The newSpin newsletter, October 27, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
Are you not ready to think of the future until it has become the present? I hope not, because by then it's too late. –Barbara Crafton
• He Blessed the Bread ... This video was produced by Kat Lehman, Director of Communication and Information Technology for the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, for the 140th Diocesan Convention in conjunction with the Congregational Renewal Committee. It's a movie made out of the slideshow shown at Diocesan Convention. It's Kat's first attempt at something like this. Kudos Kat.
• Flood Relief in West Pittston ... [Father John Major] As our neighbors work to recover from the devastating September floods, Trinity West Pittston has continued to look for ways to help meet their most immediate material needs and to remind them that they are not alone in their struggles. Projects are underway to distribute the gift cards that were donated at the recent Diocesan Convention and that are continuing to come in from collections held in individual parishes throughout the diocese. Our sincere thanks to those who have already contributed cards for our neighbors, and to those who are continuing to collect cards and forward them to us for distribution. These cards are much needed and appreciated, and will go a long way towards easing the financial burden our neighbors face as a result of the flood. More here.
• Diocesan Convention election results ... Here.
• Diocesan Convention resolutions passed ... Here.
• Diocesan Convention Address ... [Bishop Paul] My message to the convention this year is quite simple: (1) These are demanding times and we must continue to care for each other in every way we can, patiently, letting our gentleness show. (2) The times also give us the opportunity to clarify or perhaps discover our deepest values and then be sure those values are what we pursue. (3) The times give us the ultimate gift of reminding us that we can do all things, all things, through Christ who strengthens us. Read it all here.
• Come to the Mountain ... [Sermon at Diocesan Convention Eucharist, Bishop John Croneberger] How is God’s voice being spoken to us this day? Can you hear it? Can you share it? Can you do it? What if it’s not popular or politic? I call upon you this day, at this convention and Eucharist to come to the mountain...to hear the voice of God. Be careful now, for if you hear God’s voice, you will inevitably be called to keep God’s covenant. And not just the “Do you believe” but also the “Will you continue, will you persevere? Will you proclaim, will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, will you strive for justice and peace among all people?” More here. It appears also in the November Diocesan Life.
• Diocesan Life, November ... available here.
• Joint Eucharist with the United Methodist Church ... Sunday, Nov. 6, Cathedral, 4:00 p.m. More here.
• Executive Council says no to Anglican Covenant ... Here.
• Happening 20, Nov. 11-13 ... Here. Registration deadline is Friday.
• Renewal Assembly III: Finding Your Voice ... will take place in eight locations on Nov. 12. The format will be the same as the previous two with a video, prayer, discussion and lunch and will be over by 1:00 p.m. Registration (and more information) is now open online. More info here.
• Mother Hillary Raining ... has moved with husband Ken and their daughter Delia from Trinity Bethlehem to Wayne in the Diocese of Pennsylvania where she will be associate rector at St. David's Church.
• Flood Relief ... Right now, monetary donations are the best method of helping so that gift cards can be purchased for food and household goods. You may send checks payable to The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, memo line: Flood Relief. 333 Wyandotte St., Bethlehem, PA 18015. Also see "Flood Relief in West Pittston," above, under TopSpin.
• Diocesan Convention Address ... [Bishop Paul] See above, under TopSpin
• Sermon at Diocesan Convention Eucharist ... [Bishop Croneberger] See above, under TopSpin.
• Pastoral presence at Occupy Wall Street ... [John Hartman, rector, Grace Kingston] I’m wondering is anybody from DioBeth (clergy or laity) anticipating going to Occupy Wall Street (i.e., a pastoral presence)? I ask because I’d like to spend a day or two there. I could probably arrange for us to stay at Seamen’s Church on Water Street. See recent Episcopal News Service story. Contact Father Hartman.
• Diocesan Convention election results and resolutions passed ... See above, under TopSpin.
• Diocesan Life, November ... available here.
• At Grace Honesdale ... Halloween parade fun. Here.
• Week Notes from the Cathedral Church of the Nativity ... Oct. 21, here. I have been publishing links to the weekly electronic newsletters of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity here as well as Grace Allentown, Prince of Peace Dallas, and Trinity Easton below, because these seem to me to be attractive, newsy, helpful and user friendly. The Cathedral's newsletter is created with ChurchPost that, through a diocesan contract, is available free to all parishes. There may be other weekly electronic newsletters, besides these four, that might be looked at. If you might recommend others, please let me know. Thanks. Bill
• Weekly update from Grace Allentown ... Oct. 20, here.
