Welcome fellow Monday Night Book Study folks,

 This is a short cut site for our study of "The Book of Joy." Watch for weekly updates.


DECEMBER 30, 2018

ACTS is preparing for the worship service on January 13, 2019 when we will be recapping our fall Monday Night Book Study on "Book of Joy", featuring the prescription for joy followed by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu. 

Our Christmas book sale was successful with 34 titles purchased plus 15 new copies for the library. In total 50 hardcopies and 4 electronic versions of our Monday Night Book Study of "Book of Joy" were purchased last fall and, to date, 28 copies of the McLaren book along with 26 registrations have promised to make our winter study of "The Great Spiritual Migration: How the world's largest religion is seeking a better way to be Christian", beginning on January 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m, the place to be on Monday nights this winter. 

DECEMBER 9, 2018

St. David's Adult Spiritual Development Minister, Wayne Holst,  presented an update of ACTS Advent  book sale and of the plans for our upcoming Monday Night Book Study, set to begin on January 14, 2019. Word from Wayne is that there were 33 books sold for Christmas reading and Registration for Winter Book study is coming along nicely. Wayne will work with Kerry to determine our donations to the library. 

DECEMBER 2, 2018

The Annual Christmas Book Sale has once again provided some easy Christmas shopping. The books you bought are on order for pick up and promise to provide lots of enjoyable reading over the holiday. The book by Bruce McLaren, "The Great Spiritual Migration," is easy to read and will be the feature book for Monday Night Book Study in the winter, beginning in January. 

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Eleven short weeks ago we met to discuss a book that will bring joy to our hearts for a long time to come. Monday night, we concluded our study with an opening by Darlene and Frans H.and enjoyed a thoughtful and thorough summary by Ken K. before we heard the "last words" from Archbishop Tutu in a short but heartfelt closing video. Wayne, Jock, Marlene, Bonnae, Joan and I would like to thank you (St. David's ACTS committee) for giving us the opportunity to draw us together on Monday nights. Whatever will we do until January!!

We will be studying the book by Bruce McLaren, "The Great Spiritual Migration," during our winter session beginning in January. We hope you will join us. Be sure to check below for our final Session file attachment. 

NOVEMBER 19, 2018

An amazing thing happens when a group of people come together with a single focus and spend two hours together, listening, sharing and viewing!! We had it all on Monday Night from Sheryl's opening prayers to Mike Grammer's thoughtful closing on Generosity.  

Next Monday will be session #10 and the last session of the fall season. Joan has volunteered to open and, as what has become a bit of a tradition, Ken K. will be closing with his always thoughtful summary of where we've been and what we've been doing. 

Readings for next week are: Compassion: Something We Want to Become - p. 251 and     Generosity: We Are Filled with Joy - page 263. We will leave the final segments of the book for you to determine their usefulness to you. Celebration, Departure and Joy Practices, pages 277-348 are filled with the joy that emanates from Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama. 

NOVEMBER 12, 2018

Last night started and ended right on time! Some would question the truth of the matter but as our mentor, Marjorie Gibson, would say "Truth is this to me and that to you." (via A. Tennyson) It is hard to believe we have only 2 sessions left. Thanks to Cindy Stevenson who opened and closed for us last night. Wayne's focus with Jock's video complements was on Humor and Acceptance, two of the four pillars of joy of the mind. Jock added the lyrics for the song Cindy used as an opening. 

Next week, read Forgiveness: Freeing Ourselves from the Past - page 229

                         Gratitude: I Am Fortunate to Be Alive - page 241

                        Opening is Sheryl S. and Closing is Mike G. (generosity) 

NOVEMBER 5, 2018

We had an opportunity to consider the Pillars of Joy of Perspective and Acceptance, two pillars of the mind. Frans and Darlene opened with "Ode to Joy" review. We had to improvise a little because our computer refused to talk to our projector. With Colin and Deb's help, plus Colin's computer, we were able to marshall onward, however we had to sing 'a cappella'. Deb closed with a reflection on the Pillar of Joy - Gratitude. Opening and closing on November 12 is being contributed by Cindy S. 

OCTOBER 30, 2018

Discussion last night was amazing as we shared our thinking about obstacles to joy like suffering and adversity, illness and death. Fran B. opened our evening with a very pertinent reading and Betty S. led our closing meditation on the pillar of joy of Forgiveness, the first of four pillars of joy of the heart. The video segment with which she concluded her presentation can be watched in its entirety by uploading the link provided near the end of the evening's keynote presentation. 

A particular focus that drew lots of participation was the presence of mentors in our lives. We have all been blessed in one way or another with guidance, sometimes given deliberately and sometimes unknown to the mentor. Next week we will be dealing with the chapter entitled Meditation: Now I'll Tell You a Secret Thing and then we willl begin a perusal of Days 4 and 5 of the dialogue between Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama:: 1. Perspective - page 193, 2. Humility: page 203. 

