The newSpin Newsletter, October 22, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Nationally cited catechist teaches at Grace Montessori School ... The National Catholic Reporter recently cited "12 Catholic women under 40 making a difference." One of those, Anita Vincent, has taught the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at Grace Montessori School in Allentown for the past four years. Anita knows five languages, including Hebrew. She graduated in May with a Master of Arts in pastoral studies with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd as a specialization. She’s looking into a doctoral program. Download a feature Anita Vincent catechist from the A.D. Times newspaper of the Diocese of Allentown.
• Register online for Renewal Assembly VI ... November 17, 9:00 to 2:00. Seven host sites across the Diocese: Christ Church, Towanda; Church of the Epiphany, Clarks Summit/Glenburn; Trinity Church, West Pittston; St. Marks, Moscow; Christ Church, Reading, St. Anne's, Trexletown; and Church of the Mediator, Allentown. All registrants will be assigned to the most appropriate location. Register online. For more information contact Fr. Charles Cesaretti at email@example.com.
• Transformed by New Hope ... [Sermon by Charlie Barebo at Diocesan Convention] Five years ago, we embarked on a remarkable journey that has seen us through some of the most turbulent times Americans have seen in three generations. We had a vision that we would follow Christ, literally. We would raise money, millions in fact, and give it all away. Read on.
• $7,000 New Hope grant to Grace Food Bank for baby supplies ... Grace Church Allentown received a $7,000 New Hope grant for baby supplies for Grace Community Foundation clients. Libby House wrote the grant application with help from Monica Lewellis.
• Happening ... Note from Ellyn Siftar here.
• Voter ID: You can't make these things up ... You will be asked for a photo ID by a poll worker at the Nov. 6 presidential election, but you won't need one to cast your vote. You will need one at the election after that.
• Facing a crisis when one's only reprieve is to leave a message ... [Lehigh County Conference of Churches, October 2012 Newsletter] “You have 17 messages.” That’s what I hear from the next cubicle. It’s a woman who thinks she will be evicted in the next day or two. She has four children and is not sure what to do. Next is a young girl with a four month-old baby. She has been staying with friends and going to school but that situation is no longer working. Six calls follow, all asking whether there is any money for rental assistance. A man just released from prison to a homeless shelter needs a bus ticket to get to a temp agency. A school bus driver took a pay cut is behind on the rent, a pregnant woman with three kids in the shelter, an angry landlord… While I watch and listen to the busyness of the day I begin to wonder about those on the other end of the phone. I try to imagine what it must feel like to be facing crisis and the only reprieve is to leave a message. How many calls for help will they make today? And how long before desperation replaces hope?
• From Bishop Paul about his eye ... [Bakery, Oct. 18] First, many of you have written privately or on the list offering their support and prayers. Thank you so much. I was deeply touched and encouraged by a sermon from one of my favorite preachers this morning. Enough of the bleeding had slowed or receded that initial laser work was done on several spots today, which made for a longish visit, but I am glad for less suspense and the knowledge that there won't be any conventional cutting at this point. The next steps will hopefully be on 1 and 16 Nov on a clearer retinal field and we should be done. What has been lost is not restorable of course, but there will be considerably more sight than first feared. It is also St Luke's day. The Book of Proverbs says, "Honor the physician." Again, my thanks to God and all of you. +Paul
• 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.
• A picture of generosity ... [John Major and Janine Ungvarsky] This is a picture of generosity on the part of so many of you from the parishes throughout the diocese. This is what it looks like when you put 1080 pairs of socks for everyone from infants through adults and 380 t-shirts of all sizes and colors into one place. We even found a package of underwear and two pairs of children's tights in the bounty donated through the ECW collection at last week's convention--that's nearly 1,500 articles of clothing that we will have on hand in St. George's Regional Disaster Recovery & Outreach Center for distribution to those in need. As you can see, your response to this collection exceeded all expectations and estimates and more bins will be needed to store everything.
• Joint United Methodis/Episcopal Festive Eucharist ... November 11, 4:00 p.m., at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1533 Springhouse Road, Allentown. Bishop Paul will preach. Reception to follow.
