The newSpin Newsletter, September 24, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Food Banks need help ... Because their major suppliers are no longer able to assist filling the pantries of the New Bethany Ministries Food Bank and the Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Bank, both are in need of food. If you can help in any way, please contact either organization. New Bethany is located at 333 W. 4th Street in Bethlehem, 610-691-5602 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Pennsylvania Avenue Interfaith Food Bank is located at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 1900 E. Pennsylvania Avenue in Allentown, 610-865-3603 or email@example.com).
• Diocesan Convention ... [Oct. 5-6, Good Shepherd Scranton] Here for more info and to register. Here for info on the ECW Project. Pre-Convention meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at St. Alban's Sinking Spring, on Thursday, Sept. 27, at Epiphany Clarks Summit, and on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity Bethlehem. All, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. After Wednesday, Sept. 26, cost for Convention will increase from $75 per person and $40 for spouse to $95 and $60. To avoid a late fee, register before midnight on Wednesday. Registration will be open until Friday, Oct. 5, at the higher cost.
• Diocesan Life ... The September/October issue is online here.
• First Moravian rector of an Episcopal parish ... [ENS, Episcopal Café] On Sept. 16, the Rev. Carl Southerland was installed as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Franklin, North Carolina, becoming the first Moravian pastor of an Episcopal parish since the two denominations inaugurated a full-communion relationship in 2011. Read on.
• General Convention ... A report from the deputation of the Diocese of Bethlehem. Here.
• Voter ID ... Pennsylvania law now requires voters to show a form of photo identification at their polling place. Use this interactive tool to see if the state knows you have an acceptable ID. This is a tool from The Morning Call, however, and covers only the following counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Berks, Bucks and Mongomery. Probably because my Voter's Certificate of Registration contains my middle initial while my PA photo ID Driver's Licence does not, when I search for it one way I get "no record found." When I do it the other way, I get "no photo ID." Folks at my county voter registration office say, because these are substantially the same, voting won't be a problem. Other acceptable photo IDs are listed here.
• Rising above envy is liberation ... [Bishop Paul's Sept/Oct Diocesan Life Column] People driven by or suffering from envy on any level are seldom happy. They usually have nothing good to say about anybody, and live in a world of self-imposed misery. They are stuck, like an infant, in a place of powerless rage when it senses that all good and all nurture come from the outside. Infants are said to sense that they are powerless to produce anything except the contents of their diapers, and even that is taken away from them at regular intervals. People usually outgrow this. Perhaps the envious do not. Read it all on page two of Diocesan Life.
• Check out The Chalice, a publication of DioBeth's Lifelong Christian Formation Committee created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download it here. "This is such a lovely thing to take to my ladies," says JoAnn Lumley of Redeemer Sayre. " There are 3 shut-in's to whom I minister several times a week. I always try to take something they will enjoy reading, from Episcopal Cafe, Sam Portaro, whatever seems appropriate. Each of them has for most of their lives been heavily involved in parish ministry. Mostly,they crave love and hugs."
• Journey to Adulthood Mentor Training ... Friday evening, October 19, 7 to 9, and Saturday, October 20, 9 to 3. at Cathedral Church of the Nativity. For youth leaders, clergy, experienced or new J2A leaders, parents, Christian ed directors. Register online by Oct. 15. More here.
• Happening #21 ... [Ellyn Siftar, Missioner for Youth and Young Adult Ministries] Registration is open. Go to the youth and young adult blog where you will find more information on what "Happening" is and why you want your youth to go.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... [Anne Kitch] Here.
• DioBeth Website ... newSpin Blog ... Re:Create blog for youth and young adults ... Twitter.DioBeth ... Twitter.Kat Lehman ... Facebook.DioBeth ... Flickr, search under dio_beth
• 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.
• Trinity West Pittston celebrates resiliency of neighbors ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] On September 9, 2011, one third of our West Pittston neighbors reeled at the sight of the damage floodwaters had done to their homes the day before. This year on September 9, Trinity had the privilege of having many of these neighbors as guests at a free chicken barbecue planned to commemorate this difficult time and celebrate the resiliency of our neighbors. Read on. Also at Citizens' Voice.