Opening will be Frans and Darlene and Closing will be Deb. C. 

OCTOBER 23, 2018

Session #5 of our current book study was opened by Margie O. with a very informative video that illustrated how kindness maps out in our psyches. Both the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu suggest that we are "hardwired" for compassion and Margie's video concurred. 

Aileen, then, presented an historical chronology of how brain/mind/spirit/soul have evolved in conceptual understanding over time. Thank you to both Margie and Aileen for your input.

Our study for last night focussed on further obstacles to joy - namely despair, loneliness and envy. Wayne led us through the readings and several opportunities for discussion brought up a broad range of opinion. As usual break was most enthusiastic and getting the group back to task was not all that easy. However, the videos selected by Jock added to Wayne's content. If you missed Session #5 you can spend time viewing it by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

The meditation closing last night on the pillar of joy, Acceptance, was my undertaking and using quotes from the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu as well as the suggested meditation in our book, we spent several minutes contemplating a challenge in our personal lives, realizing that we can't know all the factors leading to the obstacles in our lives, that was has occured is in the past and to make the most positive contribution to our obstacle, we ultimately must accept the reality of its existence. Spend time with me this week with the powerpoint. 

Next week we will consider suffering, adversity, illness and fear of death as obstacles to joy and will consider the role of forgiveness as a pillar of joy. Opening will be Fran. B and closing, Betty S.  

OCTOBER 20, 2018

Check out the attachment added to the Calgary Alliance for the Common Good. There is a message to all who attended the Action Assembly at B'Nai Tikvah on Tuesday, October 16. St. David's was very well represented. 

OCTOBER 16, 2018

We laughed a lot at Book Study last night - all 38 of us!! Opening was by Jack M. who led us through a series of readings and closed with prayer, setting the pace for the remaining time. Sheryl S. closed with a number of vignettes about the role of humour in her life and, as we listened and laughed, we could remember incidents (Obstacles to Joy) in our own lives where humour brought relief and JOY. Thank you, very much, Jack and Sheryl. 

In between our opening and closing, and broken up by Marlene's Break snacks, we listened and learned about Mind and Brain, Soul and Spirit (See Wayne's Handout file below), then about Fear, Stress, Anxiety, Frustration, Anger, Sadness and Grief - all major obstacles to joy as discussed by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Tutu and Doug Abrams. We viewed a series of videos selected by Jock, including an excerpt from the movie, "Inside Out." 

In all, we laughed, we learned, we shared (discussions were fabulous) and now we have three more obstacles to Joy to consider: Despair 9 (page 115), Loneliness (page 125) and Envy (page 135), Margie Oakander will open and Brenda Wallace (that's me) will close. See you next week. 

OCTOBER 2, 2018

Session #3 of Monday Night Book Study brought together 30 of us to discuss pleasure, joy, masterpiece creation and humility. "Have you renounced pleasure?" challenged us to consider where our treasures lie - from page 54, "So when joy arises at the level of your mind (love, compassion and generosity) and not just your senses, you can maintain a deep sense of satisfaction." (Dalai Lama)

"Our Greatest Joy" chapter suggested that "Joy is a way of approaching the world." Archbishop Tutu contends that we are wired to be compassionate.

After break, we viewed a Ted Talk that gave us further knowledge of Ubuntu which suggests "A person is a person through other persons." Later he tells us that peace must come from within. 

Page 71 - In answering the question about what we must do about intolerance and fanaticism, the Dalai Lama says, "Education and wider contact are really the only solutions." This meeting of the minds and hearts of the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama is certainly walking the talk!

"You are a Masterpiece in the Making" leads us to "unpack" the role of our own mind and heart in how we react to events in our life. Our solution is Mental Immunity and both the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama offer suggestions as to how we deal with obstacles to joy. 

Our meditation last night focussed on the Pillar of Joy of the Mind of Humility. Two questions directed our simplified Lojong meditation: Reflect on all the people (and institutions, etc. ) that are responsible for your life and then allow your heart to open and experience love and appreciation for all of these people. 

Next week is Thanksgiving Monday - enjoy your holiday. October 15 our reading assignment is a continuing look at the Obstacles to Joy: Fear, Stress and Anxiety (page 93), Frustration and Anger (page 101) and Sadness and Grief (page 109)

Jack M. will be opening and Sheryl S. will lead us through an examination of Humour as the third Pillar of Joy of the Mind. 

I have uploaded Session #3 which you can find by returning to ACTS ministry page and clicking on The Book of Joy, upper left hand corner or scrolling down to the bottom of this page.  

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018

Check out the short cut to our current Monday Night Book Study by clicking on the relevant page on the upper left side of the screen. 

