The newSpin Newsletter, April 9, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published Monday, occasionally also on Thursday
• The new user-friendly, useful and attractive DioBeth website ... It's live! A complete do-over. Explore a bit. You'll find it eminently user-friendly, useful and attractive. The new website comes up with the same URL as the old one, www.diobeth.org.
• Bishop Paul's Easter sermon ... What I am going to say now is not for everybody in this room, and I hope you will bear with me for a minute if it doesn’t include you. I want to speak to those in the room who are suffering today and do not reasonably expect a cure. I want to say a word to those who go through life with a sense that there is something wrong with them, a feeling that they are fundamentally flawed, people who labor with the awareness that tasks and relationships that are very easy for others are not at all easy for them. They know there are no quick fixes for some things. I also dare to speak a word to those in the room who may believe in their most secret heart that life is not worth living. More here.
• Now the green blade riseth ... Here.
• I've been to the mountaintop, 44 years ago ... On April 3, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “mountaintop” speech in Memphis: “We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't really matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live…a long life; longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” The next day, April 4, 1968, he was assassinated.
• Newsweek: Christianity in Crisis ... [Andrew Sullivan, Newsweek Cover Story] Christianity has been destroyed by politics, priests, and get-rich evangelists. Ignore them, writes Andrew Sullivan, and embrace Him. Responses to Sullivan here.
• For Gerre Hancock ... [Archdeacon Stringfellow] Here.
• High School Mission Trip ... Here.
• Diocesan Events for 2012 ... Here.
• Diocesan Life, March/April ... Here.
• Leonard Hall Scholarship: For diocesan youth active in youth ministries for college scholarships. Applications available April 1; due May 15; awarded June; checks mailed August. Contact Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow or Ely Valentin at Diocesan House, 610-691-5655, ext. 222 or 1-800-358-5655.
• Gressle Scholarship: Upon his retirement as the Sixth Bishop of Bethlehem, Bishop Lloyd E. Gressle established a scholarship fund to aid in the college education of the male children of diocesan clergy resident in Pennsylvania. Priority is given to clergy families in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Applications available April 1; due May 15; awarded June; checks mailed August. Contact Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow or Ely Valentin at Diocesan House, 610-691-5655, ext. 222 or 1-800-358-5655.
• Shannon Fund Scholarship: In accordance with the wishes of Elizabeth S. Bryant of Schuylkill Haven, PA the Fund was established to aid in the college education of the female children of diocesan clergy resident in Pennsylvania. Priority is given to clergy families in the Diocese of Bethlehem. Applications available April 1; due: April 30. Contact Edna Rauco at Trinity Church, Pottsville (570-622-8720).
• Public news and info lists ... At the Diobeth website , enter your name and email in the "Get Connected" box. You are welcome to subscribe to any or all of these. "Bakery" is our diocesan interactive list.
• Allentown: Funds from Grace Montessori 15th Annual Benefit Auction will provide scholarships ... Grace Montessori School prizes economic diversity. About one-third of the students receive scholarship assistance.. This annual benefit accounts for a sizable part of that scholarship aid. There is a silent auction and a live auction, in a lovely atmosphere, with live music, food, and drinks. The event takes place this year on Friday evening, April 27, at the Fegleys' Allentown Brew Works. Tickets ($25) will be available in advance and at the door. Please consider attending, as neighborhood families often need financial support for their children to come to our school. Executive Director Mrs. Elizabeth House and The Rev. Beth Reed will each make remarks at the event. GMS website.
• Dallas ... Prince of Peace sponsors Step into Spring Fashion Show.
• Kutztown ... [From Char Horst] Last year St. Barnabas instituted a new citizenship award and gave it to Arnold Newman, former St. B's member and active member of St. Anne's until his recent death. It was a wonderful and moving tribute to a great man -- nor at all funereal, but a happy opportunity for Arnold to thoroughly enjoy his orations during his lifetime. We just gave our second award Saturday night and it was another fantastically successful community event, organized once again by Charles Brown of St. B's. Although we laugh among ourselves about our parish's presumption in handing out such awards -- who are we, after all? -- actually that is the point: we celebrate not just outstanding individuals but also our vigorous small-town/rural community and St. B's place therein. It's a lovely way to welcome non-members to our faith community that other parishes might want to consider. More here.
• Montrose ... Bountiful blessings, from a Montrose perspective.
