is to construct a 10,000-year clock. It has purchased desert mountain land in eastern Nevada where the clock would be built in white limestone cliffs at 10,000 feet elevation.

The World Clock is also a real ‘mind-bender’ as it quickly drives home the point of how humans attempt to quantify the tsunami of data that threatens to drown them.

Faster CPUs and more RAM may give us superficial answers more quickly, but the thoughtful and most fruitful answers still require the precious commodity . . . of time . . . thoughts?

The redemptive power of social networking

The recent news out of Vatican City – Thou shalt not pollute or clone – illustrates not only our inter-connectedness and the fragility of our planet, it provides another window of opportunity to challenge our students to join the discussion and action regarding the effects of climate change.

One such opportunity is to encourage them to view and respond to creative and provocative artwork like the video – Airsick: Industrial devolution by Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk. Oleniuk captures the issue of global warming by using 20,000 still images in the lead up to Earth Hour – 8 pm on March 29, 2008.

The possibilities are limitless: creating and posting their own photo/video montage on any one of numerous social-networking web sites or blogs, hooking up with initiatives such as –Zerofootprint/University of Waterloo – that helps individuals measure and reduce their carbon footprint and network with other individuals and organizations working towards environmental sustainability.

Photo courtesy –

Keywords: social networking, environment, sustainability

Pandering or preaching to the converter?

The late media savvy Pope John Paul II was a master at harnessing the electronic media and recognizing its value in helping spread the gospel message to the multitudes.

Though I am beginning to wonder if his willingness to use communication technology to engage and inspire the faithful was lost on the rest of the Holy See.

An online ad for Audio Visual Mart reads, “Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced the occasional sleeper on Sunday morning. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Technology can inspire your congregation in new ways.”

A growing number of pastors and ministers are tired of competing with the Internet, MTV and video games and are taking a long look at the exploding market of what is being called ‘house of worship technology’.

Fed up with dwindling congregations and disconnected parishioners, some church community leaders are raising funds to wire their houses of worship with large video screens, state-of-the-art sound systems and digital video cameras. Some use video clips from popular films to illustrate and comment on the weekly Bible readings while recording – then later uploading the entire service to the Internet.

Is this pandering, simply preaching to the converted or a bold attempt to wrestle the TV converter from the hands of their weekly audience members?

What do you think?

Sources: Is Jesus the next killer app?
Photo Credit: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration