The newSpin Newsletter, Feb. 27, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
• Diocesan Training Day ... The annual Diocesan Training Day is now open for online registration. The event, Saturday, March 24 at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre will feature 12 workshops from a variety of ministries. Registration and more info here. Vestry members and Finance Commission members are especially encouraged to attend the Wardens/Vestry 101 Workshop led by Bishop Paul and Archdeacon Stringfellow: An introduction for new wardens and vestry members, or a refresher for experienced vestry members to the roles, responsibilities, and realities of parish leadership. We will look at canons, models, strategies, and resources to assist the elected leaders of parishes.
• Grace Kingston seeks part-time sexton ... Here.
• March 2 Episcopal webinar forcuses on social media as hospitality ... Social Media as Hospitality is the topic of the next Digital Formation webinar, slated for March 2 at 1 pm Eastern (noon Central, 11 Mountain, 10 Pacific). Pre-registration is required. To register for the free webinar: http://digitalformation.eventbrite.com. A joint program of the General Theological Seminary (GTS) of the Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church Office of Communication, Digital Formation is an educational series for clergy and laity to understand and appreciate the importance of the use and effects of social media in the church as well as its theological foundations and implications. More here.
• DioBeth GC Deputies blog ... A vehicle for communication created by the deputation of the Diocese of Bethlehem to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church to be held July 5-12th, 2012 in Indianapolis. Here.
• Trinity West Pittston flips out over pancakes ... [Janine Ungvarsky] On Shrove Tuesday, Trinity West Pittston flipped out, serving 600 pancakes in just over three hours at our 8th Annual Pancake, Egg and Sausage Supper. The dining hall was filled with a steady stream of neighbors, friends and parishioners all enjoying the pancake flipping skills of Father John Major, who manned the griddle for the evening. The event was a great success, thanks to the nearly two dozen Trinity parishioners and friends of the parish who served food, kept coffee pots and syrup pitchers filled and made sure the guests all left happy and full. A number of the guests at the pancake dinner were local residents affected by the September flooding, who were provided complimentary tickets courtesy of donations. The event got an honorable mention in an article about Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday that ran in the Times Leader the following day.
• Christ Church Stroudsburg welcomes new rector ... [Pocono Record] Here.
• Ashes on the go in Kingston ...Here.
• Diarmaid MacColluch on the Anglican Covenant ... [Episcopal Café] The Anglican Covenant is bad theology for many reasons: the most important of which is that it gives to central bodies the authority to decide who is fully an Anglican, in a way that offends every canon of Anglican history. It also makes an elementary mistake about discipline in our tradition. There is no question but that the Covenant originated in a wish on the part of certain primates of the Communion to put the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada in the Naughty Corner. More here.
• Eleven principles for medical conscientious objection ... [Episcopal Cafe, Andrew Gerns] What has been missing from the on-going controversy over contraception and conscience--beside the voices of women--has been a useful way of thinking through how to balance equal and competing claims. In this case, the claim to equal and quality access to health care has run into the claim that the caregiver should violate ones own conscience in providing care.Part of the problem is that Catholic Bishops have not only politicized the issue, they refuse to apply their own standards of debate within Catholic moral theology. Part of this is that they refuse to see access to contraception as a competing good, and they refuse to recognize the validity of other views--even within Catholicism. Consequently all they do is complain and criticize. They, and the politicians who have jumped on this bandwagon, have refused to recommend any solutions that can move the conversation forward, settling instead to label the President and call their opponents names. There has to be a better way. More here.
• Youth at General Convention ... President of House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson, has posted the following to 18-30 year olds who would like to attend General Convention in Indianapolis July 4-12. Here. [h/t Scott Allen]
• Chrism Mass ... [Bishop Paul] What will feature a professional choir, a new organ stop, and music by Haydn, Palestrina, Byrd, and…Wagner? And a free lunch. Yes, the Chrism Mass, March 29, at 11 a.m. Reverent, moving, and just a hint of fun. Stay tuned for details. Blessings, +Paul
• 50 desks in 50 days ... [Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow] There's still time to join Canon Kitch's 50th birthday party. Here.
• What's the buzz? ... [Canon Andrew Gerns] Ash Wednesday's service had a strange buzzing noise. It was like being in a room with mosquitoes. More here.
• The baseball fan and 2012 predictions ... [Archdeacon Stringfellow] The Baseball Fan observes with great devotion the days of the Baseball Season, and it became the custom to prepare for Opening Day by a season of reflection and prediction. This season provided a time for converts and seasoned Fans alike to share with each other their allegiances and analyses so that conversations, whether appointed or joyously unexpected, could begin with mutual understanding and awareness. More here.
• Bishop's Beach Party... March 17, 2:00 to 7:00, Cathedral. More here.
• Christophany registration is open ... More here.
