The newSpin Newsletter, October 8, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Episcopal House Allentown seeks Executive Director ... Nonprofit senior building consisting of 210 apartments in Allentown is looking for an experienced Executive Director. Requirements: Knowledge of HUD guidelines and procedures, Bachelor's degree, and finance, personnel and property management experience. Fundraising experience preferred. Competitive salary and benefits package offered. Please email resume to email@example.com
• Generous gift to regional disaster recovery and outreach ministry... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] The wheels of regional disaster recovery and outreach ministry are rolling, thanks to a very generous donation received on the first anniversary of the Susquehanna River flooding that devastated West Pittston and a number of surrounding communities. From September 8, 2012 to September 8, 2013, the regional ministry based in the new St. George’s Regional Recovery & Outreach Center in Nanticoke will have the use of a Dodge Ram pickup truck, including insurance, courtesy of a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous. Story, with photo, here.
• Socks and T-shirts collected for the ministry at St. George's Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center through the dedicated efforts of ECW and the generosity of the people of the Diocese of Bethlehem filled the back of a pickup truck. Story, with photo, here.
• Voter ID: The strange conclusion, for now ... A state judge has blocked Pennsylvania's tough voter-identification law from taking full effect during the November election. Consider posting this wherever possible, including in church bulletins: Voters will be asked to show proper ID on Election Day, but will be allowed to cast ballots if they don't have one. How's that for strange? The explanation seems to be that the judge has extended through the Nov. 6 presidential election procedures legislators intended as a "soft run" for the voter ID requirement during the April 24 primary election. Read the saga so far in The Morning Call, and the full text of the ruling. Addison Bross writes: Here's a troubling development, of which we may want to be aware, especially for those among us who may be victimized by it. Extremists across the US -- most notably from the organization called "True the Vote"-- are recruiting and training "poll challengers," who on election day will attempt to intimidate voters likely to vote Democratic.
• Rise in glory: Terry Parsons ... [The Living Church and Episcopal News Service] Longtime Episcopal stewardship officer died Oct. 3 "She gave much to this Church, and to me personally," Olympia Bishop Gregory Rickel wrote. "I believe she was the inventor of the term October Beg A Thon when speaking of our stewardship drives each Fall, or at least she was the first one I ever heard utter it, and she had many others that will live on. She purely and succinctly lived one quote I will never forget, “You can’t sell soap if you don’t take baths.” Terry didn’t just talk about the Christian call to stewardship, she lived it and her legacy and example will live on. I have lost a dear friend and guide." More here from Bishop Greg Rickel and a brief video of Terry and here for ENS story.
• Disaster preparedness and response plans ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] The next training for will be held on October 27 at St. George's Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center in Nanticoke, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day includes Noon Prayer and lunch. Parishes are asked to send two representatives, who will be provided with instructions and resources to help the parish create its own customized preparedness plan. More here.
• Sermons from General Theological Seminary ... Podcasts of sermons from GTS are available here, including one by Patrick Malloy and one by Andrew Reinholz.
• Diocesan Life ... The September/October issue is online here.
• 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).
• 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.
• Montrose ... Bishop Paul has appointed the Rev. Paul Towers as Priest in charge at St. Paul's, Montrose.
• Recent publications of Alan Tjeltveit ... [Maria Tjeltveit, Mediator Allentown] My husband is a psychology professor with a special interest in the intersection of psychology, religion, and ethics. He’s recently published a few articles, and edited a special issue of a journal. (1) Tjeltveit, A. C. (2011). Understanding the psychological dimensions of love for God and neighbor-as-self: Scripture, science, cross [discussion article]. Edification: The Transdisciplinary Journal of Christian Psychology, 5, 84–99. http://christianpsych.org/wp_scp/edification_5_2.pdf (2)Tjeltveit, A. C. (Ed.). (2012). Theology-informed psychologies of love for God and love for neighbor-as-self [Special issue]. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 31
• Note to parishes ... Post news summaries and links on Bakery or send them to Bill.