Our second evening focussed on three major themes, related to our three assigned readings. The first theme was Arrival as we explored the brief history of bringing these two wise men together on the occasion of the Dalai Lama's 80th birthday. The second theme was built around the answer to the question, "Why are you not Morose?" and the third was "Nothing Beautiful Come Without Suffering."

We will be exploring using a microphone for our Session #3 next week. We have to guarantee that all of us can hear easily.

Thank you, Joan, for your input last night and we look forward to Sally's opening next week. We will be exploring each of the eight pillars of joy identified by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu during our evenings. Joan led us in a meditation on  PERSPECTIVE and next week we will be following the journey to HUMILITY. 


Thursday Morning Bible Study is hard at work with their study of Hebrew Wisdom. Next week they will be studying Proverbs chapters 1-9. Read the article on Marriage and Family in Ancient Israel DK pp. 186-7.

If you wish to explore the other books we've studied Monday Night, visit http:// www.1journey.net . As well you are welcome to visit Wayne's Blog which is http://colleagueslistii.blogspot.com 

Thank you for checking in on our SDUC.ca site.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2018

Thirty-six people gathered in the T.M. Room for Monday Night Book Study where we launched into the study of "The Book of Joy" with Doug Adams, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Leadership involved Wayne, Jock and Brenda - each contributing to the evening's study. 

Opening and Closing will be a little different this semester, with "openers" providing a short reading or prayer and "closers" focussing on one of the eight pillars of joy as discussed by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Thank you to the volunteers. Joan Gray will open and Brenda and she will work on the closing. 

Jock and Brenda will be uploading last night's powerpoint to our website. Stay tuned. P.S. Read up to the end of "Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Some Suffering." P. 51


ACTS Ministry Bible Study – Part One,  Autumn, 2018 - Background and Design for Our Bible Study Group

We return to study two books of Hebrew Wisdom Literature – Proverbs and the Song of Songs (or) The Song of Solomon (used interchangeably). The former book, we have not studied before, and the latter, we have. Here is the full list of Hebrew Wisdom appearing in most Protestant bibles – Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and The Song of Songs. Catholic bibles include two other books -The Book of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus/Ben Sirach. While all these books appear in the New Jerusalem Bible we will study only the first two noted above. They provide a rich and varied representation of them all. 

For a good description of The Wisdom Books please consult DK pages 169-193. Please try to read all these articles as we go through the 9 sessions this fall. Some will be assigned as special readings. 

The Book of Proverbs and the Song of Songs

The background information for the 31 chapters of Proverbs is to be found in DK pp. 184-185. The background material for the 8 chapters of the Song of Solomon – see DK pp. 190-191. Proverbs and the Song of Songs are the core collection of wise sayings in this part of the Bible.They are both attributed to “wise” King Solomon, son of the major king of Israel, David.

Proverbs are succinct, witty and pungent reflections on life. They seem to have emerged from the heady discussions of the royal court. The vast majority of these sayings have no connection with religion or faith, but are a matter of good common sense. From time to time it is stated that “all wisdom comes from Yahweh.” Other wise selections have been added to this particular collection.

The Song of Songs means “The greatest of all songs” and is love poetry. It has long been interpreted as an allegory describing the love of God for God’s people. In fact, this collection is very secular in nature. The passionate imagery is sometimes startling, but each image expresses a quality of love that still rings true today.

Key Themes of Proverbs and Song of Songs: A Study Design (for sessions one thru five) 

September 20th (Introducing Hebrew Wisdom - Discuss especially DK pp. 170-171.)

September 27th (Proverbs chapters 1-9) Instructions, warnings and hymns to wisdom; quite theological (Read the article on Marriage and Family in Ancient Israel DK pp. 186-7)

October 4th (Proverbs chapters 10-22) Wealth and poverty. Wise and foolish behaviour. (Read the article on Life After Death DK pp. 178-179)

October 11th (Proverbs chapters 23-24) Material perhaps borrowed from Egyptian texts.

October 18th (Proverbs chapters 25-29) Wisdom ascribed to Solomon, post-exilic interpretation.

Dates and topics may be adjusted. 


Bonnae McTavish was our representative at the lectern on Sunday morning while Wayne and Marlene were on hand to take registrations and sell books for our Monday Night Book Study. We have 37 registrants thus far and ACTS team met on Friday to plan for the fall program. 


Sunday, ACTS member, Joan Gray, was a minute speaker for our committee. She announced three upcoming events for ACTS: Monday night, September 10, St. David's Spiritual Travellers will be gathering at St. David's to share memories from their trip to South Africa and view the powerpoint prepared by Jock M. merging the many pictures taken during the trip, on Thursday morning, September 13 at 9:30 Bible Study will commence and on Monday night, September 17, the first of 10 sessions of our Monday Night Book Study will begin.

The first shipment of books, "The Book of Joy" (documenting the week spent together by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu - the focus of the Monday Night Book Study) has been sold out with more on order.