• Weekly news from Prince of Peace Dallas ... Oct. 21, here.
• Weekly news from Trinity Easton ... Oct. 21, here.
• Financial Sanity Seminar at Trinity Easton ... [Canon Andrew Gerns] Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28. Here.
• Concert Series, 2011-2012, at Trinity Bethlehem ... Here.
• Christmas bazaar at St. Luke's Lebanon ... Nov. 19. Here.
• DioBeth looking for parish photographers ... Is here a budding photographer in your congregation? Maybe a high school student interested in photography or someone who has taken it up as a hobby? We are looking for people, ideally one in every parish, who would be willing to take photographs of events and share them with us on the diocesan Flickr site as well as for Diocesan Life. They get full photo credits and much appreciation from the staff here for their willingness. The more the merrier. Please contact Kat Lehman who will give you tips and guidelines for how to shoot church events and the format needed for print publications.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• DioBeth Website ... newSpin Blog ... Re:Create blog – for youth and young adults ... Twitter.DioBeth ... Twitter.Kat Lehman ... Facebook.DioBeth ... Flickr, search under dio_beth
• Public news and info lists ... At the Diobeth website , enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box on the right hand side. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
• 150 years ago, a primitive Internet united the USA ... [AP] Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired. Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War. Americans soon saw that a breakthrough in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives. More here. [h/t Andrew Gerns]
• St. Paul's Cathedral and Occupy London ... The website of St. Paul's Cathedral has posted the news that The Reverend Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Chancellor, has resigned from his post. This seems to stem from an apparent split with The Dean and some within the Chapter over the response to Occupy London. The Times reported earlier that the Church of Englnd chancellor would resign if the Cathedral moves to evict Occupy London protesters. More here.
• Personality typology as prayer fodder ... [Episcopal Café] Here.
• For Bishop Mark Dyer ... Bishop Mark had quadruple by-pass surgery on Monday. He is still in the hospital but doing well.
• Praying the News is a blog by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Here.
• The Daily Office ... with the Mission St. Clare. Now available for iPhone and iPad.
• With The Book of Common Prayer ... Here.
• For our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families ... Check the newSpin blog for an update. Better still, at the "Get Connected" box on the right side of our diocesan website, fill in your name and email address, and click on "My Groups." In the next window, check "Pray for." Then, you will receive the weekly update by email.
• The Vatican meets the Wall Street occupiers ... [Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr., Oct. 26] Is Pope Benedict XVI joining the protest movement? The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace issued a strong and thoughtful critique of the global financial system this week that paralleled many of the criticisms of unchecked capitalism that are echoing through Lower Manhattan and cities around the world. ... Needless to say, Catholic conservatives were not happy with the document, and they did all they could to minimize its importance. More here.
• Mormonism: Abrahamic or Judeo-Christian ... [RNS Roundup, Oct. 27] Mark Silk parses the difference, such as it is. And the New York Times discovers a new species, "hipster" Mormons.
• Zombie 'Sightings' ... What can we learn as scholars, theologians, clergy, or citizens in a society with zombies on the brain? Here.
• Don't blink! The hazards of confidence ... [NYTimes Magazine, Oct. 23] True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes. You are probably an expert in guessing your spouse’s mood from one word on the telephone; chess players find a strong move in a single glance at a complex position; and true legends of instant diagnoses are common among physicians. To know whether you can trust a particular intuitive judgment, there are two questions you should ask: Is the environment in which the judgment is made sufficiently regular to enable predictions from the available evidence? The answer is yes for diagnosticians, no for stock pickers. Do the professionals have an adequate opportunity to learn the cues and the regularities? The answer here depends on the professionals’ experience and on the quality and speed with which they discover their mistakes. Anesthesiologists have a better chance to develop intuitions than radiologists do. Many of the professionals we encounter easily pass both tests, and their off-the-cuff judgments deserve to be taken seriously. In general, however, you should not take assertive and confident people at their own evaluation unless you have independent reason to believe that they know what they are talking about. Unfortunately, this advice is difficult to follow: overconfident professionals sincerely believe they have expertise, act as experts and look like experts. You will have to struggle to remind yourself that they may be in the grip of an illusion. Read it all here.