• I Am That Child, by Elizabeth Geitz ... This article about Elizabeth Geitz' book, I Am That Child, was in A&U Magazine, America's AIDS Magazine. The book has consistently been in the Top 10 in African Studies on Amazon since publication in February 2012.
• Commission on Ministry ... Robin Yedlock has accepted Bishop Paul's appointment to serve as the chair of the COM.
• 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.
• Raise the Roof Hymn Festival ... Sunday, Oct. 28, at 3:00 p.m. Co-sponsored by Trinity Bethlehem and neighbor Christ UCC, at Christ UCC. More here.
• Becca Stevens will speak at the Cathedral ... [Cathedral's weekly enewsletter] We welcome the Rev. Becca Stevens, fantastic speaker, social entrepreneur, and Episcopal priest, to the Lehigh Valley for our first Hurd Lecture on Church and Society, which will honor the lifelong work of Priscilla Payne Hurd. On Saturday, October 27, she will preside and preach at the 5 p.m. Eucharist and then present a talk on her work at 6 p.m. A reception will follow in Sayre Hall. Stevens is the founder of Magdalene House and Thistle farms in Tennessee, two non-profit organizations dedicated to helping women escape poverty, addiction, and life on the streets. Read more about Becca's work here.
• Trip to Rhode Island for ordination to episcopacy of Father Nick Knisely ... [Mother Laura Howell] We have completed arrangements for hiring a bus to attend Fr. Nick Knisely's consecration as 13th Bishop of Rhode Island in Newport, November 16-17. Bus tickets are $150 per person. In addition, Fr. Cliff Carr, who is from RI, will take us on a tour of some of the historic sites he knows so well. Make your own hotel reservations at the Newport Mariott by calling @1 (800) 228-9290 or (401) 849-1000 on or before Friday, October 26. The total cost of the room with tax is $134.47. Be sure to identify yourself as part of the “Ordination of Bishop Nicholas Knisely Room Block” group. Group code: ORDORDA. There are only 17 seats left for this great event, so if you have an interest in joining us, please send me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Note to parishes ... Post news summaries and links on Bakery or send them to Bill.
• Calendar of Events ... Here and Here.
Episcopal/Anglican (beyond DioBeth)
• In the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh ... [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ann Rodgers] Dorsey McConnell consecrated bishop. Read on.
• South Carolina diocese defecting from the Episcopal Church ... [Daniel Burke, RNS, WaPo] The Diocese of South Carolina announced on Wednesday (Oct. 17) that it has disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, escalating a long-running skirmish and setting the stage to become the fifth diocese to secede from the denomination. South Carolina said the split was triggered by disciplinary action taken against Bishop Mark Lawrence, its conservative leader. The diocese passed a resolution on Oct. 2 stating that it would immediately secede should the Episcopal Church “discipline, impair, restrict, place on administrative leave, charge, derecognize” or otherwise inhibit the diocese or its leaders. Twelve lay Episcopalians and two priests in South Carolina brought the charges against Lawrence. The denomination’s 18-member Disciplinary Board for Bishops found him guilty of abandoning the Episcopal Church and renouncing its rules in September. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori informed Lawrence of the guilty verdict on Monday, curtailing his ministry and prohibiting him from acting as an ordained Episcopal priest. Read on. Also at ENS. Finally, at Episcopal Café, comments by Andrew Gerns on Did Lawrence lie or is he simply doing what he promised? Andrew's comment "picks up on a blog post by a member of Executive Council, The Rev. Cn. Mark Harris, that says it's time for Bishop Lawrence to fess up and tell the church that he lied during his confirmation process about whether he would lead his diocese out of the Episcopal Church. My response is that he did not lie, but is doing exactly as he promised...if you read between the lines."
• 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.
• Tennessee family embraces faith for baby with rare illness ... [The Tennessean, Bob Smietana] It's one thing to talk about God's will when life is good. It's another when a doctor is saying your baby won't live. Read on.
