The newSpin Newsletter, June 25, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
[Bill] Please know that I have been retired since the end of 2009. I do this weekly newSpin newsletter and the newSpin blog as a volunteer. They are not official instruments of the Diocese of Bethlehem, and they carry no authority. Though I welcome questions and comments about items I include here or on the blog, please direct questions about diocesan policy or diocesan-related issues to Bishop Paul or his staff. Of course, am honored to respond to or refer questions or comments about items in this newsletter. Send comments directly to me, or go to the newSpin blog, click on the current newsletter, and scroll to the bottom. Thanks. Bill
• Bishop Paul's 16th ... This Friday, June 29, Bishop Paul will mark the 16th anniversary of his consecration as Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem. More here.
• Archdiocese of Philadelphia cuts 45 jobs and closes newspaper ... [The Phila Inquirer and Reuters] The beleaguered Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, beset by criminal and civil lawsuits related to a child sex abuse scandal, is bleeding money. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput announced deep and drastic cuts, including 45 layoffs, the consolidation of several offices and ministries, and the elimination of its 117-year-old print newspaper, the Catholic Standard & Times, a very old reading habit for local Catholics. "It's the end of an era," said Susan Matthews, a former Standard and Times editor who runs the Catholics4Change.com website. "With over a million Catholics in the city, it was not only a source for news but for historical records." Philadelphia now becomes the largest American city without a diocesan publication. The 1.5 million member archdiocese faces a $17 million shortfall in the next fiscal year. That does not take into account another $10 million in legal and investigatory expenses over the past several months. More here.
• Archdiocese of Philadelphia official guilty in clergy sex-abuse trial ... [Philadelphia Inquirer and NCR] Jurors have reached an unprecedented decision in the landmark sex-abuse and child endangerment trial of two Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests. Msgr. William J. Lynn, found guilty on one count of child endangerment, is the first church official nationwide to be tried for enabling or covering up clergy-sex abuse. He was acquitted of two other charges, one of conspiracy and a second count of endangerment. More here and here. [Associated Press] Conscience vs obedience. Here.
• Bishop Paul served as conference preacher for the recent Association of Anglican Musicians in Philadelphia ... He preached four sermons which will be published by the AAM. Here's an excerpt from one: "Not all of us believe with words ... For the orthodox Christianity of Mahler's day, the creed was for the most part data, not a song. So perceived, it ultimately reduced God to an object, capable of study, dissection and definitiion, the fuel for debate and even persecution. Such talk of a domesticated and definable God does not invite the ecstasy of music ... To those for whom the idea of God as object is unthinkable or at least uninviting, it is life-giving to observe that the creed has gotten more musicl of late. The revivvsl of Trinitarian theology in the last two generations has been at its heart the rediscovery by western Christians that what the anient church chose to say about God is not in the first place data; it is doxology ... Doxology comes from reflecton on both practical and ecstatic experience; and Trinitarian doxology comes to the conclusion that God is, in God's deepest self, in relationship, from before time and forever. Many have observed that the Greek word for that relationship is very like the word for dance. Three distinct persons in one eternal Dance. Delicate, thythmic, supple, inviting. ... Trinitarian heresies simplified words about God, made God seem understandable and manageable, pedestrian and certainly less lyricsl. What we call the heresies often moved theology from the mystical dance to something like bad Powerpoint."
• Flooded neighbors not forgotten: National church and DioBeth build on initiative of parish [DioBeth.org] The Diocese of Bethlehem received a grant $72,796 from Episcopal Relief and Development to implement a plan intended to help residents of West Pittston still recovering from last September’s flooding while also preparing Episcopal churches in the region to respond to future disasters. The grant comes in addition to other assistance and resources. This partnership with ER&D, combined with funds provided by the Diocese will assist the recovery of the West Pittston area and the establishment of a regional disaster recovery and outreach center owned by the Diocese and run through a coordinated effort among the Luzerne County regional parishes. The center will be located in St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nanticoke and is planned to include storage and gathering space in addition to the worship area. See above. The diocesan community is also adopting a parish preparedness initiative. Using resources and training provided by ER&D, each parish in the diocese will establish individualized plans to protect their resources and resume services as quickly as possible during a disaster, while also responding to the needs of their parishioners and the community at large. More here.