• Wilkes-Barre, St. Stephen's ... Renewing congregational song, with John Bell. At First Presbyterian, Clarks Summit.
• Weekly eNewsletters from parishes
Allentown, Grace Church, March 30.
Bethlehem, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, April 6.
Dallas, Prince of Peace Church, April 6.
Easton, Trinity Church, April 5.
Trexlertown, St. Anne's Church here, click on "Weekly Calendar."
There may be others. If so, please send me a link.
• Monthly Newsletters from parishes ... Most parishes publish a monthly newsletter that is mailed to parishioners. Many, if not most, of those are available at the parish websites.
• Calendar of Events ... Here.
• The Rev. James Corner Fenhagen, 82 ... died at Tidelands Community Hospice, Pawleys Island SC on April 5. ... He was named President and Dean of the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1978 and retired from there in 1992. He then became Director of the Cornerstone Project of the Episcopal Church Foundation, retiring in 1995. He came out of retirement to serve as President and Warden of the College of Preachers at Washington National Cathedral, from 2001-2004. More at the Charleston Post & Courier and ENS.
• Episcopalians are worshipping in The Falls Church again ... [Episcopal Café] The steadfast folks who remained in the Episcopal Church when most of their congregation and all of their clergy voted to breakaway and take the property with them returned to The Falls Church yesterday.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts 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.
• Jesus was an Only Son ... [Episcopal Café] Bruce Springsteen sings, and explains one of his lesser known songs.
• From 27 to 5,296 ... The modern income tax code included 27 pages when it was created in 1913; last year, it was 5,296 pages.
• Judas Priest betrayed Jesus in Bethlehem ... [The Telegraph UK] They may be the bedrock of the Christian faith, but the events of Easter, from Christ's betrayal to the resurrection, have proved to be something of a mystery to many in modern Britain. Here.
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... March 27.
• Daily Office ... Lectionary Page ... Lectionary ... Oremus Bible Browser ... Revised Common Lectionary
• Religious common ground has all but disappeared ... [Ross Douthat, NYTimes Op-Ed] And the inescapability of religious polarization — whether it pits evangelicals against Mormons, the White House against the Catholic Church, or Rick Santorum against the secular press — during an election year that was expected to be all about the economy is a sign of what happens to a deeply religious country when its theological center cannot hold.
• Learning to respect religion ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Nicholas Kristof] Religion friendly atheists. Here.
• 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.
• The landmark Philadelphia abuse trial ... Daily reports. A NYTimes editorial suggests why this trial is especially important: "The issue of hierarchal responsibility is finally front and center." Complete Phila Inquirer coverage. And in the National Catholic Reporter, In Philadelphia: a church at the crossroads.
• Judge orders Kansas City RC bishop to stand trial in abuse case ... [National Catholic Reporter] The first criminal case against a sitting U.S. bishop in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis will go forward after a county judge's decision Thursday [April 5] that Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, must stand trial on charges of failing to report suspected child abuse. The decision, rendered Thursday morning by Jackson County, Mo., Circuit Court Judge John Torrence, denies several motions Finn's lawyers had brought in the case, arguing that charges against the bishop should be thrown out over questions of constitutionality and whether Finn can be considered a "mandated reporter" according to Missouri law. "The Court finds that the evidence in this case is sufficient to allow a jury to conclude that Bishop Finn was a designated reporter as defined by Missouri law," Torrence wrote in his decision. More here.
• Ted Kennedy's widow not Catholic enough ... [RNS] A small Catholic college in Massachusetts has been pressured by the local bishop into cancelling an invitation to Sen. Ted Kennedy's widow to deliver the school's commencement address because of her support of abortion rights and gay marriage. More here.
• A parish without borders ... [NYTimes] St. Boniface is an example of an intentional parish, a phrase some members of the clergy use to describe a destination church that attracts people from beyond its geographic boundaries. Many gay and lesbian Catholics travel to the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Chelsea. Some traditionalists attend the Latin Mass at the Church of St. Agnes in Midtown, and foreign language speakers often go distances to hear Mass in their mother tongues. But St. Boniface stands out because the vast majority of those who worship there do not live within the parish’s boundaries but come from across Brooklyn and Manhattan, some even from the suburbs. There are many denominations of Protestants, allowing worshipers to choose churches that reflect their values and priorities. But until recently, parish shopping was unheard of among Catholics, who, for generations, went lockstep to their local churches. More 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.
Calendar of Events ... Here.
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]