The newSpin Newsletter, October 29, 2012
By Bill Lewellis
Published weekly, on Monday
• Hurricane Sandy ... (1) Info and links from the Disaster Response and Community Resilience Committee of the Diocese of Bethlehem, here. (2) Diocesan Disaster and Preparedness Training, here. (3) Shelter in Place, here.
• Cathedral Church of the Nativity's Sesquicentennial Weekend Celebration ... Friday, Nov, 2, at 6:00 p.m. Choral Evensong with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Anthem: Benjamin Britten’s Behold the Lamb, Bishop Paul, Homilist. Saturday, Nov. 3, Cathedral open to the community for docent-led tours at 3:00 p.m. Cathedral choir performs Mozart’s Requiem at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, Celebration of the Sesquicentennial Festive Eucharist at 10:00 a.m., MainStreet Brass, Cathedral Choir sings “On this Mountain” commissioned anthem written by Paul Ayers in honor of the Sesquicentennial. Rededication of the Sayre Rose Window, Bishop Paul, celebrant and preacher. Celebration breakfast will be served in two seatings: 8:00 to 9:30 and after Eucharist. Please contact the Cathedral office at 610-865-0727 or email@example.com if you would like to join us for breakfast!
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
• On Deacon George Loeffler ... [Bishop Paul] We had a luncheon today [Oct. 24] to thank Deacon George and Barbara. Everyone stayed in character, and a presentation was made on behalf of all of you to this remarkable man, to whom I owe so very much. Shown here telling one of his stories to Canon Kitch, George filled the afternoon with personal and vocational memories that are not duplicated anywhere! Over the four-plus decades of his ministry, Deacon George has set a high standard of selfless service, creativity, and maintenance of unique selfhood among us. He has served the diocese in many capacities, and still may be found reading evening prayer at Trinity, Lansford, on stated occasions. I discuss George at more length in my convention address, which you will see soon in Diocesan Life, and there is a beautiful resolution honoring him, adopted with a standing ovation by our convention. George will have successors but will never be replaced. I thank God for him. +Paul
• Regarding the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader article that mentions Prince of Peace Dallas ... [Bishop Paul] An article in Sunday's Times Leader mentions Prince of Peace parish in Dallas in connection with a story about a lay person whose name is on the the formerly secret list of people whom the Boy Scouts no longer welcome into leadership due to allegations of abuse. In this case, the allegations were also made public this summer on a personal website of someone who claims to have been victimized. The website is no longer accessible for first-hand examination, although its discussion forum still exists. The actions are said to have taken place in the 1970s, and the person was expelled from Scouting leadership. I want to assure you that the Prince of Peace parish staff, my office, and the Chancellor have cooperated fully with law enforcement, and that all subpoenaed information has been furnished by the parish. Furthermore, in an abundance of caution, the individual under investigation has been isolated from young people in the parish. I can also assure you that Prince of Peace is in compliance with our church's abuse-prevention requirements, which include criminal background checks. The parish has no reason to believe or suspect that it is other than a completely safe place for young people. +Paul
• Two recent scams? ... (1) From Andrew Gerns, Trinity Easton: Be on the alert for the latest phone scam artist attempting to scam money from churches. A woman calling herself Sarah Banero has called St. Stephen’s, Whitehall and Trinity, Easton claiming to be a woman in the Lehigh Valley who is seeking funds to go to an out of state women’s shelter. Her messages claim that this is an “emergency.“ The person is very well spoken and at first convincing except that the facts don’t add up. She claims not to be able to give any information without first signing a release and then goes into a long story about how to get the money to her. Her phone number is from the Houston, TX area and is a cell phone. When quizzed she knows nothing about the usual agencies that handle this kind of thing. To quote Sgt. Esterhase from the old Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there.” (2) From Robin Caccese, St. Mary's Reading: I have had calls from a man claiming that his car was impounded at the Reading Hospital while he was visiting a loved one. He says he’s from Allentown and wants money to get his car so he can go home. The caller ID says: 610-507-2939.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• At Mediator Allentown on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 4 ... Choral Evensong at 4:00 p.m. In fine Anglican tradition, Mediator Choir will sing the beautiful service of Evensong at 4:00 p.m. in honor of all the saints, known and unknown, who have served God faithfully. Featuring J. Clinton Miller, SMM, Organist/Choirmaster. Reception at 5:00 p.m. Lecture at 6:00 p.m. by Frank Whelan. The Many Religions of Allentown: The Faiths of Our Forefathers and Foremothers. Frank is an historian, author and educator. Free admission. All are welcome. The Church of the Mediator is located at 1620 Turner Street, Allentown, www.episcopalmediator.org. Parking available at the Masonic Temple on Linden, across from West Park. Childcare will be available.