• West Pittston Tomorrow moves forward with plan ... [Sunday Dispatch, Citizens Voice] West Pittston Tomorrow, a group of residents attempting to rebuild the town after the destructive flood last year, unveiled its recovery plan in the auditorium of the Wyoming Area Secondary Center Thursday evening. The plan calls for the construction of protective levees around the river and a new joint library and community center, as well as things like sewer repair and historical status designation of West Pittston by the state, among other things. For many of the items, such as the levees, government approval and huge amounts of funds would be needed. ... In addition to the announced improvements, Rev. John Major of the Trinity Episcopal Church, who began the evening with a prayer, was pleased to announce that the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem donated $20,000 towards the borough’s recovery efforts. Sunday Dispatch and Citizens Voice.
• Grants page ... on the DioBeth website.
• Requests for New Hope Grants will be accepted until July 2 ... [Daniel Gunn] The New Hope Grants Committee is ready to receive and consider requests for disbursements from the New Hope Campaign. The total amount we are able to grant for the 2012-13 calendar year is $70,000. This is the last year of major grants. We are inviting Letters of Intent from parishes and Episcopal-related organizations within the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The Deadline for Letters of Intent is 2 July 2012. More here.
• Calling all families with kids in grades 1-5 ... [Anne Kitch] Bishop's Day with Kids. June 30 in Scranton; July 28 in Bethlehem. More.
• High School Mission Trip ... Here.
• Diocesan Events for 2012 ... Here.
• 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 ... Mediator seeks director of children and youth ministry. Here.
• Bethlehem ... You are invited to join Trinity Bethlehem on a trip to St. John the Divine, NYC, August 18. More here.
• Dallas ... Prince of Peace seeks organist/choir master. Here.
• Sinking Spring ... [Father Karl Kern] The congregation of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Sinking Spring is seeking to fill the position of Organist/Choir Director. This is a part-time position. Salary is commensurate with experience and educational background and consistent with the American Guild of Organist’s guidelines. The successful candidate will direct an adult choir, holding rehearsals one day a week and participating in one Sunday Service at 10:00 a.m. Preparation for and participation in Christmas Eve and Holy Week Services, as well as occasional Burial and Wedding Services, is expected. Please submit resumes to the attention of The Rev. Karl L. Kern, co/ St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 2848 St. Alban’s Drive, Sinking Spring, PA, 19608. If additional information is required, please contact the Rev. Karl Kern at 610.678.6001.
• West Pittston ... Above, above, under DioBethSpin.
• Note to parishes ... Send news summaries and links to Bill.
• Weekly eNewsletters from parishes
Allentown, Grace Church, June 22.
Bethlehem, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, June 22.
Dallas, Prince of Peace, June 22.
Easton, Trinity Church, June 22.
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.
General Convention 2012: July 5-12 in Indianapolis
• GC 2012 Media Hub ... Here.
• Presiding Bishop proposes alternative 2013-2015 budget ... Here.
• Communication, Structure, How resolutions move through General Convention, What's a deputy, General Convention 101 ... All at the Diobeth GC Deputies blog.
• The Blue Book ... information and resolutions for GC2012 is available for downloading. Here.
• Cliff notes on The Blue Book ... [Episcopal Café] Two deputies have offered "cliffs notes" style commentaries and reflections on the content and resolutions. Liza Anderson, Lay Deputy to General Convention for Connecticut and Scott Gunn, clergy deputy for Rhode Island. Here.
• Episcopal News Weekly bulletin inserts ... Download inserts here.
• Episcopal Church Website ... ENS blog ... Episcopal Church on Facebook ... Episcopal Church on YouTube ... Anglican Communion website ... Anglican Communion News Service. ... Anglican Communion News Service on Facebook.
• A plea for answers ... [Tom Roberts, NCF] Last week, I wrote a blog entry, mostly about recent events in Philadelphia, that contained the paragraph: "How does anyone explain the headlines to a youngster? How do you explain priests doing such horrible things? How do you explain bishops and cardinals, for God's sake, covering up the ugly truth for decades on end? How do you deal with such deep betrayal and yet say, "This is the community you belong to, this is the community that you should stick with"? More, with comments, here.