• Calendar of Events ... Here.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• The Most Rev. Richard Clarke, Bishop of Meath and Kildare for 16 years, has been elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland by the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland. More at Episcopal News Service.
• 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.
• The life of a spiritual giant ... [Toronto Star] Years ago, Benedictine priest and Christian meditation pioneer Dom Laurence Freeman, writing in the British journal the Tablet, remarked that it was “puzzling and frustrating” how mainline churches, despite their conviction and resources, “still seem unable to connect with the profound spiritual needs of our time.” He noted that many young people, primed for “idealistic and sacrificial commitment,” are often met with intolerance, dogmatism and sexism. Yearning for inspiration, they are greeted by narrow minds and sanctimonious hearts within these mainline institutions. And so they go elsewhere in search of spiritual depth — and life. One spiritual seeker who wrestled personally and institutionally within mainline Christianity to plumb such spiritual depths, and to share his journey with others, was the Dutch priest and spiritual writer Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), the subject of a new book, Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen, which will be formally launched later this month in Toronto by Novalis Publishing. Read on.
• The Einstein 'God Letter' ... [Jewish Daily Forward] A letter handwritten by physicist Albert Einstein a year before his death, expressing his views on religion, will be sold on eBay this month with an opening bid of $3 million. Einstein wrote the letter in German on January 3, 1954, on Princeton University letterhead to philosopher Erik Gutkind after he read Gutkind’s book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. “…The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change this,” wrote the German-born scientist, who in 1921 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. More here.
• Gay Marriage Could Turn Britain Into Nazi Germany, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey tells rally at conservative party conference. No, this is not from The Onion. It's legit. Read on, if you can.
• Garrison Keillor on clergy fashions ... [Episcopal Café] A short video.
• Clergy on the catwalk as designer vestments spread ... [The Guardian] Gorgeous robes are not just for Popes and archbishops. Manchester is about to play host to a thriving part of the fashion trade. You sometimes get the impression that vicars and priests wouldn't mind a brief sashay down the catwalk instead of the aisle, so colourful and inventive are the vestments they wear. If this is an aspiration, then seven vicars, rectors and curates from dioceses in north western England are going to be in an equal number of heavens on Wednesday, when they model new designs from ecclesiastical outfitters. Read on.
• The world is complicated. You don't have to have only one emotion at a time ... Not sure where I heard that. I think from one of the books I'm listening to, perhaps The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe.
• In San Francisco: Episcopal Bishop gives RC Bishop frosty welcome ... [Catholic News Agency] The Episcopal bishop of California Marc Andrus has written a letter to his diocese in which he characterized Catholic Church teaching on marriage as “oppression.” The letter dated Oct. 1 concerns the installation of Salvatore Cordileone as Archbishop of San Francisco, which will occur Thursday, Oct. 4. The letter focuses on Archbishop Cordileone's support for the Catholic understanding of marriage and for California's Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Bishop Andrus said that “despite this difference of opinion and support” he looks forward to working with Archbishop Cordileone in the “building of the Reign of God.” He noted that though he differed on Proposition 8 with Archbishop Niederauer, Cordileone's predecessor in San Francisco, they cooperated on reducing poverty. The Episcopal bishop also recognized common ground with Archbishop Cordileone regarding immigration policy and poverty. Read on.
• SF archbishop jokes about recent DUI arrest ... [Associated Press] Amid heavy security and the splendor of his faith's most sacred rites, the new Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco assumed office Thursday without referring to the distress his appointment has aroused in this gay-friendly city, but offering self-deprecating jokes about his recent drunken driving arrest. Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, wearing gold and red robes with a matching miter, told an audience of more than 2,000 invited guests at his installation mass that he was grateful for the messages of support he had received from people of different religious and political viewpoints following the Aug. 25 arrest in his home town of San Diego. "I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life God has outdone himself," Cordileone said with a chuckle as he delivered his first homily as archbishop. Read on.