• There are things that can be seen only with eyes that have cried ... A favorite saying of RC Archbishop Christophe Munzihirwa of Bukavu, who was killed in 1996 for trying to prevent Tutsi militants from murdering Hutu refugees.
• Friedman's theory of differentiated leadership made simple ... [YouTube] Well, that's a stretch. Nevertheless ... Dr. Jonathan Camp discusses the book A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman, who owes many of his ideas of leadership to Murray Bowen (1913-1990), a pioneer of family therapy. Central to Bowen's family systems theory is the concept of differentiation, or the ability of a person to maintain a strong sense of "self" within the family. The anxious family system is composed of emotional triangles, in which two conflicting members try to diffuse the anxiety between them by bringing in a third member. But this only heightens the anxiety of the system. A well-differentiated person is able to resist the lure of emotional triangles, which causes the family system to mature by influencing others to take responsibility for themselves. In A Failure of Nerve, Friedman applies Bowen's family systems theory to organizational leadership. View the 6'45" video here. [h/t Jenifer Gamber]
• Never let your face show ... [The Morning Call, John Micek] In 1980, when Arlen Specter was contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, his son Shanin tried to discourage him. The younger Specter worried that his father, after years of political defeats, would be humiliated at the polls. Specter listened but ran anyway, going on, as history records, to notch five consecutive Senate victories. Still there were battles, and Shanin said his father always told him: "Never let your face show how hard your ass is getting kicked." Read on.
• Responsibility and accountability are prerequisites for bringing congregations 'Back from the Dead' ... [Religion News Service] According to Gerald Keucher, retired chief operating officer of the Diocese of New York, “My years at the diocesan office in New York gave me opportunities to observe and think about what was working, what wasn’t, and what might be more effective. I came away with two deep convictions, each of which led to a book. First, unless leaders understand their responsibility to the future, they will make decisions that will shortchange and perhaps foreclose that future. Second, unless leaders at the parish and diocesan levels bring true mutual accountability to all their relationships, they will abuse the powers of their offices and weaken the part of the church they should be building up.” Read on.
• The Book of Common Prayer at 350 ... [The New Yorker, James Wood] Here.
• Learning to take it slow ... [Tom Ehrich, RNS] When I alerted my readers that I would be taking time off from writing to recover from surgery, many sent me kind words with a common theme: “Take time to heal.” “Give your body time to heal,” said one. “Rest and sleep,” said another. “Be sure to take ALL the time you need for a full recovery!” and “Don’t try to power through. Stop, lie down and rest. … We will still be here.” I was hearing the wisdom of experience: been there, didn’t take the time, thought I was healed, wasn’t. Read on.
• Knights of Columbus key contributor against same-sex marriage ... [National Catholic Reporter] The Knights of Columbus, the U.S. Catholic fraternal organization known for its wide-ranging charitable work and parish fish fries, has been a significant contributor to political efforts opposing same-sex marriage across the country, according to a study commissioned by a coalition of Catholic groups that support same-sex marriage. Since 2005, the Knights of Columbus has provided "$6.25 million directly to anti-marriage equality efforts" and has additionally provided about $9.6 million "for broader efforts ... to discriminate against gay or lesbian couples in the name of religious freedom," says the report, released Thursday ... The report also states that the Knights have yet to file their 2011 tax return because they asked for an extension of the April deadline, so the total sum for donations could be higher. Read on.
• New evidence confirms: Racism isn't natural, it's a social construct learned over time ... [The Atlantic] Here.
• How healthcare could have saved Scott ... [NYTimes, Nicholas Kristof] When Kristof wrote of his uninsured college roommate Scott with prostate cancer, he was surprised at how many readers were "savagely unsympathetic," saying people pay for their mistakes. But "a civilized society compensates for the human propensity to screw up." Scott died. Had he lived in a country with universal healthcare, maybe he would have survived. 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.
• 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.
• In-Formation in Bethlehem ... October issue of Canon Kitch's newsletter of lifelong Christian formation resources.
• Forward Movement ... News and Notes, October.
• 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
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, it is
published immediately to the
blog and on Bakery and on a
ChurchPost list of some 1,000
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
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]