The newSpin newsletter, Nov. 28, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
We often talk about God's church having a mission. The truth is that God's mission has a church.
• Flood Relief in West Pittston ... [Janine Ungvarsky, FLOODCare Coordinator] Last Wednesday was moving day. More here. And furniture distribution here. 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.
• The Presiding Bishop on Occupy(ing Churches) ... From a recent sermon: What does Jesus tell his band of wanderers? He sends the 70 out two by two to every city where he plans to go himself. He SENDS them OUT. That’s where our word “mission” comes from. When they arrive in the mission field, they’re supposed to find some place that’s interested in hearing what they have to say, and then stay long enough to build some community and have an effective conversation. They’re supposed to start with good news of peace, and then share food, heal the sick, and tell about the coming reign of God. Our fall-back habits are rather different. For centuries we’ve depended on an established pattern of building beautiful churches and expecting that people will know where to find good news. That’s not quite the same as what Jesus told those 70 missionaries. Nor is the news that’s always proclaimed. We’ve often heard supposed Christians start out with words of damnation rather than peace – listen up, believe right, or you’re going to hell! And most of us still tend to think that a bit of bread and a sip of wine is the only meal that’s really needed, and that an hour on Sunday morning is enough to build the reign of God. Well it is and it isn’t. More here.
• Assorted Advent inspiration ... At Episcopal Café. Also see Expectant in Behlehem, Canon Anne Kitch's daily meditations. Find today's (Monday) and instructions on how to subscribe here. Finally, Observing Advent 'IRL' and Online by Dan Webster, here.
• Share your thoughts and observe Advent and Christmas through Episcopal Church social media ... Here.
• B16 to Africa's RC bishops ... [Andrew Brown, The Guardian] To make your message credible, see to it that your dioceses become models in the conduct of personnel, in transparency and good financial management. Do not hesitate to seek help from experts in auditing, so as to give a good example to the faithful and to society at large. More here.
• B16's version of liberation theology ... See below, under Roman Catholic.
• Radical thoughts from the first sermon of the new Bishop of Durham ... [Durham City News] ‘The idols of our age have fallen.” That was the inescapable message of the Right Reverend Justin Portal Welby’s first sermon as Bishop of Durham. The 55-year-old used the phrase from Durham Cathedral’s pulpit at least three times. Political and economic idols had been toppled, all the great institutions which people had trusted – including the church – had been left flatfooted and anyone who claimed authority seemed hollow, he thundered. Britain had moved from a nation state to a market state – and the switch had not worked, he continued. More here.