• The Children's and Liturgical Opera Company will present Ruth at Mediator Allentown on Nov. 18 ... Susan Bingham of Allentown is artistic director of the Children's and Liturgical Opera Company which has just been invited to be "in residence" at Mediator. They will present the chancel opera "Ruth" at the 8:00 and 10:15 services on Nov. 18. “Ruth” is a very short liturgical opera based on the Old Testament Book of Ruth. It will be performed in place of the sermon. The Company was founded in 1974 as the "Trinity Players" after its host parish in New Haven CT. The Company built up a repertory of short devotional operas for use in place of the sermon in worship services. Along with its many liturgical ("chancel") operas, the Company’s library includes children's operas based on fairy tales, folktales, and fables; chamber operas, three ballets and a number of anthems, psalm settings and motets are part of its library as well. All are works of composer/pianist Susan Hulsman Bingham. The Company had one European tour and has appeared in churches, synagogues, retreat centers, schools and theaters throughout northeastern United States. They have appeared on NBC Television and at both New York’s Lincoln Center and the Shubert Center for Performing Arts in New Haven, Connecticut. The Company resumed its work in Pennsylvania in 2006. “Our chancel operas present biblical stories with clarity and simplicity in hopes of bringing a glimpse of the transcendent to worshippers,” says composer Bingham. “We aim to elaborate on biblical stories rather than interpret them. Casts are usually small. We use the chancel or sanctuary as our stage, adding simple stage lighting, costumes and minimal props, so that worship service is disrupted as little as possible.”
• 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)
• Episcopal Church positions available ... Applications are now being accepted for four full-time positions: Africa Partnership Officer, Domestic Policy Analyst (based in the Washington DC office), Domestic Poverty Missioner, UTO Coordinator. Information available here. Previously posted positions still open are: Director of Development, Development Research Analyst, Digital Front-end Designer/Drupal Themer, Legal Counsel. For more information contact a member of the Episcopal Church Human Resources Team at HRM@episcopalchurch.org.
• Who wants to help make sense of the South Carolina situation? ... [Episcopal Café] Here.
• Background: 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."
• Bethlehem's 2006 decision not to consent ... [newSpin blog, 2006] You may recall that the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Bethlehem (and Bishop Paul) took the lead in 2006 in a successful attempt to deny South Carolina to seat Bishop-elect Lawrence. Our decision not to consent was published widely. After a second attempt by South Carolina during which Lawrence stated he would not remove the diocese from the Episcopal Church, that diocese received the required number of votes from standing committees and bishops, though not from the Bethlehem Standing Committee nor from Bishop Paul.
• Bishop Robinson plans an active retirement ... [Episcopal Café] After retiring as bishop, he will be working half-time in Washington, D.C., as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, the think tank founded by former White House chief of staff John Podesta, where he’ll be writing and speaking on a variety of social issues. The bishop is also the subject of a documentary, Love Free or Die, which will air on PBS October 29 [at 10 p. m. Eastern and Pacific], and he has a new book out, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage. More 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 oldest known survivor of Auschwitz... [AP] a non-Jewish Pole, a teacher who gave lessons in defiance of his native Poland's Nazi occupiers, has died at the age of 108. Read on.
• More interested in issues than images ... [NYTimes] “We were more interested in ending the war in Vietnam and getting people out of poverty and being fair to women and minorities and saving the environment. It was an issue-oriented campaign, and we should have paid more attention to image.” Former Senator George McGovern, who died Sunday, Oct. 21, at the age of 90, reflecting on his 1972 presidential campaign in a 2005 interview.
• Helping the terminally ill to die, once taboo, is gaining acceptance ... [The Economist] Voters in Massachusetts will decide in November whether a terminally ill patient with less than six months to live should be able to use a doctor’s help in committing suicide. If they assent, as the polls suggest, the state will be the third, after Oregon and Washington, to legalise assisted suicide. New Jersey introduced a bill last month to decriminalise it. The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that doctors cannot be prosecuted for prescribing lethal drugs for terminally ill patients. When Jack Kevorkian, an American doctor jailed after admitting helping 130 patients to die, first went on trial in 1994, assisting suicide was a crime everywhere save Switzerland. Now the trend is spreading far and wide (though not in Asia or in Muslim countries where it is still taboo). Read on.
• The cost to the government to dispose of junk mail ... [WaPo Op-Ed] The U.S. Postal Service relies on junk mail to survive, and it costs the government $1 billion to collect and dispose of it. Here.
• What we say about our beliefs versus what we do ... [Andrew Gerns, Episcopal Café] Not only do 1 in 5 Americans now admit they have no religious affiliation, most of the rest overstate their church attendance. This is not news to parish priests who know that many of the people on the books of their parish only attend periodically if at all. Read on.
• The gender psychology of losing your car in a parking lot ... [Atlantic Cities] The authors don’t offer a theory for why men and women would tap into spatial memory differently, although we suspect that you will provide your own explanation anyway. More here.
• Come be our vicar ... [Episcopal Café] A homemade film produced by a parish in the Church of England seeking a new vicar has become an unexpected YouTube hit.
• 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
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Bill Lewellis, Diocese of Bethlehem, retired
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Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]