• Small group study on Nicene Creed ... Mediator Allentown will be doing a We Believe small group study on the Nicene Creed during Lent. The study was developed by a planning group in the parish to help people explore what the Creed means to us individually and communally. People from outside the parish are invited to join a small group on Thursday evening at 7:00, Saturday morning at 10:00, or Sunday at noon, at the church, located at 1620 Turner St., Allentown. The study begins the first full week of Lent, February 26. For more information go to www.episcopalmediator.org or call 610-434-0155.
• Evensong at Mediator ... March 4. Here.
• Disciples of Christ in Community Training ... DOCC training will be offered at the Cathedral March 2-3 by the Rev. William Barnwell of Trinity Church New Orleans. Cost: $125 for presenters (clergy or EFM graduates), $50 for facilitators (small group leaders). If your congregation is interested in starting a DOCC experience you are invited to participate by recruiting a small team of leaders and registering for this event. Contact Dean Pompa or Canon Partee. Disciples of Christ in Community is a step by step journey into the heart of Christianity. One word can be used to describe DOCC and that is transformational. What does it mean to hear God's Call? What does it mean to be the church as opposed to belonging to the Church? What difference can Christ really make in our lives? Through short presentations and small group discussion around such important topics participants are invited to grow in faith in community. More here, and at www.trinitynola.com/docc.
• An evening with C.S. Lewis ... Trinity, Easton is hosting “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” a one man show starring British actor David Payne on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20. The presentation is sponsored by the Music and Arts Ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church. Please see the blog post.
• Weekly Parish eNewsletters ... Here are links to the attractive, newsy, and user-friendly weekly electronic newsletters of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Grace Allentown, Prince of Peace Dallas, Trinity Easton and St. Anne's Trexlertown. The Cathedral's newsletter is created with ChurchPost that, through a diocesan contract, is available free to all parishes. Cathedral, Feb. 24, here. Grace Allentown, Feb. 23, here. Trinity Easton, Feb. 17, here. Prince of Peace Dallas, Feb. 24, here. St. Anne's Trexlertown, here, click on "Weekly Calendar." There may be other weekly electronic newsletters, besides these five, that might be looked at. If so, please send me a link.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• 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.
• Why doctors die differently ... [WSJournal, Ken Murray, Feb. 25] Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. It was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer by one of the best surgeons in the country, who had developed a procedure that could triple a patient's five-year-survival odds—from 5% to 15%—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie, 68 years old, was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with his family. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment. Medicare didn't spend much on him. It's not something that we like to talk about, but doctors die, too. What's unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently. Doctors don't want to die any more than anyone else does. But they usually have talked about the limits of modern medicine with their families. They want to make sure that, when the time comes, no heroic measures are taken. During their last moments, they know, for instance, that they don't want someone breaking their ribs by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (which is what happens when CPR is done right). More here. [h/t Deacon Larry Holman]
• What are the Jews? ... [Sightings, Martin Marty] "What exactly are the Jews?" You'd think "we'd" know after their 350 years in America. "What are the Jews?" You'd think top Jewish scholars would know. You'd think Jews would know. No one is sure. Maybe anti-Semites think they know, but . . . . Top Jewish scholar Jon D. Levenson of Harvard calls the question "baffling," and if it baffles him, it should stump and benumb most of us. Here.
• Former ABC Carey opposes marriage equality; UK supports it ... [Episcopal Café] The Independent reports that David Cameron is supporting marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples despite the former Archbishop of Canterbury Carey's speeches against equality. More here.
• Diocese of Rhode Island to close Cathedral ... [Episcopal Café] The Cathedral in Providence is to be closed, at least temporarily, April 22 due to rising costs and declining income, according to the Providence Journal. Members seemed surprised although according to the letter from the interim dean indicates it is an ongoing issue. More here.
• Java and Justice ... [Frank Bruni, NYTimes Op-Ed] Starbucks is under fire for its public support of the same-sex marriage legislation that recently passed the State Senate in Washington, where the company has its headquarters. Microsoft and Amazon spoke up for same-sex marriage. All have surely taken note of several polls over the last year suggesting — for the first time — that a slight majority of Americans supports it. All have no doubt taken even greater note of a generational divide. In a Gallup poll, 70 percent of people in the 18-to-34 age range favored same-sex marriage, while only 39 percent of people 55 and older did. It's the future. State Representative Betty Sue Morris recounted to Bruni how much she regretted a vote she cast against same-sex marriage in 1996 — and why ... “Whenever someone opposes this," she said, "I always counsel: you never know. You never know when it will be your child or your grandchild. And you will eat your words.” More here.
• Can this be so? ... A study by Susan Diem and others of how CPR is portrayed on TV found that it was successful in 75% of the cases and that 67% of the TV patients went home. In reality, a 2010 study of more than 95,000 cases of CPR found that only 8% of patients survived for more than one month. Of these, only about 3% could lead a mostly normal life. Here.