• Moravian rites of death in Bethlehem PA ... [Washington Post, Sue Kovach Shuman] With a little imagination, you can almost hear the trombones at God’s Acre cemetery in Bethlehem, Pa. At the funerals of all 2,617 Moravians buried here since 1742, trombone music accompanied a solemn procession of mourners carrying the dead to their final resting place. They were brought here on “death trays,” which are basically large cradles, as I learned on a tour called “Death and Dying in Early Bethlehem: Going Home” offered by the nonprofit organization Historic Bethlehem. It’s a 1¼-hour look at the funeral practices of the Moravians, Protestant settlers from the then-Habsburg-controlled lands of Moravia and Bohemia who settled the area in the 1700s, founding Bethlehem in 1741. Read on.
• Moravian Church in North America website. Moravian Church Northern Province website. Moravian Theological Seminary website.
• Church path 'unsustainable' ... [United Methodist Reporter] The United Methodist Church’s way of doing business remains “unsustainable,” and the changes made during and immediately after the 2012 General Conference are insufficient to address the challenges the denomination faces. That’s the assessment in the final report of the Call to Action Interim Operations Team, which since its formation in late 2010 has been looking at ways to reorder the life of the church. 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.
• At a kitchen for the needy, the soup's always on ... [The Morning Call, Daniel Patrick Sheehan] A few weeks ago I visited a soup kitchen as part of my reporting for a story about Catholic Charities, the social agency of the Diocese of Allentown. The story was mainly about the end of a couple of prominent agency programs, refugee resettlement and foster care, but I wanted readers to understand that Catholic Charities is still going about the business of helping people in many other areas of life: adoption, marriage and pregnancy counseling, elder care and so on. So I stopped one Friday morning at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Chew Street in Allentown. It isn't a church anymore — it was closed during the big diocesan consolidation a few years ago — but it is still used for one of the essential works of the church, which is feeding the hungry. Read on.
• Why do so many Catholics support marriage equality. Blame the Catholic imagination ... [NCR, Jamie Manson] In late September, Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, N.J., upped the ante in the hierarchy's culture war against LGBT civil rights by declaring that those who support marriage equality should refrain from receiving the Eucharist. With somewhere between 52 percent and 72 percent of Catholics in this country supporting same-sex marriage, a lot of people are going to be turned away hungry from the altar. Myers articulated his position in a 16-page letter on marriage. Not surprisingly, most of the document reads as an argument against same-sex relationships rather than a pastoral letter that offers counsel on the many challenges that plague heterosexual marriages. Myers' also calls on "Catholic politicians who serve the common good" to "defend the truth about marriage against those who would try to deconstruct or radically alter its meaning." This, too, may prove an uphill battle for the bishops since the marriage equality movement has been advanced to a good extent by Catholic politicians. Many of the governors -- including Andrew Cuomo in New York, Martin O'Malley in Maryland and Christine Gregoire in Washington state -- who have signed marriage equality bills into law are Catholic. Read on.
• The Archdiocese of Vienna, one of the largest in Europe, will undergo radical parish reforms, reducing its 660 parishes to 150 in the next 10 years.The main reasons for these measures were the increasing shortage of priests and the steady decline in the number of Catholics, especially of those who regularly attended Mass and were involved in their local parishes. "I am fully aware that these reforms denote a far-reaching change of perspective," Cardinal Schönborn said. "We must take leave of the traditional concept that the church is only present where there is a priest. That is a restricted view that has developed over time but which must now be corrected. Church is community, and leading offices in the church should in principle be carried out collaboratively, even if the parish priest has the final responsibility according to canon law." 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/Diocese of Bethlehem ... Here.
Calendar of Events/The Episcopal Church ... Here.
• 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.
• The Chalice, a publication of DioBeth's Lifelong Christian Formation Committee created by Joan DeAcetis for older adults and caretakers. Download issues here.
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&Politics 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]