• The new TENS ... The Episcopal Network for Stewardship's new website, offering stewardship resources for congregational leaders. Here and Here.
• Peace on the Go ... Newsletter of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Oct. 27. Here.
• Diocese of New York will elect bishop coadjutor on Saturday, Oct. 29 ... The candidates are • the Very Rev. Peter Eaton, 53, dean of St. John's Cathedral, Denver, Colorado; • the Rev. Canon John Harmon, 47, rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.; • the Very Rev. Tracey Lind, 57, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio; and • the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon, 58, bishop-in-charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. Incumbent New York Bishop Mark S. Sisk on Nov. 13, 2010, called for the election of a bishop coadjutor who will eventually succeed him. According to the Episcopal Church's constitution (Article II, Sec. 1), a bishop diocesan must retire within three years of the consecration of a bishop coadjutor. The mandatory retirement age for Episcopal clergy is 72. Sisk, 68, would reach that age limit on Aug. 18, 2014.
• Executive Council says no to Anglican Covenant ... Here.
• Episcopal Church website ... Episcopal Church on Twitter ... Episcopal News Service ... ENS on Twitter ... NewsLine ... News & Notices ... Infoline ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• NEPA Synod E-News ... Oct. 21, here. NEPA Synod website ... Here. ELCA website ... Here. ELCA News Service ... Here. ELCA's blogs may be found here. See especially "Web and Multimedia Development."
• UMC website Here. News Service Here. Communication Resources Start here. Communication newsletter (tips and tools) Here. Eastern PA Conference website Here. Facebook Here. Bishop Peggy Johnson's blog Here.
• Hundreds of thousands of babies taken ... [BBC] Reverberations continue from the BBC story about the legacy of "stolen babies" in Franco's Spain -- hundreds of thousands of infants taken from parents considered morally suspect or otherwise undesirable, often with the complicity of Catholic clergy and religious. More here.
• Ecumenism: yes, but no ... [RNS Roundup, Oct. 27] Pope Benedict XVI told representatives of the world's religions - as well as non-believers - gathered today in Assisi that all faiths must continue to "purify" themselves of any tendency to violence and terrorism, and that goes for his own Catholic Church as well: "It is the task of all who bear responsibility for the Christian faith to purify the religion of Christians again and again from its very heart, so that it truly serves as an instrument of God's peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans." The pontiff also pointed to the "denial of God" as a cause of "violence that knows no bounds," but perhaps his most interesting comments were in his welcome to agnostics, who he said "ask questions of both sides" and are "pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace." The interfaith gathering with some 300 other believers and a few agnostics comes 25 years after the late John Paul II launched the first international prayer meeting for peace in the birthplace of St. Francis. Benedict was not a fan of the way that first encounter unfolded, and its interreligious optics, and he made sure there would be no joint prayer at this event. He pledged to "do everything I can to make a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event impossible," and to make sure everyone knows that the Catholic Church is the only true path to salvation.
• Vatican calls for new global financial authority amid financial crisis ... [CNN Belief Blog] Against the backdrop of the European debt crisis and the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Vatican on Monday called for a new “global public authority” to help reform the world’s finance and economic systems. New ideologies are “reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, (placing) the future of democratic institutions themselves at risk," said Roman Catholic Bishop Mario Toso at a Monday press conference. The document, called "Towards reforming the international financial and monetary systems in the context of a global public authority" quotes former Pope John Paul II in bemoaning the “idolatry of the market.” Here. Catholic conservative columnist George Weigel, however, says: This brief document from the lower echelons of the Roman Curia no more aligns “the Vatican,” the Pope, or the Catholic Church with Occupy Wall Street than does the Nicene Creed. Those who suggest it does are either grossly ill-informed or tendentious to a point of irresponsibility. And Kathryn Lopez calls it a bureaucratic curial note, not a papal document. Finally, Catholic conservatives may have more in common with their liberal counterparts than they'd like to think, as a sweeping new survey finds that both right, left and center tend to pick and choose which church teachings they'll adhere to. The cafeteria is getting crowded, as the National Catholic Reporter details. USA Today says: One in four Americans call themselves Catholic, but a survey finds this is more a cultural brand label for many than a religious identity.
• Diocese of Allentown ... Here. Diocese of Scranton ... Here. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops ... Here. Catholic News Service ... Here. Vatican website ... Here. Vatican Information Service blog ... Here. Vatican News/Info Portal ... Here.