• Wellness ... [Diana Marshall] On starting a Wellness Committee. Here.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Anne Kitch's February newsletter.
• Lent with SSJE ... Here.
• Episcopal Church offers Lenten resources, meditations ... Here.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... Here.
• Breakaway Brazilian bishop and wife murdered, son is chief suspect ... [Episcopal Café] Here.
• Rhode Island Cathedral to suspend services ... [Diocese of Rhode Island] The Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John in Providence, Rhode Island, announced Feb. 21 that, due to dwindling financial resources, its worship and pastoral services will be suspended after April 22. More here.
• Continuing split ... [RNS via Episcopal Café] Religion News Service summarizes the current struggle within the Anglican Mission in America and the difficulty the breakaway church has in maintaining an Anglican identity while drifting farther away from their roots. [h/t/ Andrew Gerns]
• Lector Olivia de Haviland ... Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, interviews Olivia de Haviland about how she reads scriptures as a lector for the Cathedral in Paris. Here.
• Episcopal Church new website ... complete transformation and redesign, launched December 28, efficient and user friendly. Read about it here. ... Episcopal News Service ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• 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.
• Bevilaqua ordered shredding of memo identifying suspected abusers ... [Phila Inquirer, John P. Martin, Feb. 25] Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered aides to shred a 1994 memo that identified 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of sexually abusing children, according to a new court filing. The order, outlined in a handwritten note locked away for years at the archdiocese's Center City offices, was disclosed Friday by lawyers for Msgr. William J. Lynn, the former church administrator facing trial next month. They say the shredding directive proves what Lynn has long claimed: that a church conspiracy to conceal clergy sex abuse was orchestrated at levels far above him. More here. Former Bishop of Allentown Edward Cullen may be implicated. More here.
• Nearly half of Catholic hospitals in the US perform sterilizations ... [CatholicCulture] In a doctoral dissertation presented at Baylor University in Texas, Sandra Hapenney studied 176 Catholic hospitals, across 7 states. Of those hospitals, 85—or 48%--performed tubal ligations. Hapenney’s study of hospital records found over 20,000 cases of direct sterilizations at those institutions between 2007 and 2009. The Catholic Church teaches that direct sterilization is intrinsically wrong. More here.
• He will never manage to destroy it ... [La Stampa, Italy] B16 recalled Cardinal Consalvi’s (Secretary of State during the pontificate of St. Pius VII) response to an ambassador who informed him of Napoleon’s intention to destroy the Church: “He will never manage to destroy it. Even we were not able to.” Here.
• 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.
• Our unrealistic attitudes about death, through a doctor's eyes ... [Washington Post] As a hospital internist, Craig Bowron is ofte
• Contraception controversy roundup ... [Episcopal Café] Cable news channels and t
• The upside-down appeal of Downton Abbey ... [NYTimes Magazine, Feb. 17] Here.
March 2: An Evening with C.S. Lewis at Trinity Easton. Here.
March 5: Financial Sanity Seminar At Trinity Easton, Four Mondays, 7 to 8:30 p.m., March 5 to 26. More here.
March 9-11: Nativity Cathedral's 10th annual retreat for Episcopal women, here.
March 17: Bishop's Beach Party (Rescheduled) Here.
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 13: Ordination, Nativity Cathedral Bethlehem, 7:00 p.m.
April 15: Trinity Pottsville Concert: Mark Laubach, organist; Cora Gamelin-Osenbach, soprano. Here.
April 20-22: Christophany Retreat, grades 6-12, at Pocono Plateau Retreat, Cresco.
April 22: Celebration of New Ministry, Good Shepherd Scranton
The Rev. Peter Pearson as rector, 4:00 p.m.
May 3-6: Icon Workshop with Peter Pearson at Cathedral. More info here.
May 16: Episcopal Church Women Annual Meeting, Kirby House 9:00 to 2:30.
Program: Prefer Nothing to Christ – Benedictine Wisdom for the Christian Life.
The Rev. Laura Thomas Howell
May 18: Ordination to priesthood of Charlie Warwick and Lou Divis at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, 7:00 p.m.
May 20: St. Matthew's Society Gathering, Lehigh Country Club, Allentown 3:00 p.m.
June 1-3: Vocare Retreat for Young Adults, Kirkridge Retreat Center.
June 16: Renewal Assembly 5, various locations.
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.
Sept. 20: New Hope 5th Anniversary
Sept. 25: Pre-Convention Meeting, St. Alban's, Sinking Spring 7:00 p.m.
Sept. 27: Pre-Convention Meeting, Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 2: Pre-Convention Meeting, Nativity, Bethlehem 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 5-6: Diocesan Convention at Good Shepherd Scranton
Nov. 11: Joint Eucharist with United Methodists
Asbury UMC, Allentown, 4:00 P.M. Bishop Paul to preach.
Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• Faith in Public Life ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church
(2) Episcopal News Service
(3) Episcopal Café
(5) 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 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]