• Tell everyone you know ... "Episcopalian" is a noun; "Episcopal" is the adjective. Even the NYTimes stylebook says it's so. E.g., She is an Episcopalian. Trinity is an Episcopal church.
• David L. Moyer ... onetime rector of Good Shepherd Rosemont, who was deposed by Bishop of Pennsylvania Charles Bennison and evicted from the church, then sought refuge in Pittsburgh under Bishop Bob Duncan, then the Anglican Province of Central Africa under Archbishop Bernard Malango, and consecrated a bishop in the Anglican Church in America in 2005, has been suspended from that church by unanimous vote of their bishops and is no longer a member in good standing. [h/t David Virtue] His journey, including a strategized though rejected attempt to bring his small flock into the RC Church, merits soap opera status.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... Canon Kitch's monthly newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources. June. Read about Anne's new activity book, Water of Baptism, Water for Life.
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... Here.
• Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... here.
• Religion&Poitics fit for polite company ... Religion & Politics is an online news journal, dedicated to the two topics thought unfit for polite company. It is a project of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. "We feature articles from scholars and journalists who proceed from a single premise: that for better and for worse, religion and politics converge, clash, and shape public life. These intersections happen everywhere, from our homes to our courts, from the statehouse to the schoolhouse, in the lab and on the battlefield. We strive to publish a range of views, rather than promoting a specific political perspective. We honor frank and respectful debate. We inform these discussions by taking the long view, providing historical context, critical analysis, and thorough research with compelling writing." Here.
• Daily Office ... Lectionary Page ... Lectionary ... Oremus Bible Browser ... Revised Common Lectionary
• More doubts about God ... [Stephen Prothero, CNN Belief Blog] The fact that doubt is now a part of faith for a significant minority of American believers strikes me at least as a sign of faith’s maturity, not its demise. More here.
• A question on my mind ... [Episcopal Café, Jim Naughton] "Is it important that we speak compellingly about Jesus?" Jim asks. He says the answer might seem obvious; still he doesn't hear that many preachers--even good ones--speaking compellingly about Jesus. Read it here; don't miss the comments below Jim's post.
• Camp Noah ... is a free day camp offered by our Lutheran sisters and brothers for children affected by disasters. June 25-29 in Nanticoke. More 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.
• Vatican hires U.S. journalist ... [Reuters] The Vatican, stung by communications blunders and mired in a leaks scandal, has hired an American journalist from Fox News and member of the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei to help improve its relations with the media. More here.
• The Legion of Christ and the Vatican meltdown ... [NCR, Jason Berry] A string of Vatican investigations and the arrest of the papal butler for allegedly leaking secret documents to the Italian press grabbed the big headlines out of Rome in May and June. The tales of palace intrigue, backbiting cardinals and new mysteries of the Vatican Bank overshadowed the latest jolts in the deepening saga of the Legionaries of Christ, the once high-flying order founded by Marcial Maciel Degollado. A new disclosure in a just-published book based on leaked Vatican documents, Sua Santità: Le Carte Segrete di Benedetto XVI ("His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI") by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, reports that the Legion priest who was closest to Maciel for many years met with Pope John Paul II in 2003, attempting to brief him on Maciel, but was shown the door. 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.
• Sticker numbers ... reveal how fruits and veggies are grown. •Genetically modified will have five numbers, starting with 8. •Conventionally grown, four numbers/ •Organically grown, five numbers starting with 9. [h/t The Morning Call and Women's Health magazine]
• Managing stress ... [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Here. [h/t Diana Marshall]
• Medline Plus ... Here.
• WebMD ... Here.
• Nine free iPhone apps everyone should download ... [Techlicious] Find my iPhone, Facebook, Evernote, Mint.com, Dropbox, UrbanSpoon, Flashlight by Rik, Flipboard and RedLaser Here.
Additional sources of news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... 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, where you may comment on anything posted 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. If you think something about your parish or agency merits inclusion here, 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]