• PBS in Education ... Here.
• How zombies and superheroes conquered highbrow fiction ... [The Atlantic] For decades, serious American fiction writers trafficked in in realistic tales, simply told. In 2004, however, writer Michael Chabon voiced discontent at realism's hold on literary fiction. In the introduction to McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories, Chabon called for a new American literature that would “haunt the boundary lines, the margins, the secret shelves between the sections in the bookstore.” Here.
• The Daily Office from MissionStClare. Now available for iPhone and iPad.
• The Lectionary Page ... Here. This is a new URL. Update your bookmarks or favorites.
• The Lectionary ... Here.
• Oremus Bible Browser ... Here.
• Revised Common Lectionary ... Vanderbilt.
• Plain-talk Bible debuts ... [The Christian Century] The Common English Bible, the newest Bible on the block, is what the name suggests—a translation into commonly spoken English. It is not the first edition to move in that direction. But it's probably the first to use contractions so extensively—whether it's King David, Jesus or Paul speaking. Except when announcing the Ten Commandments, even God says "don't" in giving Moses added prohibitions for the Israelites. This new Bible is not as wordy as others—about 30,000 fewer words—apparently because of its use of contractions and its attention to sentence length, among other factors. Here.
• Church Health Center ... The Church Health Center is the new home of the International Parish Nurse Resource Center. Newsletter here. [h/t Diana Marshall]
• Shingles ... [Center for Disease Control and Prevention] The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain that can follow shingles is to get vaccinated. A vaccine for shingles is licensed for persons aged 60 years and older. Here. [h/t Diana Marshall]
• Nov. 1 ... Deacon Ordination, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 7:00 p.m.
• Nov. 6 ... Joint Episcopal and Methodist Service, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 4:00 p.m. More here.
• Nov. 11-13 ... Happening Retreat by Youth for Youth, grades 9-12, at Kirby House.
• Nov. 12 ... Renewal Assembly III, at eight locations, 9 to 1:30.
• Jan. 6 ... Ordination, St. Stephen's, Wilkes-Barre 7:00 p.m.
• Jan. 21 ... Bishop's Day with Youth, grades 6-12.
• March 24 ... Diocesan Training Day, St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre 9:00 to 3:00.
• March 29 ... Chrism Mass, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem 11:00 a.m.
• April 20-22 ... Christophany Retreat, grades 6-12, at Pocono Plateau Retreat, Cresco.
• May 16 ... Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting, Kirby House 9:00 to 2:30.
• May 20 ... St. Matthew's Society Gathering, Lehigh Country Club, Allentown 3:00 p.m.
• June 1-3 ... Vocare Retreat for Young Adults, Kirkridge.
• June 30 ... Bishop's Day with Kids
• July 5-12 ... 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Indianapolis.
• July 28 ... Bishop's Day with Kids
• Summer ... Senior High Mission Trip. Dates and destination TBA.
• The Diocese of Bethlehem on Twitter and Facebook ... http://twitter.com/#!/Diobeth ... https://www.facebook.com/DioceseOfBethlehem
• Kat Lehman on Twitter ... http://twitter.com/#!/KatLehman
• Episcopal News Service on Twitter ... http://twitter.com/#!/episcopal_news
Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Faith in Public Life ... here.
(1) The Lead, Episcopal Cafe
(2) Daily Episcopalian, Episcopal Cafe
(4) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
You are reading the newSpin newsletter. The newSpin blog, which includes the newsletter and other items, is available here. When the newsletter is completed on Mondays and occasionally, more often than not, on Thursdays as well, it is published immediately to the blog and on Bakery and on a ChurchPost list of some 1,000 addresses. Many recipients forward it to many more. Bakery and the blog are interactive. The ChurchPost list is not. The newsletter comes, of course, with some spin from the editor. The views expressed, implied or inferred in items or links contained in the newsletter or the blog do not represent the official view of the Diocese of Bethlehem unless expressed by or forwarded from the Bishop or the Archdeacon as an official communication. If you're wondering why you haven't seen something related to your parish or agency here, it's probably because no one has sent relevant info. Regarding items about your parish or agency as well as feedback on any other items ... send email to Bill.
Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
Communication Minister/Editor (1986-2010), Canon Theologian (1998)
Blog , Email (c)610-393-1833
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]