• September is Hunger Awareness Month ... [St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre] The need for hunger awareness is especially critical at this time, with nearly 49 million people in the United States at risk of hunger, including 16 million children. That number includes many of your neighbors, co-workers, friends and even family. They are someone's kids, grandchildren, nieces or nephews. Read on. [h/t Debra Kellerman]
• When Grace Allentown's keyboard went missing ... A front-page story in Sunday's (Sept. 23) Morning Call, Philanthropist's faith in felon costly, includes the following related paragraph: Mostly, Barker was stealing TVs, but he also admitted breaking into an Allentown church and taking an electronic keyboard worth $3,200, according to court records. Barker took it not for music, but to pawn it for $270, police said. Thanks to John Adamson, Libby House and Pat Malloy, the keyboard was not missing for long. John had been searching the web to get an idea of replacement value for insurance purposes when he found a listing on eBay, offered by an Allentown pawn shop. The listing mentioned that it was missing the stand, pedals, and bench. The thief had left those behind. John managed also to blow up the eBay picture enough to have a blurry picture of the seller, reflected in the music rack as the seller took the picture. Libby offered to purchase the keyboard in order to get the vendor ID. The mayor intervened and sent police to pick up the keyboard. Pat and Libby went to retrieve it at the station and found the cord was missing. They returned to the pawn shop to get the cord and Pat almost got in a fight with the owner about accepting stolen goods. They had previously been there looking for the keyboard and the owner denied having it.
• Bus trip to Nick Knisely's consecration ... [Laura Howell] Some folks have approached me about hiring a bus to attend Dean Nick Knisely's consecration in Rhode Island on November 17. It is a pretty long trip, so we are thinking of going early in the morning on Friday, November 16, and returning late Saturday afternoon, November 17, following the consecration. We will have at least a little time for sightseeing. Until we know how many people are interested, we don't know how big a bus to get. If you have an interest in joining us, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please let me know if you are interested in hotel rooms. Cost will depend on size of the group.
• Note to parishes ... Post news summaries and links on Bakery or send them to Bill.
• Calendar of Events ... Here.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• ABC will deliver major address in Rome ... [Catholic News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, at the personal invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, will deliver a major address on October 10 during the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization. While popes have long invited other Christians to be "fraternal delegates" and make brief speeches at the synods, Pope Benedict has begun a tradition of inviting important religious leaders to deliver a major address. Read on.
• 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.
• Who do you say I am? ... The Sept. 9 Gospel passage (Mark 8:27-38) brought to mind a stage whisper by a little boy to his mother when Bishop Paul processed into St. Luke's Scranton, 2008: "Who's the man in the pirate hat?" Bishop Paul quipped later, "It's a question I pay good money to ask somewhat regularly."
• Catholics then, Muslims now ... [NYTimes Op-Ed, Sept. 17] For the first time in decades, it has become acceptable in some circles to declare that a specific religious minority can’t be trusted ... The view that members of a religious minority are not to be trusted — that they are predisposed to extremism, disloyalty and violence; resist assimilation; reproduce at alarming rates, and are theologically compelled to impose their backward religious laws on their adopted home — is not new. From the 19th century on, distrust, violence and, eventually, immigration restrictions were aimed at waves of Roman Catholic immigrants. As late as 1950, 240,000 Americans bought copies of “American Freedom and Catholic Power.” Its author, Paul Blanshard, a former diplomat and editor at The Nation, made the case that Catholicism was an ideology of conquest, and that its traditions constituted a form of “medieval authoritarianism that has no rightful place in the democratic American environment. Read on.
• Nun who led youth homes dies at 84 ... [NYTimes] Sister Mary Rose McGeady, the Roman Catholic nun who resuscitated Covenant House, the nation’s largest network of shelters for homeless youngsters, in the wake of a sex abuse scandal involving its founder, died recently at her order’s convent in Albany. Read on.
• The Crisis Manager ... Not strictly for Yankee fans, Gay Talese profiles Joe Girardi in The New Yorker and describes him as a mix between monk and Moneyball. The bad news is that only those with subscriptions to the magazine can read it all.
• Why does God allow there to be evil in the world? ... [Episcopal Café] Eventually, this extended search for meaning brought me [Sister Bernadette Reis] to a new understanding of the gift of free will. Someone else had abused that gift when they attacked me. That’s what hurt the most — why didn’t God stop that person from hurting me? I began to realize that when God gives a gift, He never takes it away, even if it means that we choose to abuse that gift to harm others. He didn’t even stop the people who killed his own Son. God chose to experience the ultimate, painful, crushing consequences of the gift of free will that He had given to us. Read on.
• Brian McLaren leads commitment ceremony at son's same-sex wedding ... [Christianity Today] Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian and a prominent Christian speaker, led a non-traditional marriage commitment ceremony this weekend, according to The New York Times. Formerly chair of the board for Sojourners, McLaren is among a minority of evangelical progressives who advocate that the church should abandon heterosexism and move toward reconciliation with homosexuals. More.
