The newSpin newsletter, Dec. 29, 2011
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
• GTS, +KJS on CBS ... [Episcopal Café and Episcopal Church] In case you missed it, here is the video of the service broadcast around the U.S. on CBS on Christmas Eve from General Theological Seminary with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori preaching and onetime rector of Grace Allentown Father Pat Malloy providing liturgical direction and serving as officiant. Find text of the sermon here.
• Episcopal Church's new website ... The communication department of the Episcopal Church has a right to sound its horn for the complete transformation and redesign of its website, launched yesterday, December 28. Efficient and user friendly, it's also fun. Read about it here. Try it here.
• Each service has its own flavor ... [Carol Horton, writing at Bakery] Each of the services of Christmas has its own flavor and emphasis, and I look forward to all of them. At four on Christmas Eve it is the children and their families, the angels and shepherds and the setting up of the creche, with all it's awe and wonder. At 10 pm, the awe and wonder are still there, but the emphasis is on the mystery and complexity of it all. We welcome college students and other adults, along with teenagers who, in their own minds, have 'outgrown' the children's service. And in the cold light of morning, as we read John's prologue, the story expands and connects to before creation and farther into the future than any of us normally contemplate. It is a progression -- a dance -- I enjoy each year, and find that I continue to receive much more than I give. No matter which day of the week, that I get to do this as a priest still fills me with awe and wonder.
• Clergy families figure out how to handle the Christmas crunch ... [Andrew Gerns, writing at Bakery] While I certainly come out of these days tired, I am grateful for the way Christmas unfolds in our Prayer Book and lectionary. As for Christmas on a Sunday, I found that both the attendance and the atmosphere very worshipful and joyous. My family figured out long ago how to handle the Christmas crunch...just as we do Thanksgiving. Dad doing liturgy is part and parcel of what makes our family holidays complete. Every iteration of when Christmas falls in a week is challenging...and I don't prefer a Sunday Christmas Eve either...but God always manages to show up.
• From the Queen ... [Bishop Paul, writing at Bakery] The clearest public Christmas message I've seen – and from a lay person. Bless her heart. Read it here.