• We need some crazy Christians ... [A sermon by Bishop Michael Curry] Forgive me for saying it this way, but Jesus was, and is, crazy! And those who would follow him, those who would be his disciples, those who would live as and be the people of the Way, are called and summoned and challenged to be just as crazy as Jesus. So I want to speak on the subject “We need some crazy Christians.” Read it all.
• Floods, landslides displace one million in India; 33 dead ... [Reuters, Sept. 24] Floods and landslides caused by relentless rain in northeast India have killed at least 33 people and displaced more than a million over the past week, officials said on Monday ... In July, at least 110 people were killed and more than 400,000 people were left homeless in Assam during floods which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said were among the worst in recent times. Read on.
• Sex abuse claims at Tulsa megachurch ... [Associated Press] A 17,000-member megachurch deep in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt has been rattled by allegations that five employees waited two weeks to report the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a campus stairwell, allegedly by a church worker. Tulsa police say the girl is among at least three victims of alleged sex crimes by two former employees of Victory Christian Center who face criminal charges. A child crimes investigator says more victims could surface as police continue to investigate. Authorities, however, fear some parishioners in the large, tight-knit south Tulsa congregation may choose to pray about the allegations rather than provide concrete evidence. Read on.
• A controversial new papyrus fragment about Jesus ... [Nonprofit Law Prof Blog] Harvard researcher Karen King yesterday unveiled an ancient papyrus fragment with the phrase, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife.'" A Smithsonian magazine reporter has been covering the story behind the scenes for weeks. Read on.
• Five big questions about the 'Jesus' wife' discovery ... [Ecumenical News International] 1. Where did the papyrus come from? 2. Does it prove that Jesus was married? 3. What do other ancient texts say about Jesus being married? 4. Will this change contemporary Christianity? 5. How will the Vatican respond? Read on. Also, a General Theological Seminary webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30. No charge, but you've got to register.
• I don't know if Jesus was married, and I don't care ... [CNN Belief Blog, Stephen Prothero] What is going on here, as I see it, is a reluctance to say, “I don’t know.” The truth of the matter is that we don’t know what Jesus looked like. We don’t know where he was or what he was doing when he turned 18. And we don’t know if he was ever married or divorced. What we do know is that we live in a country besotted with Jesus and in an age obsessed with marriage and sexuality and the body, which is why this tiny papyrus is making such big waves. As for me, I don’t much care what Jesus thought about marriage, or whether he engaged in it. I think we as a society tend to collapse religion far too readily into bedroom questions, as if Jesus came into the world to tell us with whom we should be having sex, and how. I’m more interested in what Jesus has to say about wealth and poverty, the rich and the poor. And there is plenty in the available record to read and heed, if only we have ears to hear. Read it all.
• Consequences for RCs who opt out of church taxes ... [Religion Clause] Germany's Conference of Catholic Bishops on Thursday issued a Decree and Pastoral letter providing that those who opt out of Germany's church tax will be ineligible to participate in a wide variety of Church sacraments and activities. Read on.
• The 'Bombshell by the Bay' ... [LATimes] Next week, a key player in the passage of Proposition 8 — a man who has decried the "contraceptive mentality" of modern life — will become the leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Read on.
• 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.
• Private manager to run Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools ... [Philadelphia Inquirer] The oldest, largest Roman Catholic education system in the nation is about to undergo massive organizational changes, as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia hands over management of its secondary and special-education schools to a private foundation. Read on.
• 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/The Episcopal Church ... Here.
• Get Help Paying your rent ... [USA.gov Team] Those struggling to mak
• Holy Women, Holy Men ... Download Holy Women, Holy Men as a .pdf file.
• Congregational Resource Guide ... Here.
• ECF Vital Practices ... Here.
• Faith in Public Life ... Here.
• The Book of Common Prayer ... every edition from 1549 to 1979. Here.
• The Daily Office ... can be read online in Rite I, Rite II or the New Zealand Prayer Book versions. At Mission St. Clare.
Additional sources for news/info/commentary
• Religion News Service Daily Roundup ... here.
• National Catholic Reporter ... here.
• Back issues of the newSpin newsletter ... here.
(1) The Episcopal Church
(2) Episcopal News Service
(3) Episcopal Café
(5) AnglicansOnline News Centre.
• 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. Here.
• Daily Office ... Lectionary Page ... Lectionary ... Oremus Bible Browser ... Revised Common Lectionary
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Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
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Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]